There is an awful lot to do in the country. So far today I have juiced a whole pineapple and a massive papaya, taken the dog to the field and waited for him to widdle in the wet grass, sorted the mouldy coriander from the fresh, whizzed up my seed cheese, meditated, and left the door open for the postman. He’s a lovely geezer. His son went to school with my daughter so we’ve know each other for years. I’m awaiting tickets from some ruddy Festival BB is going to – I have to sign for them.
I’ve had a shower, responded to all my emails, and got dressed in preparation for the estate agent who is coming round at noon to evaluate the property. We’re not moving – I just want know how much we’re worth.
It’s Jacuzzi Tuesday today, the rain is teeming down. Last year Jim made weather boards in the front garden so that our cellar wouldn’t flood, yet again. He succeeded. Now it’s a dry as a bone, which is good because poor old Mr. Fenner doesn’t like the damp.

Mr. Fenner lived here yonks ago. He was the blacksmith. The old forge is still next door. When my mother was more athletic, she would go down into the cellar to do our ironing. It’s now our utility room, but back in the day it was part of the forge. It dates around 1690. We still have the original stone steps and brick walls. The stone has been worn away into neat curves from endless trips from hundreds of people over the years descending into the warmth of the subterranean room.
One day, whilst climbing back up to ground level, a headless man, wearing a leather apron filled with blacksmiths tools, guided my mother up the stone steps. She wasn’t frightened. She’s always having encounters with headless men. ‘Ah! Yes!’, said J from next door, ‘Mr. Fenner visits us, as does the black dog, the funny cat that used to live on the shelf that no longer exists in the sitting room, and the little girl who was murdered.’
‘Murdered?’, I yelped.
‘Well, maybe not murdered’, said J, as he could see he had an hysteric on his hands. ‘But a little girl died in your cottage and sits at the bottom of the stairs leading to the attic.’
When BB was small she could see the girl, and the fairies at the bottom of the garden, but now she denies seeing both.
So, the cellar is dry enough for me to entertain the estate agent then take him to the bottom of the garden – not to see the fairies – but to wonder at our studio where writing of words and music takes place. Then to the field where the doggie widdles, and back to the kitchen which is full of my homemade nonsense.
The cottage is the size of a postage stamp although nobody ever believes it. When you work on telly everybody thinks you live in a Mock Tudor pile with a fleet of classic cars in the driveway. But remember that most of the ‘OK’ and ‘Hello’ shoots are done on location in somebody else’s Mockney Mansion.
I always used to think, when watching Hollywood movies, that the actor playing the piano wasn’t actually playing, so there was nothing to worry about when the camera pulled focus on the keys. Until it dawned on me that some poor bugger was having to practice and play it note perfect. I also believed that the American accent belonged to children and that adults grew out of the Yanky twang. Yes, I know I need help.
The rain is still dancing on the roof. I can see it out of the ‘baby’ room I’m working in. The stairs to the attic are just behind me and OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
No, there isn’t a little girl sitting there. It’s the postman ringing the bell. Jackson barks when we have an intruder, only he likes everybody. He’s so soppy that were we to get a burglar, he would offer him tea and a boneo. I’m off till later.

3 thoughts on “JaTuzzdi”

  1. Hi
    What a fantastic read. I love a good ghost story and the house c1690 wow “if the walls could speak”. Loved hearing the history of it, I really did.
    Made it through my girl’s weekend in one piece. We danced to Abba in our pj’s and swimming caps (there was an indoor pool) all alcohol inspired of course. I dont and never really liked Abba, but for a few hours I seemed to forget that! Of all things we have in common musical taste is not one of them. Dinner and secret santa presents which reflected funny and/or humiliating life events for each of us, were a great success.
    Looking forward to news of that food pilot ;^ }

  2. Maybe you should get Derek Acorah or somebody in to ‘read’ your cottage Jeni!! I bet it would be fascinating!! 🙂 I don’t have much time these days, but when I get the chance I love reading your blogs. You always make me laugh & think – perfect combination! Thank you & hugs.

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