White Rabbiting

Picture me, if you will, hurtling towards you at high speed, flushed, breathless, tripping over the furniture, scurrying around obstacles, grasping an over-sized pocket watch, late, late, late for my important date with the Internets.

There was some talk of every three days, I believe. *hollow laugh* I was born on time, and I’ve been running behind ever since.

There was something reminiscent of the best-laid schemes of mice & men about last week: Harry had a night terror that kept him awake whilst still-petrified-asleep for nearly 4 long hours in the Monday morning small hours: always a morale-breaker. I surfaced groggily at GOD o’clock knowing that I had three nativity costumes, two large birthday cakes, and several small Christmas cakes to produce; I also had to source & purchase turkey, rolls, stuffing and cranberry sauce for the school Christmas Fayre – highlight of the festive season. John kicked off the whole Gang Agley business by prosaically announcing that Catholic Hen (whose overnight lair I had searched for in vain) had not shown up for reveille – ergo, had become fox food during the night.

I dropped an over-sleeping, exhausted Harry to school an hour late, and trudged morosely up the hill with my morning coffee to play Hunt The Feathers, and to my slack-jawed astonishment, there was a tiny, bright yellow chick darting busily among the flock. The fox had evidently missed this tiny fluffball, which was completely unphased by its brush with near-extinction, and looked like a natural survivor to me, although it must have been perilously cold. As such, I felt I owed it something, and promptly fell to considering how I could keep it alive. I provided food for it, but needed heat and secure shelter, pronto. Naturally, the only power lead long enough to reach the hen run belonged to the farm, and my poultry heat lamp had a broken bulb. D’you know how many of my local shops DON’T stock suitable bulbs? Particularly when there’s a chick with no feathers freezing to death in the rain? And then, of course, I had to actually catch the bugger.

Wick little things, chicks.

I left for work at 5pm. So, that was Monday.

Tuesday morning, I spent on the phone, trying to either locate a companion chick, or give my chick (resplendent but lonely in a cardboard box) away to a home with other chicks. Waste of a Tuesday morning, ‘pparently. Our chick is destined to be une fille unique. She is also destined to be a damned expensive hen by the time the foxes consume her, as they inevitably do all my poultry sooner or later.

In the meantime, I am feeling short on babies.

So I have named her Gertrude.

Wednesday, I spent running around local supermarkets like a rat in a shrinking cage, shrieking into my mobile at store managers, trying to buy turkey crowns – with remarkably little initial success – and exuding free-flowing stress at everyone I encountered about my Badly Slipping Schedule.  

Thursday, I baked my bottom off. I forget when I went to bed.

Friday morning, I excelled myself and actually got to the Post Office. Fridge magnets are On Their Way, and I thank you sincerely and profusely. Holler if they don’t arrive.

Friday afternoon, I helped to set up the school Christmas Fayre, which felt like I was being useful right up to the point I was asked, ‘Where are the rolls?’, because the answer, disappointingly, was ‘Fuck. Still in the shop.’

Friday evening: the Christmas Fayre, complete with Santa’s grotto, and Harry’s performance therein, videoed at my request as I was stuck on a stall.

I know I promised John to conceal Harry’s identity on this blog a little better, but really, the image quality on this video is about on a par with the Paris Hilton sex tapes. I was mildly aghast at the absence of pleases, thank-yous, and the cobra-like speed at which the present left Santa’s grasp. It starts well, mind; the first 2 seconds are priceless. 

And yes, he has a Knights’ Castle. Don’t tell him.

Friday evening, late, my best friend came for her belated birthday dinner and we didn’t go to bed until gone 2am.

Saturday, I was starting to flag, but I boxed up a cake I was fairly happy with,

put on a posh frock and went to a posh restaurant and ate exceedingly posh food for a lunch that seemed to go on until dark. Poor me. 

Sunday, I fell over in a weakly twitching heap, and concentrated on constantly edging away from John, who had a Pukey Thing going on, and I am famously nervous of Pukey Things. I also made a King costume, tweaked a Mary Costume, made a headdress, and started on a turban. Finished at 2am. I was then woken by John, who is Not Himself still, every hour until the alarm went off.

Today, Monday, I started my new job. I have a vivid red t-shirt that says Bookseller, and I have been getting to grips with the till and the geography of the ground floor bookshelves. I find the minimum wage element quite depressing, but there are certainly worse places to work.

And… that is all. I am All Caught Up.

Tomorrow! (Or possibly the next day.) I am going to give you recipes for three cakes that went down well at my charity coffee morning – as promised to Wombat, who tried at least one of them, and pronounced it tasty.

Stay tuned for Chocolate Fudge, Coconut Lime, and Ginger. They do not read like recipes you find in proper recipe books, you’ll be unsurprised to hear – this is baking à la HFF Wifey. I’m sorry you’re too far away for me to feed you cake in person, so this is the best I can do.

If you likes ’em, the collecting tin is – ahem – here. There’s an archaicly insulting fridge magnet in it for you. *winks*


11 Responses


    I love fluffy baby chicks. I hope that one makes it. If I were closer I’d demand to adopt her.

    Also that cake is gorgeous!

  2. Thank you for the magnet. They cheered up an otherwise dire day.

    I am exhausted just reading all this.

    Hope Gertrude hangs on.

    Lucky Harry with his Knight’s castle!

  3. Good grief, woman, I had to have a lie down after reading that lot! Fabulous-looking cake though.
    I feel I should tell you that I’m going to steal Harry. He’s just too cute for words, and I could listen to that voice all day long.
    I also have an urge to come and visit you in said bookselling establishment and make you recommend books for me…

  4. Cannot look at Harry until new Flash player uploads. Later. Am twitching with excitement as to the possession at last of the coconut lime cake. Yay!

    And you have reminded me that the collecting website last year debited my credit card with my donation twice but has only added it to your collection once. And, because I am a complete blonde and tempo has also fugited and taken my brain with it, I have not taken it up with them. But am about to, hopefully it can be this years contribution.

    Otherwise I will have to find another way to transfer the money to you as I will not give them another opportunity to double dip!

  5. Well, he HAS been really good, hasn’t he? I love his total confidence in his goodness.

    And I LOVE my magnets. They keep me the best Shakespearean, Hairy, witty company. I am finding ways to work the phrases into conversation. “Detested parasite!” to the cat/annoying driver/paininarses, everywhere. “Spherical, he is!” And so on.

    Hope this week will turn out gentler, on all of you, birds included.

  6. Blimey, I am exhausted by just reading all that. And tell me please, what is that thing on your phone? It looks like a Colin Thompson screensaver? *need*

  7. Gertrude was my grandmother’s name – and my aunt’s, but she hates it and goes by her middle name.

    I’m sure Harry has been very good…

  8. Your site snows.

    (Not blows…SNOWS).

    Yes you wrote a whole post and it was lovely.

    But bigger things here – your site snows.

    No wonder I love you.

  9. Bastard google reader has only just told me about this post. I shall kick bastard google reader in the nuts, so I shall.

    Hello! Haven’t you been busy! Isn’t that cake pretty! Isn’t your son hilarious and adorable! Isn’t Gertrude cute!

    My Shakespeare magnets – I keep my prescriptions for anti-emetics and opioids stuck to the fridge with ‘Out, you green-sickness carrion!’. This amuses me hugely every time I open said fridge. I adore you and embrace your knees in an alarmingly grateful manner.

    I’m glad if it has to be poorly paid grunt work, it’s poorly paid grunt work in a bookshop. Bookshop assistants and library assistants, we are as one beneath the skin. Or something. Down to and including twatweasel public being entitled and appallingly stupid., and heart-warming moments when you can be genuinely Of Use to someone and make them really happy.

  10. Am, as always, in envy of your baking skills. Actually, it’s the icing that kills me every time, just cannot get ze hang of it. Not one bit.


  11. […] to give away) and 4 brown, quarrelsome, endearing ex-battery hens. Gertrude the Chick, the chick I suffered over, was eaten by a buzzard on Christmas Eve. (Goddamn it, nature! Still, at least the buzzards had […]

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