Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas Day

Christmas day, and as year previous other half has taken mother to church, so have some moments to write.

Found Mrs Payne in kitchen again this morning, at which we said in unison,
Merry Christmas .. !  I've made pancakes!"
Mrs Payne altogether annoyed at this, grumbling as she stirred the batter,
"Fearful advent calendar."

After had feasted on many pancakes and cleared up quite terrible mess, to which Mrs Payne said she regretted nothing, set about our presents.  Other half altogether pleased with her ear rings, held them up such that Mrs Payne gave appreciative murmur.  Said I was a darling.  Opening my large present, was most pleased with toaster.  Exclaimed that Father Christmas' elves apparently quite experts at electrical goods.  Warmly wished other half Merry Christmas.

Other half and I warily picked up Mrs Payne's presents, with instruction to open the tiny items together on account of being the same.  Shared much surprise as each held an uncommonly well crafted bookmark of a smooth oval sliver of wood, each decorated with ribbon through a hole at one end.  Mrs Payne flushed rather as we both exclaimed our appreciation.  Looking at the item revealed it to be beautiful oak wood, with other half's quite an identical item.  Most curious, said to Mrs Payne bookmark quite delightful, by the by, where did she find the wood?  At this Mrs Payne explained brightly,
"Oh yes, you'll never guess!  It was a ruler I found in the garage!"
At this other half and I held our bookmarks together to reveal remnants of my prized oak ruler.  Mrs Payne evidently pleased with her efforts, said proudly,
"It was a 12 inch ruler, so you got 6 inches each!"
Could only laugh rather at this, queried with amusement, had she given me a bookmark, but taken away a ruler?  At this Mrs Payne thought rather, said earnestly,
"Oh no!  You've still got half of it!"

Declared our beautiful bookmarks well worth the sacrifice, and duly pleased, Mrs Payne set about opening her two cylindrical presents.  Bound to say was most pleased as Mrs Payne opened them, saying with honest excitement,
"Oh I say!  Mince!  Oh, and another!"  Other half rather less delighted by this, said kindly,
"You'll be able to add them to the two in the bottom cupboard!"  At this Mrs Payne further excited, saying as she rushed to kitchen,
"I didn't know we had any left!  Oh I say!"  Returning moments later, Mrs Payne most dismayed, explained could find not a jot of mince.  Bound to say was terribly guilty at this, explained nervously, by the by, had rather thought them lost, as such had given them as Christmas present.  Other half thought this quite hilarious, said I looked guilty as a schoolboy, quite rolled around the room laughing.  Mrs Payne most affronted, declared at volume,
"You owe me two mince!"  Laughed rather nervously as said I would certainly provide them, to which Mrs Payne exclaimed, a-gasp with disapproval,
"What would Father Christmas say!"

~~

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my readers.

The Diary will return in the new year.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Eve

Most pleased this morning to find Mrs Payne in kitchen as I got up, saying brightly,
"Merry Christmas, Robert!" adding with excitement, "I'm making pancakes!"  Sat down at table saying this quite delightful, noting with quiet dismay mess equal to last year's.  Queried after some moments, by the by, was it not Christmas tomorrow?  At this Mrs Payne chuckled as vigorously stirred pancake batter, gasping as face turned red with the effort,
"You are a fearful idiot, Robert.  I opened my last advent calendar window today!  Merry Christmas!"

Looked rather closely at kitchen calendar, and making quite certain, showed Mrs Payne the days, explaining carefully as to it being only Monday, was not Christmas until Tuesday.  24th was Christmas eve.  At this bound to say Mrs Payne positively furious, exclaimed in annoyance advent calendar certain to have missed a day, was fearful outrage and would complain to the highest ranks of advent calendar company.  Was about to query perhaps had made a mistake when Mrs Payne in much annoyance rinsed pancake batter down drain, as I exclaimed in horror, Mrs Payne saying with aggravation,
"No pancakes until Christmas!"

Bound to say had fearful morning cleaning up kitchen, with not a single pancake to show for it.  Mrs Payne terribly grumpy throughout, reiterating the outrage of her faulty calendar upon numerous occasions.  Other half suggested mid-afternoon could perhaps have drop of sherry for Christmas spirit.  Said I thought this a terribly wise idea, and Mrs Payne also brightened up at suggestion.  Most dismayed as opened drinks cabinet to find barely a drop remaining.  At this Mrs Payne queried innocently, by the by, did we need to buy some more sherry?

Other half smiled rather at this, said perhaps mother would like to inspect particular present under tree.  With some complaint and oofing Mrs Payne kneeled in front of tree, other half terribly shocked as Mrs Payne shook the present viciously, saying with delight,
"I wonder what it is!"  Other half said knowingly, perhaps we might open it now?  Mrs Payne altogether taken back by this, as if daughter has suggested theft of Crown Jewels.  After some reticent minutes the present was opened, revealed a beautifully boxed bottle of sherry.  Carefully removing the bottle from the box, all positively delighted with such a fine item.  Mrs Payne put the bottle aside as carefully wrapped paper around the box as neatly as possible, saying as if a guilty child,
"Do you think Father Christmas will know?"

Friday, 21 December 2012

Diary 240

Most excited to receive delivery of Christmas goose.  Other half already off for Christmas, so all eagerly awaited knock at door.

Was mid-morning as received knock at door.  Went downstairs to find other half having paid the boy and sent him on his way, goose carefully placed on doorstep.  Most surprised to have other half fearfully annoyed, exclaiming,
"Look at the size of the bally thing!  I can't even lift it!"
Said this positive nonsense, set about taking it into kitchen.  Bound to say was some truth in other half's evaluation on account of awfully painful back.

Goose having been set on table, all gathered around to admire it, although other half rather more of scorn than admiration.  Other half said again in annoyance,
"Look at the size!"  Admitted it was rather large, though was sure it would be delicious.  Looking at the bird from some angles, Mrs Payne said with disappointment,
"I thought it would be bigger."

Other half altogether lacking in Christmas spirit said would have to see if it would fit in oven.  At this with quite some pain I placed on largest baking tray.  Mrs Payne most excited as carefully placed the tray into the oven, saying with satisfaction,
"Perfect!"
Was silent for quite some moments as sought words to confront this, saying finally with slow aggravation,
"We can't shut the oven door!"  Goose gregariously poking itself out of oven, Mrs Payne thought would give some encouragement, attempting to shut oven door herself, saying with surprise,
"I say!  The oven's too small!"
At this was terribly angry, saying at some volume,
"It's not the oven that's too small!  It's the goose is too big!" adding after some moments, "I thought you said you knew about geese?"
Mrs Payne most affronted at this, exclaimed defiantly,
"I do know about gooses!  I never said I knew about ovens!"

Goose having been returned to table, each of us turned to stare at fridge door, evidently with same thought.  By way of defence, Mrs Payne exclaimed in annoyance,
"I never said I knew about fridges either!"

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Day 239

Mrs Payne still banging away in garage, went to see what destruction had occurred, at which found fearful mess of paint tins on floor, evidently having fallen over.  Most annoyed at this as had carefully stacked them.  Mrs Payne explaining with surprise,
"These paint tins just fell over!  They were terribly stacked!"

Having stacked paint tins with some annoyance, bound to say looked rather carefully at work bench to see what Mrs Payne was making, as was awfully curious.  This altogether impossible as Mrs Payne exclaimed,
"Don't spoil the surprise!" and carefully laid her tiny handkerchief over the items.  Have judged them rather small.  Mrs Payne explained were a fearful lot of work.  Looked over work bench, covered in quantity of tools, carelessly cast aside.  Said I was sure it was, queried was it altogether necessary to use a hammer-drill?  At this Mrs Payne said earnestly,
"Oh yes!  What if one wants to hammer and drill at the same time?"

Quite ignoring this, came out with it that had not the faintest idea what to get for Christmas.  Thankfully Mrs Payne altogether unconcerned with this, thought rather carefully as one might if given a crossword clue, after which said brightly,
"I say, I should like some tins of turkey mince like last year!"
Had to check myself from mentioning existing tins in cupboards, at which I said carefully,
"Oh yes, I suppose I could get you a couple of tins."

Went to get some tea and retrieve tins of turkey mince from kitchen as Mrs Payne exclaimed in delight,
"We haven't had turkey mince for an age!  What a treat!"

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Day 238

Spent quite some time yesterday afternoon thinking of ideas for presents.  This made altogether more difficult as heard fearful racket coming from garage.  Quite certain Mrs Payne's "Christmas workshop" fraught with disaster.  Telephoned other half, most displeased at interruption from work, queried with some annoyance what was the matter, and further,
"What's that bally racket in the background?"  Bound to say other half terribly displeased to hear Mrs Payne having been given hammer.  Said did not know who was worse - hammerer, or the one that provided it.  Thought this altogether rough.

Queried carefully as to what to get for presents, at which other half said with some annoyance to get whatever got last year.  Said could not possibly do this.  Terribly inconsiderate.  At this other half said happily,
"Quite alright, she's certain to have forgotten!"
Ended telephone call with much relief having arranged one of two presents required.  Needed only to seek out what I got Mrs Payne, and think of other half's present.  Most dismayed as used this very diary to find Mrs Payne's present.  As noted:

"Turkey mince"

Altogether hope Mrs Payne has forgotten of last year's present, as two tins still in cupboard.  Certain not to add more to this horrifying stockpile.

Still two presents to get.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Day 237

Most concerned regards presents as quite unsure what to get for other half and Mrs Payne.  Queried as to getting Horseface and boss presents also.  Most grateful as this duly undertaken by other half.  Said with quite some amusement could not wait to see what I got her mother!  Replied could not wait to see it either.

Gave Mrs Payne quite some scrutiny over breakfast regards what she might be in need of.  Mrs Payne appeared a simple soul, needing but her spectacles, pen and newspaper.  Realised with some annoyance had my nice pen.  Queried this rather sharply, at which Mrs Payne said nonchalantly,
"Oh no, I've had it for years!"  Nervously returned it to her bag.

Asked Mrs Payne might she like to come into town this morning to see about presents.  At this Mrs Payne said would certainly not need to!  Most annoyed as asked regards Mrs Payne having already bought gifts.  Mrs Payne most amused in response,
"Oh no, I'm making mine.  By the by, where is the hammer?"

Decided best not to go out this morning.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Day 236

Still without toaster as other half said perhaps Father Christmas could provide one.  Replied I hoped Father Christmas most discerning regards four-slice variety and chrome finish.  Other half said she rather thought he was.  Mrs Payne most amused at this, said knowingly,
"Elves can't make toasters."

Had frightful amount of food still in fridge.  Mrs Payne queried Saturday night if she might see about making dinner.  Other half and I most surprised as dinner arrived.  Queried as to looking entirely like tomato soup most unwelcome by Mrs Payne.  Explained other ingredients had rather sunk.  Was her own recipe!

Fished about in tomato soup with quite some concern and finding a morsel, gave it rather subtle scrutiny before eating.  Saw other half flagrantly doing the same.  As tomato soup began draining off the morsel, realised in horror the soup's contents.  Queried rather nonchalantly,
"I say, Mrs Payne, is this.." and before given a moment to answer, Mrs Payne exclaimed with delight,
"Pork pie soup!"

Other half and I most uneasy about such concoction.  Queried as to how it was made.  Mrs Payne said delighted to pass on her recipe, punctuated by eating,
"First you start with tomato soup.  Then you add my special ingredients!"  Begged Mrs Payne's pardon, what might those be?  At this Mrs Payne said with consideration,
"Well, pork pie.  Oh, and I stirred it."

Attempted some of Mrs Payne's pork pie soup by way of not offending.  Other half did same, although a frightfully small amount.  Bound to say it a quite frightful texture of soupy meat with soggy pastry.  Other half looked down at her bowl with much concern at such a volume remaining.  Was quite considering eating around only the soup as Mrs Payne queried with interest,
"How is it?  You can really taste the pork pie!"

Friday, 14 December 2012

Day 235

Went into town this morning to see about toaster.  Had altogether little time for this with work, but positively sick of eating Christmas pastries.  Mrs Payne said had fearful lot of Christmas cards to send, might she come along?  Quite reminded me had one or two myself, so presently set off for town.  Mrs Payne queried with excitement, might they have carols in town?  Said this rather unlikely, children still at school.  Mrs Payne most displeased at this, said incredulously,
"Children should be out on the street!  Singing!"

Soon arrived at post office with something of headache on account of Mrs Payne's frightful carol singing in car to find post office queue quite to door with customers.  Mrs Payne turned around, whispering with much frustration,
"It's full of old people!"  At this middle-aged lady turned around, saying with annoyance,
"I beg your pardon?"  Altogether looked other way as Mrs Payne said certainly did not mean her, adding kindly,
"Are you collecting your pension, dear?"

Lady having thankfully cut Mrs Payne, Horseface promptly came in, saying with aggravation at queue,
"Oh, I say!" before adding brightly, "oh, hello, you pair!  Aren't we the couple-about-town!"  Thought this terribly rude, and said as much, Horseface caring not a jot, asking what we were doing for Christmas.  Explained were having goose, with Mrs Payne reaching out arms whilst exclaiming,
"It's this big!"

Presently invited Horseface and boss for Christmas, as Mrs Payne went to cashier.  Said they would be delighted.  Horseface rather distracted as provided details, looking over my shoulder and quite ignoring my question, saying,
"Oh dear!"  At this promptly turned around to find Mrs Payne, saying in terrible annoyance,
"I should like to see the post master!"  Young lady having explained was terribly sorry, post office had no post master, set about querying the matter.  At this Mrs Payne explained with much drama that had seen about posting her Christmas cards, was quite 60 pence!  Mrs Payne saying indignantly whilst positively shook,
"That's not the total!  60 pence each!" and by way of further embarrassment, exclaimed to her rather significant audience of customers and a delighted Horseface,
"60 pence each!  I used to pay 2 shillings!"  Returning her annoyance to cashier, was told it quite an outrage!  Young lady said kindly it was rather a shock, and,
"Perhaps this gentleman could pay?"  Was about to say was quite out of question when Mrs Payne altogether changed tune, saying in a calming diminuendo,
"Quite an out .. oh yes, that would be fine."  Positively furious as cashier said brightly,
"37 pounds 80 pence, please!"

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Day 234

Goose having been ordered, Mrs Payne in quite frenzy in shop yesterday.  As such fridge now positively crammed full of cheeses, pastries and such, including some pork pies, with rude girl's samples having done their trick.  Begged Mrs Payne's pardon, where might we be putting goose when it arrives next week?  At this Mrs Payne said accusingly,
"I haven't got the faintest idea where you're putting it!"

Grumbled rather over breakfast, with other half quite in agreement regards lack of space for goose.  Mrs Payne left fridge gaping open as surveyed room for goose.  After several minutes of moving items, uttering as such "if we just move .. no .. how about moving .. and this goes .." Mrs Payne came to realisation, gasping with this endeavour,
"I say, there's not an inch of room!  We'll just have to eat the lot!"

Opening packet of pork pies, Mrs Payne promptly offered them around.  Said thought of pork pie for breakfast quite revolting, would jolly well have toast as normal.  Most dismayed as popped toaster down only to find not a glimmer of red glow.  Seeing this as ate pork pie, Mrs Payne explained had toasted crumpet yesterday, got ever so stuck.  By the by, would not recommend poking with butter knife in future, toaster got "a bit sparky".
Other half most shocked at this, said with fright,
"Mother!"  Mrs Payne most unconcerned, explained knife had bone handle, quite safe.  Sat down most annoyed at sabotaged toaster and found not a crumb of cereal.  Mrs Payne presently held up packet, saying brightly,
"Pork pie?"

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Day 233

Went shopping earlier regards Christmas goose.  Had quite fearful trouble last year on account of being too late, so making quite sure as to getting one.  Mrs Payne altogether in Christmas mood, said was terribly exciting, might she come along?  Replied certainly could, however might she put shoes on, slippers most unsuitable.  Mrs Payne most displeased at this, saying with annoyance,
"No-one would notice!"

In farm shop Mrs Payne positively dazzled by such fine food.  Was thrilled to the core as young lady asked might she like little free sample of pork pie.  Said regally she rather thought she would.  Helped herself to three.

Most surprised as Mrs Payne said she knew thing or two about goose, might she select the bird?  Replied did not have faintest idea myself, would certainly appreciate such help.  At this Mrs Payne delighted, went straight up to counter, retrieving two more pork pie samples on way, as girl said with frightful rudeness,
"Oi!"  Ignoring this, Mrs Payne exclaimed with pleasure,
"We'd like your biggest goose please!"  Shop owner and I most displeased at such reckless purchasing, queried as to what variety.  Mrs Payne pondered rather as she ate her pieces of pork pie, finally outstretching her arms by way of indication, and quite ignoring question, said optimistically,
"This big!"  Shop owner did best by way of providing bird "this big", with Mrs Payne most pleased with the bird shown.  Queried with concern on fitting in oven, as Mrs Payne said with delight,
"Oh yes, I know a thing or two about gooses!"

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Day 232

Was quite frightfully nervous yesterday lunchtime as looked out of window to see if suspicious old couple or Mrs Payne might turn up first.  Was just pondering as to retrieving wellington boot when taxi cab pulled up and old couple got out.  Apparently some discussion ensued regards wellington boot on lawn, as was quite some pointing before eventually came over to get key.  Quickly retreated behind curtain and answered the door rather slowly exclaiming innocently,
"Oh, hello?"

Stalked over to old couple's house, quite insistent that I might help them in with bags, could quite put one's back out!  This promptly demonstrated as lifted bag and with yelp of pain said whilst withholding strong language,
"Goodness, I've put my back out!"

Helped old couple in all the same, grimacing fearfully in pain.  Terribly shocked to find Mrs Payne in back garden, quite pressed against window looking in.  Mrs Payne froze in shock, and by way of hoping did not see her, slowly moved to side of window out of view.  Popping her head around some moments later revealed us still there, as old man shouted,
"Get out of our garden you devil!  I'm calling the police!"
Evidently with some concern Mrs Payne gesticulated rather in way of not telephoning police, at which old lady exclaimed in horror,
"Such gestures!  What a beast!"
Mrs Payne with some concern put hood down, revealing quite fearfully red face on account of heat, mouthing through window as old man put telephone down,
"On-ly m-e!"

Opening window bound to say old man rather unhappy as to having Mrs Payne "trampling around the garden like a mad woman!"  At this Mrs Payne terribly apologetic, said were some terribly suspicious characters about of late, and was terribly concerned someone was in garden.  Old man rather unconcerned about this, looking down and saying with increduality,
"I say, where's your wellington!"  Mrs Payne altogether calm at this, said nonchalantly,
"What wellington?"

In quite some rage, old man made quite some suggestion regards jolly well getting out of garden immediately, and could take wellington boot with her.  Mrs Payne looked terribly annoyed, promptly tottered across garden as old man shouted out,
"Watch the pond cover!"  All was too late as pond cover immediately sank under Mrs Payne's not insignificant weight, lowering Mrs Payne thigh deep into cold water, exclaiming in shock,
"Oh, I say!  Oh I SAY!"  Rushed outside to heave her out with fearful pain to my back, as Mrs Payne said in horror, clothes dripping with water,
"I've got water in my wellington!"

Old couple looked fearfully annoyed as watched me take Mrs Payne back across road, dripping all the way, me hunched over in pain, with my abandoned wellington in one hand and Mrs Payne's arm in other.  Bound to say Mrs Payne positively furious, said with annoyance,
"There's something suspicious about them!  Mark my words!"

Monday, 10 December 2012

Day 231

Received fearful fright this morning.  Went downstairs regards mid-morning tea when most surprised to see burly figure dressed all in black accosting ones own biscuit tin.  Bound to say thought was quite done-for, however realising was the good biscuits raised voice somewhat as to ask what the devil was going on.  Flinched rather as figure turned around to see Mrs Payne's plump face poking out of hood, saying with mouthful of biscuit,
"I'm being stealthy!"

Declared this most ridiculous, positively forbade Mrs Payne carrying on like this, would she please take off my coat, and what the devil was she doing in the house with my wellington boots?  At this Mrs Payne most unconcerned, said as the slowly plodded to front door with terrible inconvenience of loose boots,
"I'm going to see about the old couple opposite's back garden.  Shan't be long!"  At this watched in astonishment as Mrs Payne sneaked across road towards suspicious old couple's house.

Made tea by way of calming nerves, at which with some shock telephone rang.  Heart positively pounded as answered, expecting Mrs Payne telephoning from her "office".  Most surprised to hear other half on telephone, saying, by the by, old couple from across the road may be over later.  Had given her key whilst on holiday.  Was next to our letter rack.  At this begged other half's pardon, had seen lights on across road.  Other half said carelessly,
"Oh yes, timed I shouldn't wonder.  Anyway, they'll be back soon.  Don't forget about the key!"

Put telephone down with some concern.  Looked out of front window and saw barely a glimpse of Mrs Payne.  Looking at lawn, saw solitary wellington, abandoned on old couple's lawn.  Wherever Mrs Payne might be, she had a very wet stocking.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Day 230 - Addendum

Feel it only right to continue regards Mrs Payne's time in telephone box.

Yesterday, took Mrs Payne's tea and biscuits to telephone box mid-morning.  Altogether concerned would be seen by suspicious old couple, so walked ever so fast, carefully holding cup and saucer so would not see.  Mrs Payne most pleased to see sustenance had been provided.  Opened door to telephone box, saying brightly,
"Step into my office!"

Suggested in ever so polite way that would perhaps not fit in telephone box together.  This quite ignored by Mrs Payne, saying in a hushed tone,
"Get in!  Before they see you!"
Found telephone box altogether cramped, and Mrs Payne quite taking up most of it.  Heart pounded fearfully as Mrs Payne exclaimed with concern,
"Someone's coming!"  At this saw mother with pushchair, as Mrs Payne whispered,
"Act naturally!"
Was quite fearfully squashed and could barely breathe as mother walked past, with Mrs Payne sipping her tea, and raising it, said brightly,
"Good day!"

Mother having passed, opened door by way of getting fresh air, at which asked Mrs Payne regards progress of investigation.  Mrs Payne said had seen not a glimpse, exclaiming after some moments
"Oh, I say!  I did have two wrong numbers!" adding with disappointment "they didn't stay on for long though.  Still, it's nice to have some company!"

Friday, 7 December 2012

Day 230

Mrs Payne most displeased regards progress of investigation.  Saw not a jot of activity other than lights at night.  Said over breakfast with some annoyance,
"I'm certain they are up to something, scoundrels!"

Suggested would be well to give up on investigation.  Mrs Payne quite horrified at this, said would do nothing of the sort.  After some moments Mrs Payne added with thought,
"If only I could get closer."
Decided at this was altogether wise to see about work, and left Mrs Payne in kitchen pondering.  Heard front door close some time later, after which received telephone call.  Answering, heard Mrs Payne saying with delight,
"I'm spying from the telephone box!"

Bidding Mrs Payne wait a moment, looked out of front window to see Mrs Payne hiding as best as possible in telephone box, rather difficult on accout of roundness, however back of telephone box neatly hiding her from suspicious old couple's view.  Returning to telephone Mrs Payne continued,
"I could see you too!  I get ever such a good view!  Might you bring tea and biscuits at elevenses?"

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Day 229

Found lounge altogether empty this morning as came down for tea.  Was reading Radio Times as received quite fright of life as Mrs Payne appeared from behind curtain, saying loudly,
"I see you didn't see me!"
Asked with quite some annoyance what was doing behind curtain, quite jumped out of skin.  At this Mrs Payne exclaimed proudly,
"I'm undercover!"

Made tea as Mrs Payne took break from spying duties.  Queried as to goings on, at which Mrs Payne said with curiosity would check notebook!  At this Mrs Payne open notebook to page containing only date, reported back with disappointment,
"Not a sausage!"  Begged her pardon, was it quite necessary to check notebook for that?

Mrs Payne exclaimed shortly that did not have time for idle tittle-tattle, at which quite disappeared into curtain again, tea and all.  Was about to go back to work as heard muffled query from depths of curtain,
"I say, any biscuits?"  Promptly got biscuits for myself, and sneaked upstairs as heard from curtain,
"Hello?"

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Day 228

Mrs Payne continuing with surveillance regards suspicious old couple.  Other half altogether unaware of this, explained by Mrs Payne such that does not "interfere with the investigation".  Said I thought this quite ridiculous, as was staying up most of night.  Mrs Payne most displeased as this, declared it "doing her civil duty".  Said I didn't believe there was medal for spying on neighbours.  Mrs Payne most indignant at this, said seriously,
"Well there should be!"

Bound to say Mrs Payne looked fearfully tired this morning for breakfast.  Explained had stayed up quite some time to see lights going on and off.  Other half having gone to work, Mrs Payne shared her findings from her notebook, read entries as such,

"One forty five in the am, bedroom light: on
One forty six in the am, bedroom light: off
Two twenty four in the am, bedroom light: on
Two twenty five in the am, hall light: on
Two twenty six in the am, lounge light: on"

Begged Mrs Payne's pardon, was that all?  At this Mrs Payne said with excitement,
"Oh no, there's more!"  At this Mrs Payne flicked through pages of notes, at which read verbatim,

"Pair of tights, extra large
Five pack briefs, extra large
New umbrella, pink"

Declared this a regard odd turn of events.  Mrs Payne looked altogether confused, before saying with concern,
"Oh I say, I am tired.  Disregard that.  It's my shopping."

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Day 227

Most concerning last night, heard quite some noises outside bedroom.  This altogether persistent, so with one slipper on foot and wielding one in hand with fearful menace, quietly opened bedroom door.  In all but pitch black, had no sooner walked through door as had bumped into burglar.  Bounced off their body rather, was about to give them prodigious slippering, when bare foot was violently stepped on.  Grunted rather in pain as heard burglar say with a quiver,
"Oh, I say!"

Gave Mrs Payne some terribly sharp words in hushed tones, querying as to what the devil she was doing at such late hour.  Mrs Payne most indignant at this, said was opening today's advent calendar window!  Declared this most ridiculous, might she see about bed?  At this Mrs Payne said with hushed delight was investigating a mystery!  Peering out of window, said had been watching for quite some minutes suspicious old couple's house, lights on and off all over house!  Query as to them opening their advent calendar windows quickly dismissed.

"I say, get the bins!" Mrs Payne said quietly.  Begged her pardon, what did she need bin for?  At this Mrs Payne exclaimed intolerably loudly for the hour, was a fearful idiot, meant binoculars!  Bound to say was altogether curious regards suspicious old couple myself, so complied with Mrs Payne's request.  Handing over binoculars most annoyed as Mrs Payne whispered condescendingly,
"I can see you're new to the spy game.  What about a notebook?"

Mrs Payne duly supplied with spy equipment including tiny torch by way of seeing notebook.  Mrs Payne instantly shone in my eyes, and quite snatched this out of the way as Mrs Payne stood on foot again.  Grunted in quiet fury as Mrs Payne looked through the binoculars.  Stood nursing toes as Mrs Payne spied, and after some moments of anticipation asked what she saw.  Mrs Payne said with slow consideration was terribly dark, could not see a jot!  Added binoculars quite awful, would sooner look through a cardboard tube!  Took quite some exception to this, said binoculars quite unsuitable for such dark viewing, was quite ridiculous to try.  At this Mrs Payne said with surprise,
"Wait a minute, I haven't taken the lens caps off.  Oh yes, that's much better!"

Monday, 3 December 2012

Day 226

Following quite fearful sharing last year, went shopping on Friday to buy advent calendars for other half, Mrs Payne and myself.  As such brought them out Friday evening, ready for 1st of December on Saturday.  Bound to say other half and Mrs Payne delighted with these, saying in unison,
"Chocolate ones!"

Mrs Payne scrutinised hers carefully, as one might a difficult game of chess, as she uttered in apprecation,
"Oh yes, very nice!"  Other half and I most amused at this, watched for some minutes whilst Mrs Payne continued, saying finally,
"Can I have one now?"

Gave Mrs Payne and other half quite some sharp words regards shenanigans, reminded them of disgraceful theft last year!  Other half most shamed at this, as Mrs Payne flagrant in her disregard, said regretted nothing, and would do it again!  Other half and I clutched our calendars at this, as no doubt silently considered where to hide them.  Said to Mrs Payne if wanted chocolate, was small bar in kitchen.  At this Mrs Payne positively horrified, said with feeling,
"That doesn't celebrate Baby Jesus!"  Replied it had picture of Father Christmas on the front.  Considering this for a moment, Mrs Payne said as tottered promptly into kitchen,
"Very well."

Friday, 30 November 2012

Day 225

Most annoyed to come down from office yesterday afternoon to find Mrs Payne having tidied not a jot.  Said as much, at which Mrs Payne most outraged, exclaimed in annoyance had tidied quite pile of newspapers!  At this looked towards front door, seeing three old newspapers carelessly placed such that front door could not open.  Mrs Payne most displeased as told her to move them, at which by way of demonstration of quite adequate positioning, Mrs Payne opened door with fearful speed, promptly scattered newspaper sheets across floor.  At this Mrs Payne most annoyed, said with surprise,
"Look at the mess you've made!"

Cleared away newspapers by way of keeping peace as well as various other items such that pleased to say place looked altogether better.  Mrs Payne helped not a jot, and bound to say quite considerable amount of her mess still remained.  Warned other half not to be trifled with, at which Mrs Payne laughed rather, said would put daughter over her knee!  Said with concern would likely be other way around.

Most pleased with afternoon's efforts regards tidying, returned to work.  Heard other half coming home, exclaiming as opened front door,
"What the bally!"
Went downstairs to find newspaper sheets scattered over floor and other half looking frightfully annoyed.  Mrs Payne exclaimed nonchalantly,
"Oh, I found a few more newspapers" and before had quite time to react, added "Robert told me to put them there!"  Fearfully annoyed at this, saying with surprise,
"I say, what the devil!"  Other half positively furious, stalked over newspapers to kitchen, one sheet getting stuck on shoe, saying at quite some volume,
"Get rid of those newspapers!"  Asked Mrs Payne if she would be putting daughter over her knee now, or later, to which received worried reply, she thought perhaps not.

Had miserable dinner, other half still most displeased and Mrs Payne altogether petulant regards tidying.  Mrs Payne exclaimed had been working terribly hard all day.  Shook head ever so subtly by way of indicating otherwise.  Most surprised as Mrs Payne evidently saw this, exclaiming as turned bright red,
"Judas!"

Following terribly quiet evening, other half altogether more reasonable this morning.  Said to mother would be terribly kind of her to vacuum, have always thought her quite expert in this regard.  This reluctantly agreed to, and heard mid-morning the vacuum cleaner on.  After barely moments of operation machine noise duly stopped, and heard at fearful volume exclamation from Mrs Payne,
"Oh no, my ring!  You sucked up my ring, you beast!"
Went downstairs to find to Mrs Payne frantically manipulating every button and lever on vacuum cleaner, repeating in annoyance,
"You beast!"
Queried as to what happened, at which Mrs Payne explained with much agitation that vacuum quite had mind of its own, hose writhing fearfully.  Had battled it fearlessly for quite some minutes, after which had managed to get onto sofa and sucked up ring, put there whilst cleaning to keep safe.

Said with a sigh not to worry, would soon have it out, opened bag compartment, quite stuffed to the brim with dust, and having cast some aside, neatly retrieved ring nestling within.  Handed it to Mrs Payne with quite some pride, saying was really nothing.  At this Mrs Payne most grateful, said would soon clean up dust that fell out.  At this Mrs Payne tapped vacuum to ON with foot, at which positive cloud of dust escaped from opened bag compartment, covering Mrs Payne and I.  Followed loud and heated battle to turn the item off, with Mrs Payne tapping heavily with her foot, quite incapable of pressing OFF, and my hand quite being stood on by Mrs Payne in attempt to do the same.
"Oh, I say, you tamed the beast!" Mrs Payne said with a gasp, as finally managed to turn blasted machine off.  Looked around room at see every possible surface covered in dust, and bound to say Mrs Payne and I looked altogether like chimney sweeps.  Mrs Payne shook her dress, at which volley of dust escaped causing both of us to sneeze terribly.  Looking around room Mrs Payne most dismayed, queried carefully,
"Do you think she will notice?"  At this snapped vacuum cleaner door shut, and handing Mrs Payne hose, said in annoyance,
"YES."

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Day 224

Other half most displeased over breakfast, said was awfully embarrassed with state of house when boss and Horseface visited, was fright mess.  Didn't know how I could have let them in!  Most shaming!  Replied visit most unexpected, could not very well have left them on doorstep.  At this Mrs Payne said defiantly would have jolly well shut door in Horseface's face!  Bound to say found this terribly amusing.  Other half evidently not of same opinion.

Explanation regards unexpected visit most unsatisfactory, other half said should jolly well spend some time cleaning.  Said I rather agreed with this, was sure Mrs Payne would have time.  This vigorously denied, Mrs Payne saying was terribly busy, providing new issue of Prima by way of example.  This quite ignored by other half, said was sure we would both have some time.  Could start with Mrs Payne's laptop items, cast aside in dining room.  Most annoyed as Mrs Payne and I said in unison,
"It's not my mess!"  Other half quite furious at this, declared place "like a bally jumble sale", promptly went to work with quite unnecessarily heavy use of front door.

Said to Mrs Payne was most unfair to have upset daughter, really her mess quite terrible, might she start and would see about helping at lunch.  Mrs Payne declared would start presently, at which flicked open magazine, asked casually,
"Any more tea?"

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Day 223

Left coffee shop rather promptly yesterday following Horseface's awful behaviour.  Further to this, most displeased regards Mrs Payne's story, worked entire afternoon in some annoyance.

Coming down before dinner heard knock at door, most surprised to see boss and Horseface on doorstep.  Boss exclaiming with surprise,
"Oh, hello Robert!  Nice to see you!"  Exclaimed were not expecting them, at which boss explained carelessly,
"Just thought we'd visit!"  Found this most concerning as had not an morsel of food to offer them for dinner.  Invited them in all the same, and were sitting in lounge as Mrs Payne tottered in.  At this quite realised their visit, saying to boss with some annoyance,
"I assume you're here to read Mrs Payne's story?"
At this boss said in rather nonchalant surprise,
"Story!  I say Bitty, have you written a story!  I hadn't heard a word about it!  Have I dear?"  Horseface most in agreement with this, looking altogether nervous.  Waited with some annoyance as Mrs Payne received quite some praise from Horseface, describing it finally as,
"Quite the most hilarious of biographies of Robert you might ever find!"

Mrs Payne rummaged in her bag for printed copies.  Concern of providing dinner quite disappeared as heard with delight Mrs Payne's printed copies quite gone, saying with despair,
"I must have left them in the coffee shop!"  Boss and Horseface most distraught at this, until boss said optimistically,
"Oh, but you must have a computer copy!"  At this Mrs Payne said with pride,
"Oh yes, my lapbob, Bertha!"  Bound to say was quite astonished by naming laptop, as all stalked into dining room to see about story.  Mrs Payne opened lid to find power quite absent, as she explained to boss and Horseface's amusement,
"Bertha's sleeping."

Dining room quite filled with excitement as laptop woke up having been plugged in for charging.  Boss and Horseface quite held their breath as Mrs Payne carefully opened the document, revealing to everyone's shock a solitary title and not a word of actual story.
"Where's my story, Bertha?" Mrs Payne asked with dismay as she fearfully worked the mouse by way of scrolling up and down single page.  Asked regards saving it, at which Mrs Payne quite baffled, saying with some annoyance had not faintest idea what was talking about.  Mrs Payne quivered rather as with last grain of optimism she lifted laptop up, and looking under it, found was not there.

Other half came home some time later, by which time quite avalanche of suggestions provided by boss and Horseface regards looking for autosave file, might it be in another folder, try pressing control, shift and V, was there copy, was it backed up, really should have backup, and suchlike exhaustively deluged on Mrs Payne, still in shock regarding Bertha's insubordination.  Hearing the disaster, other half most repetitive regards suggestions, with much frustration as to already having tried.  Eventually all realised it quite hopeless, looking most grave, with Mrs Payne crying out,
"My story!  Bertha you fearful lapbob!  My story!"

Was some moments later with all most solemn that I exclaimed brightly,
"Oh, what luck!" as all looked up hopefully.
"My story?" Mrs Payne asked with optimism.  Replied carelessly,
"No, I remembered we have some salmon for dinner!"

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Day 222

Have finished Mrs Payne's story, and bound to say found it quite inferior to my own.  Queried number of spelling mistakes, promptly explained by Mrs Payne as "the lapbob's fault".  Son-in-law character rather tiresome, and most ridiculous in personality.  Said as much to Mrs Payne, seemed altogether unconcerned.  Compared to mine, other half found story quite hilarious!  Most displeased at this.

Mrs Payne asked over breakfast might we go into town this morning, would see about selling her story!  Begged her pardon, did not believe publishers to be in town.  At this Mrs Payne said I was a fearful idiot, was going to bookshops!  Queried as to printing and binding and such, explained my Mrs Payne as,
"Oh, I'm sure they will do all that!"

Sat with coffee as Mrs Payne tottered between bookshops, with Horseface inevitably coming in, saying brightly,
"No Payne today?"  Explained regards selling her story, at which Horseface agreed was certainly fearful.  Coming in some moments later Mrs Payne looked terribly red in face, saying with some annoyance bookshops had not least interest in her story.

Could see Horseface positively thrilled to the core as Mrs Payne carelessly got out her story whilst rummaging in bag.  Horseface querying rather casually, might she read a jot?  Mrs Payne altogether unsure of this, eventually handing it over, saying as she did, laptop certain to have made mistakes.

Was rather concerned as to other customers' hearing as Horseface positively rolled around the place with terribly shrill laughter reading Mrs Payne's story.  Received several annoying stares as Horseface exclaimed between tears about the hilarious goings-on.  Said did not know what was so funny, found story most ridiculous.  Struggling to breath, Horseface said whilst trying not to laugh again,
"I say Robert, it's you!  The son-in-law!"  At this she broke out again in fearful laughter, as said with some annoyance,
"I find it quite fearful."  At this Horseface exclaimed with delight,
"Oh!" and quickly flicking pages, quoted from the story with gruff diction,
"Ron said in annoyance, 'I find it quite fearful.'"

Furious.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Day 221

Had quite jolliest of weekends.  Mrs Payne locked herself in dining room to write book, venturing out only for meals and to complain could not read her own handwriting, asking with some annoyance what might this word be.  Other half and I baffled as to words, entire sentences quite cryptic.  Asked regards progress, at which Mrs Payne said was going terribly well!  By the by, Internet not working.

Sunday evening, Mrs Payne most ecstatic as I knocked on dining room door asking if she would like sherry.  Exclaimed with much pride had just this moment finished her novel!  Asked if I could print it such that other half and I might read it?  At this Mrs Payne most nervous, said with concern,
"Certainly.  Don't you find characters remind one of oneself though!"  Replied to this I rather thought not.  At this Mrs Payne said gravely,
"Oh good."

Other half and I held our copies of Mrs Payne's novel, looking at each other rather despondently.
"I printed two copies, and hang the expense!" I said, as other half positively choked with laughter on her sherry.  Fanning the ten unbound pages, said to Mrs Payne carefully,
"Is it rather short for a novel?"  Mrs Payne most affronted by this, declared printer must have missed pages.  Handing my copy to Mrs Payne, she rummaged through it with annoyance, as other half said kindly,
"Well, they are big pages!  How many words are there?"  Mrs Payne rather calmed by this, said brightly,
"Oh, positively millions!"

My copy having been returned, I read the cover page again:

"INSPECTOR ELIZA POON
  IN THE CASE OF

"THE SON-IN-LAW'S DISAPPEARANCE"

Continued to first page as other half did the same, saying with concern,
"Oh look, it's all in capitals."
"Oh yes" Mrs Payne said with interest "I found how to turn that off though, so it's only the first half."

Friday, 23 November 2012

Day 220

Mrs Payne quite impossible regards her book.  Queried on numerous tea-making excursions how book was going.  On each occasion Mrs Payne said was going terribly well!  By the by, had I see this hilarious picture of a cat?  Mrs Payne most disappointed I was not interested, at which received detailed description of the photos, ending with a much giggling and "Fancy!"  Begged her pardon, this rather noisy, could hear same reaction for every photo from office. Was called a stick in the mud.  Furious at this.

By evening Mrs Payne evidently had no progress regards book, steeled herself and said she would concentrate on it fearfully.  Other half most amused, printed photo of kitten hanging on washing line, adding title,

HANG IN THERE, BITTY!

Mrs Payne quite tickled by this, laughed for quite some minutes with other half.  Said I didn't see what was so funny.

Clutching her "lapbob" and photo, Mrs Payne went into dining room, saying with determination,
"I'm writing.  I should like sherry later, however."  Mrs Payne shut door indignantly as I gave her reply,
"Glad to be of service."  Other half most amused at this, said I was silly.  Both laughed rather, causing Mrs Payne to open door, saying with annoyance,
"Do you mind?  I'm writing!" and looking back into dining room, added "isn't that right Mr Tiddles?"
Other half most curious at this, was Mr Tiddles a character?  At this Mrs Payne said nonchalantly,
"Oh no, Mr Tiddles is the kitten in the photo", promptly shut door.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Day 219

Found Mrs Payne sitting at breakfast table this morning altogether early on laptop.  Mrs Payne barely looked up as said good morning, however exclaimed with delight,
"I wasn't sure the Internet would be working at this time, but it is!  Fancy!"

Mrs Payne not a jot of help with breakfast, however once had got everything ready, queried might I show her how to write book?  Loaded word processor and said she should save document so not to lose it, what was the title?  Bound to say other half quite raucous in laughter as Mrs Payne said warily,
"Title? .. 'Inspector Eliza Poon in the case of The Son-in-laws' Disappearance'.  It's a mystery!"  Replied it didn't sound like much of a mystery to me.

Other half still laughing as left house, positively bellowing down my ear as kissed goodbye.  Suggested as she walked down drive I should watch my back for fear of "disappearing".  Rolled eyes at this, and promptly heard Mrs Payne exclaiming from kitchen,
"Oh no!  My book is gone!  Robert!"  Could see it would be long day.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Day 218

Bound to say Mrs Payne positively thrilled to the core as she opened brown parcel other half had brought home, saying with delight,
"A little lapbob!  Is it for me?"  Declared it certainly was, although was called laptop.  This quite ignored by Mrs Payne as she tottered off to find glasses.
"Might I have a go before dinner?" Mrs Payne shouted, with childlike eagerness.

Other half cooked dinner as I helped Mrs Payne regards her "lapbob".  Having set it up, Mrs Payne produced her grubby twenty pound note, asking carefully, might she be able to buy some Internet?  Declared this quite unnecessary, had already paid for Internet.  At this much discussion ensued upon how much of Internet was available, with questions such as "what, all of it?", "really, all of it?" and "I say, all of it?"  Answers in equal repetition "yes, all", "yes, all of it" and "yes, I've said, all of it".  Was about to continue discussion, explaining merits of free Internet society, however was bluntly cut off by Mrs Payne, saying with some annoyance,
"Do you mind?  I'm Interneting."

Other half most displeased to find I had set up Mrs Payne's laptop on dining table, exclaiming as she held two hot plates,
"This isn't a bally Internet cafe!"
Laptop having been unceremoniously shut by other half, had dinner, with Mrs Payne saying throughout was ever so pleased with her laptop, to think, had all of Internet!  Explained had rather got it so she could type her book.  Mrs Payne seemed altogether lacking in memory of this, saying finally,
"Oh yes, the book.  I'll do that right presently.  When I'm finished with the Internet."

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Day 217

Mrs Payne most insistent regards returning to coffee shop today.  Said it altogether helped with her writing.  Most unsure about this, as rather busy with work, however agreed such that would take along laptop computer.  Mrs Payne most impressed with this, said could perhaps get laptop herself for typing book!  Replied dismissively this certainly possible as Mrs Payne held up our departure rummaging in purse.  Bringing out a unimaginably crinkled bank note, Mrs Payne said optimistically,
"Will twenty pounds be enough?"

Had just setup my laptop at coffee shop when Horseface walked in, saying with delight had not seen each other in a positive age!  Mrs Payne mumbled rather as she continued writing.  Most displeased as realised work quite impossible, shut my laptop.  Horseface terribly interested in Mrs Payne's writing, however this altogether ignored by Mrs Payne.  As such explained endeavour myself.  Mrs Payne positively furious as Horseface looked over to glean something from the writing.  Horseface most disappointed by this, queried with curiosity what Mrs Payne was writing on.  Was just preparing carefully worded reply as Mrs Payne put down her pen, and ignoring her writing, gave quite some thesis on concept and execution of my work, to Horseface's delight, declaring it in conclusion the work, "quite fearful".  Terribly embarrassed by this review so went to see about coffee.  Mrs Payne having requested cake, echoed in an amused hushed tone,
"Quite fearful!"  Bound to say was most surprised returning with coffee, had quite forgotten to buy cake!

Mrs Payne continued writing in some annoyance following lack of cake, as Horseface and I chatted.  Found it most curious, as Horseface and I would talk, Mrs Payne wrote furiously, and upon moments of silent, Mrs Payne quite motionless.  Made quite some point of talking ever so fast at points, with Mrs Payne quite frantic in keeping up.  Most annoyed at this, queried outright to Mrs Payne, was she writing down our conversation?  Mrs Payne still most displeased regards lack of cake, said indignantly,
"I shouldn't find your conversation the least bit interesting", adding as she held her pen, "by the by, what did you just say?"

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Day 216

Weekend quite fearful with Mrs Payne writing novel.  Bound to say other half and I certain to have written as much ourselves, following avalanche of queries regards title, and asking on numerous occasions as to spelling of words.  Made quite point of providing dictionary such that could find these.  Mrs Payne positively baffled by this, said how could she look word up if didn't know how to spell it?

Other half most ingenius as suggested trip to coffee shop on Sunday.  Quietly prepared to leave such that we might spring it upon Mrs Payne and make quick exit.  Other half positively furious as handle fell off my umbrella making fearful noise on floor, at which Mrs Payne emerged from kitchen querying where we were going.  Said would be delighted to join us, might she bring her writing?

Other half and I had quite some disagreement as Mrs Payne laboriously got ready, with other half blaming me terribly for making noise.  Replied it profoundly not my fault, other half had bought umbrella as gift!  Other half most dismissive of this, said it was one's duty for upkeep of one's umbrella.  Mrs Payne eventually ready, by which time other half and I quite silent in annoyance.  Seeing umbrella, Mrs Payne commented hoped I didn't mind, had borrowed umbrella to scare off stray cat earlier.  By the by, did I know handle broken?

Friday, 16 November 2012

Day 215

Other half and I have made cocoa for bed, found Mrs Payne still clutching her writing book with look of determination. Queried as I provided cocoa as to writing progress.  Most surprised as Mrs Payne said had ran out one pen already!  At this said she must have covered quite some pages.  Mrs Payne altogether dismayed to say she hadn't written a solitary word as she opened cover to reveal entire page densely packed with doodling.

Found Mrs Payne up early this morning, at breakfast table, evidently having made tea, on account of fearful mess and tea leaves lightly dusting half the kitchen.  Mrs Payne said brightly as I came in,
"I made tea, but I wasn't sure about 'one for the pot' and suchlike, so I did one for the pot, one for me, and put one in the bin just to be sure."  Said I would make a fresh pot.

Mrs Payne altogether secretive regards writing.  Queried as to progress and received not a jot of reply.  Looked over Mrs Payne's shoulder to reveal on exterior of book,

"BY MRS ELIZABETH PAYNE"

Queried again as to progress, to which Mrs Payne said with frustration,
"I'm sure I've got a book bound to positively pop out of me!"  Asked as poured tea if she perhaps had plot I could help with.  Mrs Payne said with disappointment had not got that far.  Asked what title might be, to which Mrs Payne replied in annoyance,
"That's what I'm working on!"  Book sure to be a triumph.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Day 214

Sat with sherry after dinner as other half read story.  Mrs Payne was idly flicking through large print copy, positively determined to find other amusing elements.  As other half finished reading, Mrs Payne put down her copy also, saying with exasperation,
"I'm sorry Robert, I can't find anything funny.  Perhaps it was in the Radio Times?"  Begged her pardon, how might it be in the Radio Times?  At this Mrs Payne explained had being awfully hard going reading story, as such had picked up Radio Times on several occasions in between.  At this Mrs Payne picked up Radio Times, and flicking through, said with laughter,
"Oh yes, here it is.  Hilarious!"

Bound to say was awfully disappointed as other half rather echoed Mrs Payne's opinion regards story.  Still, was terribly clever to have written something!  Couldn't think of writing a word herself!  Looking at the bound, crumpled work with some concern, other half queried, by the by, might she have another sherry?

Sherry having been distributed, Mrs Payne evidently feeling effects.  At once Mrs Payne exclaimed over the silence,
"I say!  I might write a book!"  Other half said would look forward to reading it, and really was awfully clever.  Grumbled rather into sherry exclaiming that's what she said about mine.  Mrs Payne instantly looked around for something to write upon, as if book positively about to explode out of her.  Picking up my crumpled story, Mrs Payne flipped it backwards revealing leaves of blank paper, on account of being printed one-sided.  Grumbled rather at this, saying wouldn't happen to Wodehouse.  Other half rather started at this, saying kindly,
"You're not Wodehouse, dear."

Positively furious as Mrs Payne asked brightly,
"Might I have a pen?"

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Day 213

Bound to say was awfully nervous coming down for lunch having handed over short story.  Found Mrs Payne having finished reading, said was terribly sorry, had sat on it.  Replied this quite alright, could keep large print edition.  Most displeased as Mrs Payne explained had sat on nicely bound copy.  Queried with some annoyance was not even reading that one!  Mrs Payne replied that's how she managed to sit on it.

Over lunch ventured for Mrs Payne's opinion.  Most pleased as received reply that she found some parts most amusing.  Spent quite some minutes as Mrs Payne flicked over pages, uttering as she did,
"This part is amusing.. wait, no it's not.. I'm sure it's in here somewhere!"
Ate toast with increasing despondency as Mrs Payne scrutinised the gigantic tome.  Having closed the work, Mrs Payne looked up, querying as she did,
"Perhaps I should put my spectacles on?"

Had all but finished lunch by the time Mrs Payne had found her spectacles and began searching for amusing parts once more.  Was making tea as Mrs Payne exclaimed in delight,
"Here we are!"  Presently Mrs Payne read out the line with fine broadcasting diction,

    "Joan was sitting in her room, shaking with annoyance as she knotted her jumper."

Mrs Payne added with amusement,
"Ever so funny!  Fancy, knotting a jumper!"  Bound to say was terribly disappointed with this.  Explained was rather less funny, as was simply spelling mistake of "knitted".  Mrs Payne looked most disappointed at this, saying with optimism after some moments of silence,
"I rather think you should keep it as knotted!"  Took tea to my office to correct spelling mistake, as heard Mrs Payne chuckling to herself,
"Knotted her jumper!"  Wish I hadn't bothered.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Day 212

Worked fearfully hard last night binding my project.  As such this morning presented neatly hand-bound folio to other half containing satirical short story I had written.  Other half awfully impressed by this and curious regarding its contents.  Explained it followed elderly lady causing mischief in nursing home.  Mrs Payne thought this most amusing, was sure the character quite fearful!  Other half coughed frightfully at this, saying some toast "got stuck" having turned red, adding between gasps, must have been awfully difficult to create the character.  Said I didn't have the faintest idea what she meant.

Other half said was terribly sorry, had not a jot of time to read story at lunch, was terribly busy at work, however would look forward to reading it this evening, and really I was awfully clever.  Mrs Payne eyed the work with much curiosity, and after several hints as to not knowing what she would do with herself today, said she could read it.  Mrs Payne delighted by this, immediately picked up the book and got butter on it.  Said she was terribly sorry, but in any event, the words positively microscopic, could my printer machine do larger?

Provided Mrs Payne with a loosely bound set of pages, quite double the thickness of previous due to gigantic font size.  Mrs Payne scrutinised the tome before querying with concern,
"This page has only got two words."
Mrs Payne declared herself quite silly as explained two words were title.  Reading title out loud Mrs Payne exclaimed with optimism,
"It's good so far!"

Monday, 12 November 2012

Day 211

First must apologise regards diary.  Have not written a word of late as have been working on alternative project!  Other half and Mrs Payne altogether curious about this, but bound to say have said not a jot about it.  Mrs Payne commented over breakfast she hoped it a puzzle book.  Newspaper puzzles terribly difficult of late.  Had taken to making her own clues - awfully fun!  Queried as to this being rather easy if already knows clue and answer.  Mrs Payne replied with pleasure was quite alright, forgot the answers ever so quickly!  Other half looked concerned.

No amount of badgering would reveal my project however, and I stole upstairs to office to finish it before work as other half set out for work.  Heard Mrs Payne saying carefully to herself as said goodbye.
"Six letters beginning C.  Pets..  Catdog!  Oh, that's a good one!"

Pleased to say project altogether finished, however will see about binding it.  Terribly glad to have completed it as Mrs Payne quite frightfully bored and causing mischief in home.  Most displeased to find her attempting to pull out washing machine on Friday, alerted by prodigious oofing.  Queried as to why washing machine was being pulled out, to which Mrs Payne said with some annoyance I was a fearful idiot, was retrieving her spanner!  No explanation given for use, but helped retrieve spanner.  Promptly confiscated it.  Mrs Payne furious.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Come Back Gladys! - Part 7 of 7


There was much talk the morning following the turkey en-croute meal, albeit rather lethargic in its delivery on account of ill effects of the champagne.  A simple breakfast having been provided by Handy Dave, served on a stash of paper plates he had found.  Mrs Payne, Molly Faith and Suzanne Marr sat at their usual table in reasonably affectionate spirits.  Mrs Payne had seen to it there was a prodigious amount of toast and butter such that the usual bickering over etiquette and quantities was allayed.
"I say, I've been thinking about our meal last night" Molly Faith whispered, such that Mrs Payne and Suzanne Marr were both strained to hear and wildly interested.
"Yes?" Mrs Payne said with curiosity.
"Turkey, sprouts, cranberries and champagne.  It's like they were meant to be eaten together."
"Well, they were in the same place." Mrs Payne said with bafflement.
"What else was there?" Suzanne Marr said with concern.
Mrs Payne thought for some moments, and said carelessly, "oh, I moved a couple of cardboard boxes.  I think they had Christmas decorations in."
"Oh dear" Molly Faith said with dismay, as the three went silent.  Suzanne Marr was first to speak, saying with some annoyance,
"Looks like Christmas is cancelled!"

Mrs Payne and Molly Faith helped Handy Dave clear up, feeling altogether sick regarding the Christmas bounty.
"Handy Dave, when is Gladys returning?" Molly Faith said hopefully.
"She's back at lunch, thank God!" Handy Dave said as he piled the paper plates into the bin.  He looked around at the dirty trays and plates that had been mindlessly stacked without a care.
"Do you think Gladys will mind?" Handy Dave said innocently.
"Oh, not a bit!" Mrs Payne said brightly.  "I'm sure there's a dish wash-chine around here somewhere!  It'll be done in a jiffy, and we wouldn't want to use it without proper training."
Mrs Payne looked again at the odd jam tart still welded to the trays, upon which lay four bent knives.
"Such a waste", Mrs Payne said gravely.

Following Gladys' departure it was a habit that rather on the "Q-T", elevenses of toast were sought by Mrs Payne.  As such, she was in the kitchen, watching with delight the red glow of the toaster as she ate her first two slices of toast with not care in the world.  Handy Dave was trying to fix a cooker knob, which Mrs Payne had explained, by the by, had inexplicably come off.

"Merciful good Lord above!" Gladys shouted in an usually high pitch as she saw in fright the state of her usually spotless kitchen.
"Roy asked that I see about meals" Handy Dave replied by way of explanation.
Taking her coat, she found her usual peg occupied by dripping wet and slightly charred tea towel.  Gladys picked this from the peg, with both Mrs Payne and Handy Dave cowering rather as Gladys positively shook with rage.  Throwing the tea towel to the ground with a splat, Gladys hung up her coat, and barging back out of the door, Mrs Payne and Handy Dave heard her as she stormed away shouting
"Roy!"

Mrs Payne buttered her toast vigorously, caring not a jot for coverage and evenness, saying with unusual concern,
"Oh dear!"  With terrible nerves, Mrs Payne positively jumped as Gladys cannoned back into the kitchen with Roy Brooks in tow, shouting at quite some volume,
"Have you see the place, Roy!  What happened to the cook I booked!"
Roy Brooks said nothing for some moments, surveying the mess and mirroring Handy Dave's expression of a deer in headlights.
"I say, it is a bit messy, Dave!" Roy Brooks said, attempting to sound as calm as possible.
"I was going to start cleaning presently, Mr Brooks" Handy Dave said quietly.
"What's Mrs Payne doing in here?" Gladys queried sharply.
"Oh, she helped!" Handy Dave said proudly, adding by way of fairness, "we had several residents help!"
"You can't have just anyone cook!" Gladys exclaimed in shock, adding carefully "no slight intended, Mrs Payne."
"Mrs Payne was awfully helpful!" Handy Dave said with unwise braveness, adding earnestly, "she put the fire out!"
"Fire!" Gladys exclaimed loudly again, looking with fury at Roy Brooks.
"I say, it's not all that!" Roy Brooks said nervously.
"Right, that's it!" Gladys shouted, grabbing her coat.  "Dave!  Get this place clean!"
"Gladys!" Roy Brooks shouted as Gladys stormed out.  "Mrs Payne, help Handy Dave tidy up!"
Mrs Payne positively dropped her toast at this, shouting as she went,
"Come back Gladys!"

Next story will be published Monday 12th November 2012, 12pm UK

Thanks for reading.  Remember, I rely on your reactions (and comments) below to write more that you like!  Feedback, both positive and negative is greatly appreciated.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Come Back Gladys! - Part 6 of 7


"I'm sure we're in for quite a treat.  I made a devil of a sauce!" Barry Green said proudly as he strolled from table to table, having been sent to 'front of house' to see about drinks.  The question having been answered on numerous occasions regarding if they might be eating before midnight, Barry Green regally asked regards drinks,
"I'm terribly sorry, we don't have many options for drinks.  Would you like water, or champagne?"  To which the residents fell over themselves to answer with delight,
"Champagne please, Mr Green!"

His duties having been fulfilled, Barry Green took his usual seat, exclaiming to those at his table,
"Profoundly capable women in there.  We're sure to have quite a treat."

In the kitchen, Mrs Payne was putting the finishing touches to the starter of prawns, also acquired from the treasure freezer.  Carefully loading the items onto a tray along with sauce, Mrs Payne entered the dining room, and seeing it only fit that Barry Green be served first on account of his help, went to his table.  Barry Green was in the process of repeating, as he often did, his earlier comment as Mrs Payne put down the starter, with him saying as she did,
"Profoundly capable women" before adding with curiosity, "I say, what the devil?"
"Prawn cocktail!" Mrs Payne said brightly.  "It was a fearful lot of work doing them all on my own!"
The whole table looked at Barry Green's starter, a tiny egg cup, elegantly piled with prawns.  After some moments of awe, Mrs Payne added without concern,
"Terribly sorry about the egg cups.  We're quite struggling for crockery.  By the by, I can only find two of the sauce bottles for us to share."  Having passed around the egg cups to the rest of the table, altogether silent as she did, Mrs Payne added as she clutched two bottles,
"Tomato or brown sauce?"

Barry Green steeled himself, exclaimed 'Dunkirk spirit!' silently to himself, and said kindly to Mrs Payne,
"Tomato please, Mrs Payne!"  At this Mrs Payne shook the bottle frightfully, and removing the lid, promptly dolloped a quite fearful amount of sauce over the tiny egg cup, causing it to topple over, with sauce and prawns a fearful mess on the table.  No amount of carefully righting the dish by Mrs Payne proved successful, and quite giving up, with her hand Mrs Payne scooped the saucy mess from the table onto the tray, and said with much embarrassment,
"I'm terribly sorry Mr Green, we don't have any spare."

Starters having been served, with rather more judicious use of sauce by Mrs Payne, events soon turned to the main course.  Mrs Payne was again on serving duty, as Suzanne Marr, Molly Faith and Handy Dave worked terribly hard in the kitchen taking the items out of the ovens.  There was an audible gasp as Mrs Payne appeared from the kitchen carefully balancing two exquisite looking dishes, presented on wooden boards, with a beautiful turkey en-croute, charred sprouts, and rich cranberry sauce, served in another tiny egg cup.  Holding the boards such that the whole room could see the dishes, there was much commenting on having never seen such delights.  These comments turned to surprise, as several people exclaimed,
"Mrs Payne!" as one of the en-croutes slide off the board and onto the floor.  The room was silent with dismay, but soon broke out in applause as Mrs Payne exclaimed with pride,
"Don't worry, we've got spare!" at which Mrs Payne promptly kicked the en-croute under a nearby sideboard.

Careful to avoid another disaster, Mrs Payne left Barry Green's table to last for the main, as countless dishes had been served to other tables, on ever more curious receptacles.  The first few were on wooden boards, then plastic chopping boards, and then jauntily arranged in soup bowls.  Coming to Barry Green's table, Mrs Payne served him last, whispering as she did,
"I'm terribly sorry about your prawns.  I gave you the best en-croute."
Barry Green looked down upon a quite perfect en-croute, with pastry golden brown and shining, including a prodigious amount of perfectly cooked sprouts, all neatly arranged in a colander.  Mrs Payne added brightly,
"Probably best to dip the sauce!"

Next part to be published Saturday 3rd November 2012, 12pm UK

Thanks for reading.  Remember, I rely on your reactions (and comments) below to write more that you like!  Feedback, both positive and negative is greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Come Back Gladys! - Part 5 of 7

It was early afternoon that the chef delegation set about thinking of dinner, certain that it would be served rather earlier than midnight.  Before a word could be said about dinner, a loud bang was heard from the kitchen door, and Mo Jones wheeled in, followed by Barry Green.
"Good afternoon.  We've come to help!  Good God, it looks like a bomb's gone off!" Mo Jones said in surprise, to which everyone looked around to view the scene of piled trays, one still containing a sticky mess of jam and pastry, topped by two fearfully bent knives; large pans, one thick with hardened sauce, and one of cold pasta; and countless used utensils and crockery.
"Oh, I quite agree!" Mrs Payne said earnestly, "Mrs Marr, might you like to start on the washing up whilst we decide what to have for dinner?"
"Not on your life!" Suzanne Marr said sternly, "You do it!"
"Certainly", Mrs Payne said dismissively, and having carefully shoved the pans on a lower shelf out of the way, said brightly "well, that's the kitchen tidy!"

After quite some scavenging for food, Mrs Payne exclaimed with surprise,
"Well I've found something for dinner!"  All gathered around as Mrs Payne presented the bounty.
"Sherry?" Suzanne Marr questioned with annoyance.
"Cooking sherry!" Mrs Payne replied with pleasure, to which everyone gave an appreciative murmur.
"Are we to have it in a soup bowl?" Suzanne Marr asked sarcastically, causing Mrs Payne to scrutinise the bottle rather closely, and say with some consideration,
"Oh, I'm sure it is useful for a variety of dishes."
"It's quite certainly vile!" Suzanne Marr said with annoyance.

It was some time later that Mrs Payne exclaimed proudly,
"I told you the sherry was of quality!" pouring the remainder into glasses.
"Yes, well it's too late now, there's not a drop left for cooking!" Suzanne Marr said, passing around a glass to each cook.

Much jollity came to the kitchen following the sampling of sherry, and bounding around the kitchen in an excited game to find dinner, Mrs Payne stumbled upon quite a bounty of a previously undiscovered top-opening freezer.  Opening this up much like a treasure chest, the cooks gasped at the bounty.  Suzanne Marr exclaimed turkey fillets were perfect for turkey en-croute if Molly Faith might see about some pastry, a request duly accepted.  Looking further, Barry Green said he could make a devil of a good sauce from the frozen cranberries, although vegetable accompaniments found them rather lacking, settling for some frozen sprouts that would simply have to do.  The mood was cheered by a quantity of frozen fruitcake, which was considered altogether curious, although brightly selected as dessert with custard by Mo Jones.  This having been decided, all set to their cooking tasks, principally of defrosting, with Mrs Payne, declared the expert scavenger, taking charge of finding a cold starter and something to drink.

It was some time later with much crashing that Mrs Payne returned from the pantry, exclaiming as she did,
"Look, I've found some more sherry!"
"Cooking?" the busy cooks queried remorsefully, with Mrs Payne replying proudly,
"Drinking!"
"Oh, I say" was exclaimed quietly my Molly Faith, being quite missed as Mrs Payne continued,
"That's not all!  Look!" at which she presented several bottles of sparkling wine, which Mrs Payne duly identified,
"Fizzy!"  All were terribly pleased with this, with even Suzanne Marr saying it would make a good match with turkey en-croute.  Counting the bottles carefully, Mrs Payne said with concern,
"We have rather a lot here, and it might taste quite fearful."  All agreed it would be awfully embarrassing to serve fearful fizzy, to which Mrs Payne ventured carefully,
"Glasses?"

Next part to be published Thursday 1st November 2012, 12pm UK

Thanks for reading.  Remember, I rely on your reactions (and comments) below to write more that you like!  Feedback, both positive and negative is greatly appreciated.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Come Back Gladys! - Part 4 of 7


Residents were rather late to breakfast the morning following the midnight dinner.  As such Handy Dave steeled himself and had time to carefully toast and fry such that not a jot of smoke was seen from the kitchen.  Roy Brooks was terribly pleased with this, querying if lunch and dinner the day before had gone equally as well, to which Handy Dave said carefully,
"Oh yes, we had beef wellington and chicken en-croute.  The wellington was a bit overdone, but the chicken wasn't!"

Suzanne Marr returned to the kitchen having missed breakfast, looking terribly tired and determined to prove herself quite the chef, despite her raw chicken.  Mrs Payne soon followed, bringing with her Molly Faith, still elated that her tarts had been enjoyed.  It was certain that Suzanne Marr would be positively unbearable if she single-handedly managed to cook for lunch and Mrs Payne insisted there would not be enough food unless they worked together.

Discussion soon turned to what to cook, with much argument as to the chicken en-croute being only minutes from being done last night, and really it was terribly bad luck.  With some concerned looks, Suzanne Marr exclaimed in defense,
"It was only a touch raw!"

Scouring the kitchen for cookable items revealed a distinct shortage regards meat, and further, not a clean tray to be found.  With a bag almost the size of herself, Molly Faith returned from the pantry with some gasping, saying with delight,
"I've found some macaroni!"
Positively collapsing on the counter top, Molly Faith dropped the bag, causing it to promptly burst, with an explosion of dried pasta being scattered across the kitchen floor.  Her small hands failed to stem the flow as the torrent continued, with Molly Faith exclaiming with concern,
"We're leaking pasta!"
The leak having been rectified with judicious positioning of the bag, Mrs Payne set about cleaning up the spilled pasta by expertly brushing of pasta under countertops with her slipper.  The kitchen returned to a working state, Handy Dave boiled an enormous pot of water, and poured in the remainder of the pasta, with much echoing amongst the four that there was certain to be enough for everyone this time.

As the pasta boiled away, much arguing commenced as to the correct cheese for a cheese sauce, resulting in Suzanne Marr and Mrs Payne grating their particular favourite, with Suzanne Marr distinctly ahead on account of Mrs Payne frequently sampling the cheese, explaining as she did,
"Oh yes, this cheese tastes fine.  Best to check."

The cheese and such for the sauce having been jointly deposited in the only other large saucepan that could be found, the kitchen was soon relaxing and talking of the delicious macaroni cheese they were sure to be having, with Mrs Payne exclaiming,
"I say, Mrs Faith, you are clever to find macaroni cheese!"  Suzanne Marr echoed this, with distinct annoyance she hadn't found it herself.  Handy Dave was awfully relieved by the help, saying with gratitude,
"This will be lovely, and there's such a lot we can offer seconds!"

Some time later the sauce was lightly bubbling away, and after some argument as to the meaning of "al dente", the pasta was carefully drained, with such a volume of pasta being cooked that it positively overflowed into the sink, with Molly Faith saying,
"Don't waste any, Handy Dave, we might not have enough for seconds!"

It was a fact acknowledged by all that they had quite a prodigious quantity for seconds.  The pasta having been served into bowls, the pot was still largely full, with some concern that in fact they might have to offer thirds as not to waste it.  Much to the annoyance of Suzanne Marr, Mrs Payne quickly retrieved the saucepan, and having dolloped cheese sauce on each, it was evident that rather an imbalance existed between pasta and sauce, the first few positively overflowing with sauce, and after consideration, the remainder barely containing a teaspoon.
"Do you think it will be a bit dry?" Molly Faith said with disappointment.
"Not a jot!" Mrs Payne said brightly, adding as she began exchanging spoonfuls, "they just need a bit of mixing around!"

Next part to be published Tuesday 30th October 2012, 12pm UK

Thanks for reading.  Remember, I rely on your reactions (and comments) below to write more that you like!  Feedback, both positive and negative is greatly appreciated.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Come Back Gladys! - Part 3 of 7

Mrs Payne, Molly Faith and Suzanne Marr returned to the kitchen late afternoon by way of seeing about dinner.  They found Handy Dave stood in the middle of the kitchen, looking with fear at the stove.  Mrs Payne said carelessly as she took the pan from Handy Dave's hand,
"That's where the food goes, dear."
Relevant supplies having been identified, Handy Dave stood in the corner of the kitchen, looking with further fear as Suzanne Marr exclaimed in annoyance,
"We simply don't have time for beef wellington!  We should make chicken en-croute!"
"Mrs Marr" Mrs Payne replied with amusement, "how might we en-croute a whole chicken?"

The kitchen was soon a hive of activity, with Mrs Payne making beef wellington and Suzanne Marr quite insistent regarding a whole chicken en-croute, both barking orders at Handy Dave, requiring this being sliced, or that being chopped.  Molly Faith worked fearlessly on rolling out pastry, at which she was quite the expert, occasionally asking Handy Dave for a jot more flour.  Two chickens, and two saddles of beef were covered in pastry as Molly Faith continued at a fearful pace, much to the admiration of Mrs Payne.
"You might like to stop now, Mrs Faith" Mrs Payne said kindly.  Surveying her work, Molly Faith saw the trays of covered chicken and beef, and a whole counter of unused rolled pastry.
"Oh dear, I got rather carried away" Molly Faith said with dismay.
"Quite alright, dear" Mrs Payne said brightly, "we might have jam tarts with the remainder!"  At this, much bickering commenced between Mrs Payne and Suzanne Marr regards whether to use marmalade or jam, resulting in both being used, and a fearful race to see who could fill the most pastry cases with their chosen preserve.  Mrs Payne was most displeased as Suzanne Marr filled the last, and in a terrible accident, promptly dolloped a spoonful of preserve on Suzanne Marr's hand, exclaiming with shock,
"I'm terribly sorry, Mrs Marr!" as Molly Faith turned away to giggle rather.

Returning shortly before dinnertime, Molly Faith was delighted to find her tarts looking quite perfect.  The trays having been removed from the oven, the tarts were carefully moved to cool, with a number positively welded to the tray.  Judicious use of a knife by Mrs Payne found no success, except for bending the knife, and as they piled the used trays in a corner for cleaning later, Mrs Payne said with disappointment,
"I'll need a bigger knife".

It was some time later with a full dining room that Handy Dave was sent out to say gravely,
"I'm terribly sorry, dinner will be a while longer.  Would you like a jam or marmalade tart?"  The residents were terribly pleased by these, and nodded appreciatively when told Mrs Faith was the baker.  This was duly passed on, to which Molly Faith was thrilled.

The tarts having been eaten in the dining room, it was nearing midnight that Barry Green appeared in the kitchen, saying optimistically,
"Might dinner be ready soon?  We're fearfully hungry and there's dissension in the ranks!"  Mrs Payne and Suzanne Marr checked their respective dishes, and seeing the pastry looking quite as delicious as the tarts, began taking them out of the ovens.  Each exclaimed with pride of their dishes,
"Oh, they do look good!"  The thermometer was soon prodding the wellingtons, finding them altogether cooked through.  At this Molly Faith began carefully cutting into portions.
"They do look a bit dry!" Suzanne Marr said with satisfaction as she began using the thermometer on her chickens.  After some poking of the thermometer, Suzanne Marr looked quite furious, and promptly slamming the trays back into the oven, saying brightly,
"Just a few more minutes!  Might we wait with the wellington?"  At this Mrs Payne said earnestly,
"Well, we wouldn't want the wellingtons to get any drier!"  At this, Barry Green and Handy Dave began nervously transporting the items to the dining room, altogether avoiding Suzanne Marr's deathly stare.

It was universally acknowledged that the wellington was quite excellent, despite unfortunately small portions owing to a fearful lack of it.  It was past 1 o'clock as Mrs Payne stacked with pride the empty plates for washing tomorrow as Suzanne Marr stared intently at the oven.
"Just a few minutes" Suzanne Marr said sternly, answering Mrs Payne's ambivalent gaze.
"Goodnight, dear" Mrs Payne said kindly.

Next part to be published Sunday 28th October 2012, 12pm UK

Thanks for reading.  Remember, I rely on your reactions (and comments) below to write more that you like!  Feedback, both positive and negative is greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Come Back Gladys! - Part 2 of 7

All surveyed their sandwiches around Mrs Payne's table with confusion.  The sandwich itself looked astonishingly thin, like a design by a clever artist painted on the porcelain plate.  By way of improving its height, a large sprig of parsley topped the sandwich, such that by way of a passing glance, one may not see the sandwich was there at all.  Molly Faith picked her sandwich up, carefully balancing the thin leaves of bread and what looked like ham, barely thinner than the bread itself.
"It's a bit slighty" she said with disappointment.
"I'd say!" Suzanne Marr said with sarcastic annoyance as she picked hers up also.
"It's quite alright" Mrs Payne said contrarily, as she carefully rolled her sandwich up into a neat sausage.
"Oh, how clever!" Molly Faith said, looking with inspiration at the rolled sandwich, with Mrs Payne exclaiming as Suzanne Marr rolled her eyes,
"I shall call it a rollwich!  No, no.  A sandroll!"

Mrs Payne bit into the roll with an expression of surprise as she chewed.  Suzanne Marr joined in also, promptly removing the item from her mouth by way of a napkin.
"Revolting" she said with unsurprised disgust, putting the sandwich down in annoyance such that the plate bounced.
Finishing their mouthfuls, Mrs Payne and Molly Faith put their sandwiches down also.
"I say, Mrs Faith" Mrs Payne said politely, "is your sandwich a touch sweet?"
"I'd say!" Suzanne Marr interrupted, before Molly Faith had chance to answer.  Carefully peeling the sandwich apart, Suzanne Marr exclaimed with shock,
"It's got sugar on it!  You can see the grains!"
Mrs Payne quite ignored this, saying to Molly Faith,
"I think we might see about something in the kitchen in a moment."  At this Mrs Payne picked up her sandwich roll and sprinkled a little salt on top, explaining in response to Molly Faith and Suzanne Marr's confusion,
"That will balance it out nicely!"

Mrs Payne and Molly Faith set out for the kitchen, followed with some annoyance by Suzanne Marr.
"Knock knock!" Mrs Payne said brightly as she entered.  Handy Dave turned around, his hand on top of a tower of at least a dozen sandwiches being savagely squashed such that a large bread knife could cut the crusts off.
"Hello Bitty" Handy Dave said in reply with much stress.
"I see why the sandwiches are a bit thin" Mrs Payne said nonchalantly, adding kindly "you appear to have used sugar instead of salt though, dear."
"Oh goodness!" Handy Dave said in response, adding with dismay "what will I do with all these?" lifting his hand off the tower, showing a handprint it had been squashed.
"Do you have any qualification in catering?" Suzanne Marr said sharply.
"Oh yes!" Handy Dave said carefully, "two weeks in catering college.  Dropped out after two weeks, but they gave me the certificate in health and safety.  Did you see the professional way I handled that fire early?"
"Get out of my way!" Suzanne Marr said with annoyance, and having cast Handy Dave aside, began making numerous sandwiches with all she could lay her hands on, crafting them with much care and visible deliciousness, as Molly Faith began setting them onto plates.  Handy Dave transported the sandwiches to residents, receiving much praise for quite brilliant sandwiches, with which he replied it was really nothing.  Supplies soon exhausted, Suzanne Marr made four final sandwiches, handing one to Handy Dave by way of reference, and to Mrs Payne and Molly Faith.  Having eaten their sandwiches in the kitchen, Mrs Payne said with disappointment,
"It's a terrible shame wasting those with sugar on", adding carelessly, "by the by, where is the salt?"

Next part to be published Friday 26th October 2012, 12pm UK

Remember, I rely on your reactions (and comments) below to write more that you like!  Feedback, both positive and negative is greatly appreciated.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Come back Gladys! - Part 1 or 7

There was quite some chatter in the dining room one particular Monday morning, both for the reason that breakfast had not been served, and Barry Green was 'doing the rounds'.
"This is quite extraordinary!" Barry Green said without introduction as he approached the table constituting Mrs Payne, Molly Faith and Suzanne Marr.  He had been hoping for some nutrition to be found in gossip.
"Good morning, Mr Green" Molly Faith said warmly, "no sign of breakfast then?"
"Gladys is on holiday.  I can hear some pots and pans from the kitchen, but the shutter is completely down, and Nurse Goode asked I sit down" Barry Green replied with annoyance.
"This is quite ridiculous!" Suzanne Marr exclaimed, both over lack of breakfast and Barry Green's tittle-tattle.
"We've normally finished by now, haven't we Mrs Payne?" Molly Faith said with curiosity.
Suzanne Marr scowled rather as Mrs Payne hummed in reply as she sucked on a sugar cube.

"Nurse!" came an exclamation from the dining room, a remark made more notable by the sound of a somewhat younger voice, and clearly in some distress.
"That's Handy Dave" Mrs Payne said, having finished her sugar cube.  All were most surprised as they turned to find Handy Dave evacuating the kitchen with quite some smoke to follow, at which he exclaimed at some volume,
"Abandon ship!"
All looked most confused at this, and steeling herself, Nurse Goode said calmly as the smoke wafted past,
"Don't panic."  This being somewhat obscured by commencement of a piercing fire alarm, positive bedlam ensued, as chairs were cast aside for those using them and brakes were sharply withdrawn for this who brought their own, as a torrent of residents and nurses flooded from every exit, with Barry Green not knowing what to do with himself, scurrying from group to group exclaiming with bluster,
"Steady now!  Dunkirk spirit!"

Roy Brooks stood in the car park quite beside himself, heart pounding as he surveyed the residents and staff, overhearing excited predictions that it was "quite certain the home will be burnt to the ground!"
"Might it be long?" Roy Brooks asked the fire chief, who was carefully surveying the building and occasionally talking with deliberate tones on his radio.
"Understood.  Front entrance, please." the fire chief said into his radio, before explaining calmly,
"The fire is out but there's still some smoke."  Roy Brooks sighed with relief before saying exclaiming proudly,
"Tip-top!  Terribly brave your men!"  The fire chief surveyed the front entrance as he replied curiously,
"It wasn't one of my men."

Much gasping occurred as the firemen exited, between them a rather disheveled woman, her hair black with ash and morning dress to match.  Walking on, the disheveled woman showed no worse for wear, picking up a slice of toast from a carefully transported plate, and saying as she reached the fire chief and Roy Brooks,
"Morning Mr Brooks.  I think you owe me some gratitude."
"Mrs Payne!" was Roy Brooks annoyed reply, adding with fright, "you could have been burned to death!"
"Nonsense!" Mrs Payne replied casually, "it was only a frying pan!  By the by, you need a new fire extinguisher."
Mrs Payne stood eating her toast as the fire chief gave Roy Brooks quite some dressing down regards procedure.  This having been dealt with, the fire chief thanked Mrs Payne profusely, and begging her pardon, queried why she did not exit sooner.  Finishing her toast, Mrs Payne explained with pride,
"My toast wasn't done!"

Next part to be published Wednesday 24th October 2012, 12pm UK

Remember, I rely on your reactions (and comments) below to write more that you like!  Feedback, both positive and negative is greatly appreciated.