“Dude, you have no idea. It’s impossible to get any peace. It’s all ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME. I can’t even have a bath without one of the others wanting to get in too. Just five minutes, you know? That’s all. That’s all I want. Just five minutes. Or two. I’d settle for two. Or even one. Hell. Yeah. Let’s say one. One damn minute of peace. To chill, have a drink. Get some water up under the feathers. There’s no way I’ll ever be able to eat in peace, I’m not going to torture myself imagining being able. To eat. By myself. Without one of THEM trying to get in on the act. But a bath? You’d think I could manage one godsdamned freaking minute by myself to get the dust out. Just one. One. That’s all. Not twenty, not ten. Just one.”
“So, um, Mad Max, what did you think?”
“Mad Max. The new one. Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron.”
“Mmmm mmmf mmmf mumble mmf.”
“Yeah, I know you went to see it last Thursday. That’s why I was asking.”
“Mmmf gnnnngh mmhgnn mmf.”
“It’s just, you know. I didn’t like it.”
“Everyone says it’s fantastic, euphoric, the best thing ever, and Furiosa might as well have been driving around a War Rig loaded with salty man tears, but it was stupid.”
“Mmmf mmmble gnngh mmfngle!”
“Really! They only take the thin, pretty girls, no water or food, only, you know, mother’s milk — and all that milk came from the large ladies they left behind, who were good enough to provide milk, which means good enough to provide babies, but not come with or something — drive hundreds of miles into the desert and then turn round and drive back again. Then Max disappears into the desert. Seeing as how Joe’s army made it through the collapsed arch in about twenty minutes the first time, it’s going to be about a day at most before the War Boys come to retake the Citadel, and they’ve got all the weapons and the fighting experience. All Furiosa has now are the children and the starving rabble. Even the Vuvalini all bought it on the return trip, and they were the ones most likely to put up a reasonable defence. They needed some of Thrush’s lasers or something.”
“Mmmfle mumble bumble mmmf.”
“Why can’t women have decent storylines too? Are we supposed to be happy just because we get to drive a lorry for a change?”
“I knew you were going to say that. I never should have brought it up. It’s pointless trying to have a conversation with you.”
“Do you think Hannibal uses TP or a bidet?”
“He’s a serial killer, I know, ‘Don’t eat the rude’ and all that. But he’s, what, an aesthete, right?”
“I really don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Hannibal Lecter. I just can’t imagine Hannibal Lecter using toilet paper. I mean, what brand would he buy? I don’t think he’d be won over by puppies. Does Claire Fontaine make toilet paper?”
“Seriously. What’s the most expensive toilet paper you can buy? Also, do you think eating people makes a difference to the consistency of your poop? I can always tell when I’ve been at the suet. It’s just greasier. Don’t you get that?”
“I don’t think—”
“I bet he can tell. I bet he can smell it. I bet if you went to dinner with him and he fed you one of the rude he’d get a sense of satisfaction from smelling it in your farts.”
“THIS IS NOT AN APPROPRIATE TOPIC OF CONVERSATION FOR OUR CHILD’S BATHTIME.”
Thus far in our new house, we have been adopted by the following garden birds:
Edgar Allen Notacrow the blackbird and family, who observed us moving in and made sure we knew HE WAS HERE FIRST, SO MAKE SURE YOU BEHAVE BECAUSE HE WILL NOT STAND FOR ANY NONSENSE.
Mr and Mrs Splashalot Songthrush. Mr Splashalot has Very Firm Ideas about what constitutes a proper bath. Mrs Splashalot is more restrained and thinks he’s an idiot. She REFUSES to bath with him because he GOES TOO FAR with all his splashing, I mean REALLY.
The mountaineering sparrow host, who are determined to scale the house next door without flying, because flying is too easy, any damn sparrow can fly, man, climbing is EXTREME, this is the twenty-first century, where have you been already?
Mr and Mrs Coal Tit, late because shopping. There’s a sale on. Don’t look at me like that, of course we need another set of curtains for the parlour, we might have guests, any day now.
Mr and Mrs Blue Tit, first to appear. Food out? We eat now.
Mr and Mrs Great Tit, a day or two after their smaller cousins, because they needed to make sure the company was appropriate. Heavens, just about anyone could have moved in, one can never be too careful.
Mr and Mrs Greenfinch and family, just keeping themselves to themselves, not wanting any trouble here, but if you start anything you can be damn sure they will finish it.
Mr and Mrs Dunnock. Mrs Dunnock is adorably heavy with eggs. She is round. NOBODY LAUGH AT HER, ROUND IS A SHAPE.
We are therefore missing yellowhammers, siskins, a pheasant, and goldfinches. I hope we get goldfinches again, I love listening to them churble.
I have met a spider
His name is Palpy Pete
He has a hairy tummy
And hairies on his feet
He’s living by the kitchen
He’s living in the hall
He’s right where I can see him
He’s right there on the wall
I think he seems quite friendly
I think we could be chums
He’s not nearly big enough
To bite me on the bum.
This is, in fact, a Lace webbed spider, a common species with, like many spiders, a strangely romantic name. We don’t get the more common house spider in our cottage, only these ones. The size of the palps leads me to think he’s a male, and he joins the various other creatures sharing our home in being subject to the indignity of a human name. For a while we had a lady Amaurobius similis in the kitchen, called Ophelia, but she vanished several weeks ago, when the temperature dropped. This is the first spider I’ve seen in a while.
I don’t put them outside. They’re indoor spiders, and they’d just come back in again.