Not long after we moved here, we started to notice one particular car that was often parked in the neighbourhood. We noticed it because it had distinctive stickers in the back window. On the nearside, “Born-again Pagan!”. On the offside: “Bondage. It’s knot for everyone!” We’ve seen it again many many times since then, and speculated as to who would own a car with stickers like that; but we’ve never seen it moving. An aging hippyish type? A purple-haired couple? All sorts of stereotypes floated up into our heads.
The other day, though, we saw something that shocked us to the core. The car was there, again. The “Born-again Pagan!” sticker is still there, blue on white. The bondage sticker, though, has gone. Gone, with just a mark left behind. Never mind the driver or the owner: the missing sticker has really set our minds racing. What has happened to it? Is the owner worried what the neighbours might think? Have they decided to keep their sex lives to themselves? Have they lost their sense of humour? Did a couple split up, one take the car, the other take the sticker? Did it dissolve in the rain? There are myriad possibilities. I’m tempted to leave a note under the windscreen wipers asking the owner to get in touch.
As people have been asking, here’s the cake that K’s very kindly made me for my birthday. I haven’t actually tasted it yet – as I write this it’s sitting in the fridge – but as all of K’s cooking is wonderful and delicious, I’m sure it will be fantastic.
My favourite pudding is tiramisu, so K came up with a tiramisu-flavoured cake, with a chocolate sponge sandwiched together with the marscapone-cream-egg mixture that she makes her tiramisu from, all liberally laced with Tia Maria. I am entirely responsible, though, for the suggestion of adding Cadburys Animal biscuits, thus turning it into a tiramizoo.
It is of course pissing down. We are loitering within tent.
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There once was a teacher, who went by the name of Miss Swing. She was a very good teacher, popular with her children, who were all well-behaved and scored very well on all the tests they took. All the parents at parents’ evening either wanted to be her or be with her, and all her colleagues knew she was wonderful in the classroom, the best teacher the school had.
There was one small problem with Miss Swing, though. She would never agree with anyone else.
If you said something was black, she would say it was white. If you told her the weather was cold, she’d reply she thought it unseasonably warm. Anything you said to her, she would contradict if she could. The only exception was when she was on holiday, when she would be as pleasant and polite a person as you could ever meet. Apart from that, she would always disagree with everything you said.
Finally, one day, someone confronted her. “Why is it,” they said, “that when you’re on holiday you’re as charming as anyone, but when you’re in school, or even after work, you can never agree with anyone?”
“Ahh,” said Miss Swing, “I’m just a contradiction in terms.”
This is the final part. If you need to catch up, here is part one, and part two.
The next day, crowds went to the carpenter’s workshop, as usual, to
try to ask him to build and carve for them. But he was not there.
They looked through the windows, but his workshop was empty. They
looked through the windows of the house, but there was no sign of him.
They searched the entire village, but there was no sign of the
carpenter. After a while the village constable agreed to break
into the carpenter’s house, to find him. But he was nowhere to be found.
The whole county started searching for the missing carpenter, but he
could not be found anywhere. He had disappeared, completely. They
searched for months, but the carpenter never returned.
Some people thought that he had got so angry with being asked to paint
everything he made, that he had decided to retire and move away. They
could not explain, though, how he had disappeared so suddenly. Others
thought that a disappointed client, who could not find a painter, had
done something; or that a great lord elsewhere had kidnapped him to
create beautiful furniture for the lord alone. Noone ever saw any
furniture in the carpenter’s style, though, but somehow this made
these people even more adamant they were right. Some thought he had
been murdered for the great riches they assumed he had made from his
work; but they were wrong, for he worked for the love of carpentry and
had spent all his money on expensive woods from overseas.
The carpenter never returned to the village, and noone ever saw
furniture like his again. Those things he had made were preserved
carefully by their owners, because they knew they were irreplacable.
To this day, what happened to the carpenter who refused to paint
remains a mystery. As far as anyone could tell, he just varnished.