The Island Atelier


K has part time job in village pub. When waitressing, the chef tells her the names of the dishes as he hands over the plates. Today her eye fell upon ‘Beef and Ale Pie’ on the menu board. For the past fortnight she has dished up many servings of ‘Beef and Owl Pie’. Whilst wondering what sort of people she lives amongst that think it’s okay to eat owls.

Dogs: this week has brought one of the best of days for dog humour. Am definitely running Fawlty Towers for Dogs (and fluctuating between Sybil and Basil) ....

Sent standard email to dog owner. Email address included word ‘family’. Email bounced back. Phoned them to check email address. They - alone in the universe - spell family with 2 ‘l’s i.e. familly.

Returned call to customer whose dog booked in next week. Spoke to husband who hadn’t a clue who I was. Not unusual.  BUT then he said: “Do we have a dog?” Assured him he had. After lengthy pause he said: “Ah yes, come to think of it, I have seen a dog around recently.” They’ve had the dog for 4 months!

And then came this one. Which very nearly defeated me. Extremely aged spaniel of extremely aged man. Man is in hospital after a fall and daughter has come down from Scotland. Needed dog removed to outside kennel as whole house full of dog shit. Apparently her father does not think this is generally a problem and he just sweeps the turds under the kitchen units from which he has removed kickboards. He says that its only a problem when the dog poos on his lap when he’s eating his supper. Told his (aghast) daughter: “It’s a nuisance to have to change my trousers in the middle of my supper because the food gets cold.”

Dear friend came to see us with 2 teenage daughters a couple of times this week. Had that magical effect of causing O to bath, wash hair and dress up (i.e. clean rags). Equally magical effect of causing all three teenagers to come outside for a half-way reasonable walk. And quite extraordinary effect of O demonstrating cooking skills. He can do a good production line in very good fried bread. Though the end state of the kitchen did need glossing over – a great deal of grease and a re-shaped fish slice. On second visit O advanced to pyrotechnic entertainment from which the porch bench will recover only with additional paint. In response to some comment about something alien to adults but obviously passé, E came up with magnificent and memorable retort: “That’s so Last Week!”

The black kitchen sink has  revealed its only flaw. Spiders can hide therein. Turned on tap to fill kettle and very large spider leapt onto arm.

Went to optician for contact lens check. Then went to Sainsburys where received many strange stares and checkout girl struggled to process contents of conveyor belt. More very strange stares on way back to car. Discovered why when caught sight of face in bathroom mirror. Two florescent yellow eyeballs stared back.

J’s dog has vanished twice in the last week or so. Jake is a very reliable enormous dog who never vanishes. But he does not like his feet getting wet in the rain. So when the heavens opened he dashed for cover and was later found in a bus shelter ... on the bench. The second disappearance was in a park. Where he found a table covered in tomato ketchup.


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