7th March 2007
Fortunately Iâ€™m feeling a lot better today so was able to take in the culmination of Plan B of Shit Garden Of The Year. The plan was put into operation two weeks ago when I phoned the owner of the aforementioned Shit Garden. The call was answered by the title holderâ€™s wife.
â€œThis is the High Peak Borough Council, Mr Lloyd, Public Affairs and Events speaking,â€ I lied. â€œCould I speak to your husband?â€
â€œWhat for? Only heâ€™s doing his pigeons and he doesnâ€™t like to be disturbed when heâ€™s doing his pigeons.â€
â€œWell whatever heâ€™s doing to this pigeons, legal or otherwise, I can assure you that it will be worth his while to tear himself away from them for a short while.â€
â€œIâ€™ll see what he says.â€
â€œIt will probably be â€˜Cooâ€™ â€œ I said, but I think sheâ€™d gone. Half a minute later the man of the house came on the line. â€œWhat do you want?â€ This said in a tone more suspicious than a milk bill.
â€œPrincess Anne, the Princess Royal, is visiting the Borough two weeks hence and she has expressed the desire to visit a typical house within the borough. We held a raffle and your house came out of the hat.â€
There was silence on the other end of the phone.
â€œHello? Are you still there.â€
I heard the womanâ€™s voice in the background. â€œWhat is it? Whatâ€™s the matter Gerald?â€
â€œTwo fucking princesses are going to visit our house!â€
I saw where he had gone wrong and put him right. â€œNo, itâ€™s only one princess. Princess Anne and The Princess Royal are one and the same. And I donâ€™t think sheâ€™ll be doing any fucking either, this isnâ€™t Fergie weâ€™re talking about here.â€
â€œNo.â€ A pause, then, â€œWhat do we have to do?â€
â€œNot a thing. Her Royal Highness has expressed a wish that you shouldnâ€™t go to any special trouble. I believe itâ€™s usual to offer her a cup of tea. And maybe a cucumber sandwich. â€
â€œGet a cucumber Deidre.â€
â€œPerhaps she could partake of the refreshment in the garden if the weather is clement?â€
â€œRight, in the garden.â€
â€œNow youâ€™re not to go to any special trouble, Princess Anne wouldnâ€™t like that.â€
â€œNo. No special trouble.â€
â€œAnd keep it to yourself.â€œ
â€œIâ€™ll confirm the arrangements to you by letter.â€
Atkins Down The Road and I went round to the house in question at the appointed hour this afternoon. The garden, of course, was immaculate. The exterior of the house had been cleaned up and newly painted as well. Red, white and blue bunting decorated the faÃ§ade. It looked a real picture. A small crowd, maybe about a hundred and fifty, many with small union flags, had gathered. The former owner of the Shit Garden of the Year and his wife were waiting, all smiles, at the open doorway, awaiting the arrival of Princess Anne. I donâ€™t know how long they waited for, Atkins and I gave it five minutes then left, happier campers.
Ignore this if you have already read it. My books Dear Air 2000 and Football Crazy are now in print. They are priced at Â£8.99 each and are available from Amazon, but readers of my blog can buy them direct from me for Â£7.50 including p & p. Just send me a cheque and I will send the book/books by return.You can write to me at â€“ Terry Ravenscroft, 19 Ventura Court, Ollersett Avenue, New Mills, High Peak, SK22 4LL