Sunday, 16 February 2014

Mapp and Lucia

I named my first dog 'Megan', my current boy-dog 'Towser' and our Rooster 'William' but usually it is Liz who names the animals as they arrive here. She seems to have an inexhaustible fund of names based on fictional characters, characters from films and names from funny radio shows. Our 2013 sheep were Constance, Dora and Florence, named for Lord Emsworth's sisters from PG Wodehouse. Last year's first three sheep were Larry, Curly and Mo, the geese were Goosey, Goocie and Gander and the Guinea Fowl are Henry and Min (from the Goon Show).

Bramble jelly from the freezer blackberries.
The pigs we are likely to buy this year are still open to debate but Liz rather fancies 'Mapp and Lucia'. Liz is much wider read and has seen and heard more films and radio shows than me, and these two names were new ones on me - another gaping hole in my education! I felt I needed to at least know who Mapp and Lucia were before I could realistically name our first pigs for them, so Liz nipped to our extensive library and pulled a paperback from the shelves, "The Complete Mapp and Lucia (Part1)", written in the 20's and 30's by one E.F. (Fred) Benson. If you know these characters you will know that they are not pleasant at all! The books are very nicely and cleverly and amusingly written, but Miss Mapp and Mrs (Lucia) Lucas are just awful people.

Kir Royale, Feigh style; Prosecco and home made Cassis
Lucia is the self-crowned Queen of her village and seeks to control and lord it over all social events and who gets invited to what, like a nasty child in the playground. She is nosy, pretentious, manipulative, devious, cunning and such a snob. Mapp, living in a fictional version of Rye in Sussex is just plain nosy and seeks to know exactly what everyone is up to, who is seeing who, what all her friends are about to wear to parties so that she can out-manouvre them, engineers herself into being the focus of all the juicy gossip and dumps horribly on anyone who she imagines has crossed her. Ideal role models, then, for our two impressionable, baby piggies!

Nice marketing idea, Heart shaped Coeur de Neufchatel.
Valentine's Day arrives and we are nearly 'kiboshed' on our plans to create a special romantic meal by an extended series of power cuts born, we guess out of the recent wind storm damage and snow in the skirts of Storm 'Ruby'. Our land-line phone chirrups in its 'You have lost power' way at around 01:00 but I ignore it thinking they normally only last a few hours. It is still out in the morning and we phone around and find that Carolyn is calling it in. Power comes on mid morning while I'm out at neighbour Una's but only for ten minutes. It is lashing rain and blizzarding snow but we are delighted to be visited by an ESB Networks guy in Hi-Viz clothing who wants to look at the power lines that run to the north of our property, He (in a van) is joined by 2 other lads and 2 more vehicles, who scurry around working heroically in the bad conditions. We get power back at midday for 2 hours, then again properly at 4 pm. The Valentine's Day meal is saved and we know we are really very fortunate. There are people out there, especially around Galway and the south and east coast counties who have been without power for days, we only had 13 hours; the freezers stayed frozen and our candlelit supper was by choice.

Home made ice cream made with home made lemon curd.
Meanwhile 2 pieces of news concerning boys called Henry. Henry the Guinea fowl had injured his leg somehow but after a few days of decided limping and looking sorry for himself, suddenly recovered and is now back to full strength and a full compliment of working legs. Our other Henry is 2 years old today (Happy Birthday little fella) and son of Carolyn of the Miniature horses. We are invited down to the house for the party, where an army of friends and relatives have gathered while he is having his mid day nap. He wakes up as bemused and dozy as anyone who is fresh out of bed and copes very well with his house being suddenly full of people plying him with presents and party food. He gets into his stride as the present opening gets into full swing - he's mad for anything car shaped, he loves a big petrol pump to go with his sit-in pedal car, but the winner on the day is definitely a junior-sized but fully equipped drum kit with stool, bass drum with pedal, snare drums and even a cymbal. He is soon whacking 7 bells out of all this lot and doting rels are videoing him on their smart-phones. Brilliant! When we last heard all the grown ups were retired, exhausted and Henry was still going strong. He should sleep well tonight, bless him!

1 comment:

anne wilson said...

Pleased to hear that Henry has recovered.