I almost didn't go to the park meeting last night. My cold has moved on and in a new and interesting development my head now seems to have been filled with some type of glue!
I can't hear properly and seem to spend most of my time saying 'What? What?? What???' With Miss Mac irritatingly saying, 'You mean PARDON, not what!'
And I was tired, and cold and the Pavilion where we hold our meeting is, as I've mentioned before, a place so bitterly cold even on a warm day that I'm amazed we don't all end up frozen to the chairs.
I did debate taking my hot water bottle with me as I often do when dog walking but decided to man up and just throw on another layer or 7 and set off.
I met our esteemed leader by the door to the pavilion which he was looking at in disgust.
'Baarb was supposed to come over early and turn the heating on' he informed me.
'Bloody wasn't!' said an indignant voice behind me. 'YOU were supposed to do that you fecker!'
'Wasn't - was - wasn't - was - wasn't - WAS!!!'
'Ummm, shall we just go in and turn the heating on NOW?' I suggested ...
Two pair of eyes glared at me ...
'Kettle' said Baarb not even looking at me (but I know my place).
Slowly the others gathered. There were 7 of us in all. A combination of the original Parks committee and a couple form the now defunct Community Group.
Late as ever was our noble secretary clutching a green recycling box full of papers and files some of which might even have been relevant to our meeting.
'Thort when you said you had a green box is was going to be like what the Queen has with her red box' said Baarb looking a little put out.
'Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes ... well, no ... said our noble secretary a little sadly.
'Where's the fecking tea?' barked Baarb glaring at me.
'It's in the fecking POT' I barked back waving the teapot in his direction - 'Where's the fecking milk???'
'What milk - didn't you bring milk?'
This is Baarbs idea of a joke - he brings the milk to every meeting but never takes it out of his bag until I ask and then he pretends that it's not his job to bring the milk.
How I chortle EVERY time ...
'No tea for me' says Ronnie (from the defunct Community Group) 'I've been drinking coffee ALL day, I'll be bouncing off the walls!!!'
'Black no sugar' said ... (do you know, I have NO idea what she is called so lets just call her Dot) - 'First drink I've had since breakfast'.
Ronnie was aghast - 'It's 7pm' she said - 'how can you drink nothing all day??? - that is SO bad for you!!!'
Dot hung her head. 'I know' she whispered.
'Well' said Ronnie - 'at least that explains why you never seem to need to pee!'
'Ummm, shall we get started' said our esteemed leader.
'No, no, no, no,no, yes!' Said our noble secretary frantically shuffling papers, dropping pens and patting his pockets for his forgotten glasses.
Silently our esteemed leader passed his across.
'Minutes of the last meeting' he began solemnly ...
'NO, NO, I WON'T HAVE IT' shouted Sue - 'We MUST start with apologies!!!
Sue very kindly takes the minutes for our noble secretary as he can't read his own writing but unfortunately she often appears to have been in an entirely different meeting to the rest of us which actually, generally doesn't matter at all because by the next meeting none of us can remember what we have talked about anyway so we always pass the minutes as correct.
'Ahh, no, no, no,no, yes! - Any apologies' asks our noble secretary looking around the table.
'Colin's not here' says our esteemed leader stating the bleeding obvious as we can all SEE Colin isn't here.
'Did he actually SEND his apologies though?' enquired Sue.
'Well, no ... But he's not here ...'
'I absolutely REFUSE to mark apologies unless apologies have actually be sent!'
'And where are our Councillors? Where are our PCSO's (Police community support officers)'
'Fecking councillors NEVER turn up and we don't HAVE any PCSO's' muttered Baarb.
'They are closing it you know' said Sue in a doom laden voice. 'I don't know WHERE we are going to end up if this continues! - They're sending them all to Bridgwater now but what happens if they pick them up on Exmoor - that's what I want to know - WHAT HAPPENS THEN???'
What, what WHO???
'For God's sake don't mention the toads' mutters Baarb to me out of the side of his mouth and he slides down in his chair until his chin is almost resting on the table and he begins to fumble disturbingly with something in his lap.
I can't tell you how relieved I am when it turns out to be the wrapper of cough sweet.
'Want one' he mutters wafting a menthol breath in my direction. 'I've got more' and he resumed his fumbling.
'I'm ok actually thanks.
'Suit your bleedin' self'.
'Dog shit!!' pipes up Mike suddenly having been sitting there quietly and apparently brooding thus far.
'Bastard dog shit in black bags dropped all along the path - BASTARDS!' - I'll know who it is when I see them with their black bags and I'll 'ave 'em!! You mark my words!'
'Mine are blue' I interject hastily before any fingers are pointed 'and scented ....'
Ronnie started to giggle ...
'What's so blinking funny?' growled Baarb. 'Dog shit's nothing to laugh about!'
'No, no, no, no, yes!' Spluttered Ronnie sounding remarkable like our noble secretary - 'It's not that, it's HER!!!' She pointed to Dot.
'I've just worked it out - it's been bothering me ALL night!'.
'What' said Dot looking a bit scared. 'I don't even OWN a dog!'
'It's you' snorted Ronnie - 'It's you' She could hardly contain herself.
'I couldn't work out what it was you reminded me of in that red hat but now I know'
'YOU LOOK LIKE WHERE'S WALLY!!!'
There IS more - of COURSE there's more - I don't think we've even got as far as reading the minutes yet but to be honest - it's pretty much more of the same. More (maybe) soon ;-)