Sunday, 15 March 2020

Of Rice and Roses!

Hello and welcome to this week's story and a Sunday selfie!

       A link to part 1 of the mini-Valentines adventure story called 'My Sweet Valentine' can be found HERE.
     A link to part 2 of the mini-Valentines adventure story called 'As fit as a Flea' can be found HERE.

     Mrs H's January Foto Failures, then click the link HERE.
     Mrs H's February Foto Failures, then click the link HERE.
     A link to last week's selfie can be found HERE

     OK, so nothing much happened around the UK this week. Well, not unless you take into account the panic buying of toilet tissues, nappies, hand-wash, headache tablets, beer, crisps and baked beans! Interesting to see where some folks priorities lie.

    So, being the 'on-trend' and the curious cat that I am – and not wanting to miss out on a good thing – I sent Mrs H out to 'panic-buy' something for the palace. Being the lady of frugality, as well as not one to panic unless it involves an invasion of the British shoreline by the Mongol hoards, she panic-bought two bags of rice. . . .

    "Two bags, Mrs H, that does seem a rather frivolous piece of panic-buying." Erin stood watching Mrs H had offloaded the two half-ton sacks from the Indian elephant that had lumbered up the drive. "Are you sure you're feeling OK? I mean, TWO bags."

     "Oh, quite alright, dear. The offer was 'buy one, get one free' on the Jumbo-sized bags of basmati. Plus one is white rice and the other brown – browns very good for the bowels, you know."

    "Hmm, well that may be so, but best we don't give any to Jumbo, else poor Ned, the gardener, will collapse from the size of the muck heap he'll have to make! Still, the rhubarb and the roses should do well this year!"

    "Quite so, Erin. Another advantage is we can sell some of the rice to the vicar."

    "I didn't know the Reverend Prayhardy was into curry?" Erin smiled at the thought of the villages erstwhile prim-and-proper priest who usually shunned anything spicier than Mrs H's Chelsea Buns. "Next you'll be telling me he likes tinned larger wears his hair long at weekends and watches the Walking Dead! No, the latter could be in his contract. Maybe he watches something surreal and comical, like Prime Ministers Question Time."

    "Oh no, dear, not for himself, for the weddings."

    "Instead of cake? Seems a bit cheapskate if you ask me."

     Mrs H sighed. "No, dear, it's for the guests. Guests like to through rice over the bride and groom when they leave the church after the ceremony."

    "As a gift – are they curry lovers too?" Erin asked, thinking it would be easier to have some delivered ready-cooked, though to be fair that would probably stick to the happy couple's clothes.

    "They may like curry, Erin, but it's not that – well not usually anyway. No, it's a tradition that symbolises wishing them prosperity, fertility and good fortune."

    "Seems like a waste to me, though I dare say there'll be many a happy bulging sparrows and pigeons when the guests have gone." Still, thank goodness they don't throw anything more substantial, like onion bhajis, or samosas — one of those could take your eye at twenty paces!"

    "I do wonder at your logic, sometimes, Erin dear, really I do. But, you do have a point about safety, and many folks prefer rose petals instead. Of course, they can be dangerous too."

    "Yes, I can imagine the thorns would put a dampener on things. And then there's the risk of tetanus, greenfly, wilt and rust! Just imagine having to spray the happy couple down mid —"

    "No, dear." Mrs H interrupted, "no thorns or stems, just the petals; which can get very slippery in the rain. They are very expensive to buy so most folk stick to rice — and before you say anything, I don't mean literally!" Mrs H smiled at Erin and waved a finger to prevent the question she knew was forming in Erin's mind.

   Erin got one of her looks. It was a look that was calculating pence, pounds and potential profit. "Mrs H, how expensive did you say those petals were?"

    "Well, last time I checked they were £10 for a bag of freshly picked. You're not planning on getting married, are you?" Mrs H gave her best inquisitorial stare, aware that Erin was still yearning for a black and white wedding of own.

   "Oh, nothing – no reason." There was a short pause, and Erin stole a look at Jumbo, who was busy syphoning water out of the moat and squirting it over himself and a nearby flower bed. "On another matter, you know how we – you – get plastic bags to carry your shopping home in, and they're reusable."

   "Yes. 'Bags for Life' they call them. We keep reusing them, and once they get broken, they replace it with a new one. Why do you ask?"

    "Well, seeing as Jumbo there carried the rice back for you, that means he is like a big bag for life, and thus reusable too."

    Mrs Hudson looked quizically at Erin. "I am not sure I like where this is going. It's not another of your schemes, is it?"

    "Oh, no. Well, actually yes – but it is a winner for sure this time!"

    "Hmm. Well, the track record on these schemes isn't that great, Erin. You recall the great anti-pancake ceiling paint fiasco? The kitchen is officially a 'hard-hat only' area till the last dozen experimental tossed pancakes decide to fall!"

    "Ah, well that, Mrs H, was what they call am mere trifle of an issue. Talking of trifles, have you managed to get the last of my 'quick-set trifle mix' off the sink?"

     "Alas, no. Ned has tried his trowel on it, but so far it's not budged. Shame really as that is our best sink." 

     "Not to worry, I'm sure it will erode with the flowing water! On the plus side, I was thinking of repurposing the mix and marketing it as decorative and lickable tile adhesive and grout. What do you think?"

     Erin spotted Mrs H's concerned look and then shake of the head. "OK, maybe not then. Moving swiftly on, Jumbo looks a tad peckish. I just remembered that elephants DO like rice, brown at that. Hows about you go and rustle up some boiled brown rice with peanut and banana chips, for Jumbo. Being an Indian elephant, I'm sure that will go down a treat." 
     "Very good, Erin, though I am not sure we have a pan big enough." Mrs H frowned at the prospect of the task ahead and pondering if elephants really did like rice. But if it was what Erin wanted, then who was she to argue? "And what will you be up to this afternoon, Erin?" 
     "Oh, this and that. I have the sudden urge to check with Ned about this year's floral display for the Horticultural Show. As head of the Horticultural and Nip Planters Association, I do have standards to maintain and be the setter of trends. Maybe we need to up production.... er... the display of roses for the 'Summer Open Garden' visitors. I hear red roses are all ways well received."
     Mrs H just nodded and smiled. At least boiling of rice would her only worry. The rest, for once, would be down to Erin and the gardener to sort out. She made a mental note to nip off later and panic-buy some air fresheners, just in case.
To be continued. . . . .

    Well enough of this week's organic elephantine frivolity, here's this week's 'buy-one, get-one-free' rose-scented selfies! Amidst the chaos and rattle of Ned moving wheelbarrow loads from the lawn, I found a moment to grab some much-needed rest and relaxation in the potting shed. In between stirring the basmati, Mrs H grabbed two shots – evidence, she said – one in colour and one in black and white. Do tell us which one you prefer.

Colour image is Mrs H's favourite.

Black and white image is MY favourite.
  And Finally, I have to advise that no harm came to Jumbo whilst making this post, and no air freshener, be they spray or the hang on style, were inflicted upon this noblest fellow-creature. We do not advocate any such things for any creature, (well possibly for Ned the gardener who now pongs something rotten) as the chemicals, packaging and string can be fatal. Play safe and enjoy your companions as nature intended.

   Thank you for visiting us this week, and we hoped you enjoyed our frivolous fun feline floral fancy.

     If you have any composting tips for old and now slightly inundated, Ned, then please do rush them to him post-haste, c/o the Potting Shed, The Palace, Upper Much-Mousing. Should you be passing, we have a limited supply of best quality Indian fertiliser, available at the non-corner corner shop in the village. Part of the proceeds of which will be going to fund the treatment of Ned's newly slipped disc!



  1. You had an elephant delivery? Wow this is so cool. Think of the fertiliser, giant vegetables for Mrs H!!!

    Panic buying Baked beans? How long can one tin last????

  2. Ha, flying samosas made us MOL, Erin. We sure hope that brown rice, banana and peanut dish sits right with Jumbo. :)

    We love both snaps, but the black and white one a tad bit more.


  3. I'll have to see about ordering me an elephant. Love the selfies sweet Princess, I do like the black and white one too.

  4. These are strange times indeed! We confess that our #1 bought two 3-packs of jumbo kitchen rolls, but her excuse was also that it was buy one get one free! Perhaps our humans are a bit more sensible than average?

    Tama and Genji

  5. Princess, my human tried to by a bag of rice at the market, but they were gone off the shelves. Humans have been buying up goods and things in large quantities, and not leaving enough to share for others. Mom said that one human bought 19 cans of disinfecting spray! That seems over the top to me. I guess it's up to us kitties to try to ease the panic in the world.

    Hmm . . . I sure think I would like an elephant. He could stomp out the weeds growing in the garden and save Mom 3 or 4 full days of weeding. Then I'd get more quality time with her. Kisses and luvs to my Tuxie dove.

  6. I prefer the black and white too.
    You could make a lot of money for treats with all that rice. Also with all this panic buying people may start growing more of their own food. Get Ned busy bagging elephant poop and it will pay for even more treats!

  7. Mummy did buy some extra rabbit food but that's cause she only has a 3rd of the bag left and she brought extra food for the Hedgehogs but again some of it was getting low, plus she did a 2 week food shop but she did say she was only getting my veg and milk next week when she is back at work then she will do another 2 week shop in the following week, she works 3 days a in a supermarket and just wants to minimise being in close contact with people as much as she can. The colour photo is the best to me xx Speedy

  8. Such sweet pictures! Panic buying baked beans and toilet paper...sounds about right! MOL

  9. Hee! Hee! You really make us laugh! We have had HOARDING happening here too! Yes! Even the village of Midway has been inundated with hoarders. My human brother went to the grocery store yesterday and there were only 3 - 24 roll packages of 3 ply toilet paper left! When he talked to the checkout girl, she told Alex that "some out of towners" came in and cleaned out the store. Silly people, they did not know that there was a whole lot more in the back of the store.

  10. Oh Erin, I do likes the way you think gurl! I do likes the thought of you havin' an elephant for a pet...that could really come in handy! Thinks of all the green papers you could make sellin' fertilizer! BOL!!
    Stay safe, and don't forgets to have the peeps wash their paws!
    Ruby ♥

  11. ERin; B & white iz de best !!! we two questshun mizzuz H's panic buyin, but then sum of de itemz dizz appearin frum de sheleves round de land oh trout makes one say....what de be any rate.. with two ton oh rice on hand... we thinkz yur set for a month !!! give R best ta jumbo :) ♥♥☺☺

  12. It's a strange time for humankind, for sure!
    As long as there is cat food and litter available, no kitty will suffer.

  13. We think that we are in a wrong movie ! Empty streets, nearly no cars, all restaurants, bars and pubs closed, rush on Toilet paper (I wonder why) but fortunately Rosie has a stock of 8 kgs of dry food, that will hopefully last until the Corona crazyness will be finished.

  14. What nice photos, Erin! We're with Mrs H on this...we like the color one.

  15. Where do those hoarders putt all their stuff??? At our den we would have to use the bed or the couch...

    Thanks for that fun tale of elephants and rice and men...oh, and a B&W kitty and her Mrs H!

    I like the coloured selfie the best! I can make you out better, MOL!

  16. I hope you warned the elephant about the Kraken! Can you imagine THAT introduction as the elephant snorts up some water to cool himself down? Ouch!