Tuesday, 13 July 2010


It is a common enough sight these days. Hubby sprawled on one sofa watching football whilst I lie on the other. To untrained eyes we look like any long married couple watching an evening of television sharing a cosy, harmonious silence that comes after many years cohabitation. Those in the know though, would sense great dissatisfaction. As Hubby whooped and blasphemed in equal measure at the screen, I lay there conjuring up ever more elaborate ways to kill myself. I genuinely and obviously naively thought that, once England were out, there might be a chance of conversation or an evening walk with the dog to the pub. No chance. Hubby seems just as enthusiastic regarding his support for the World Cup -although this may have something to do with the fact that he stands to win 90 quid if Spain win. Viva Espagne. Many might criticise me and say it is only 90 minutes of my life and that I ought to let my poor, hardworking husband enjoy his football and would I not be better employed washing down the skirting boards or addressing the ironing? And I would answer, they can go to hell. I do more than my fair share and at the end of the day also like to throw myself with gay abandon onto an adjacent sofa and zone out. What has exacerbated my annoyance is that once the football is over, the Sky+ has been working overtime and is poised ready to play, at a second’s notice, The Tour de Bloody France. What I don’t know about a peloton then neither does Lance Armstrong.
So there we were. Our son out with ‘the band’, the youngest girls in bed, our eldest daughter in her room working on a bizarre piece of art homework and Sandy the Swiss girl, perhaps inspired by the Tour de France or more likely, desperate to get out, had gone for a ride on our son’s bike. It hadn’t been in use for a number of years but, after a liberal spray with WD40 it sprung into action.
Hubby cheered, Spain had got through to the final and Geraint Thomas was currently saddle sore but in second place with his bike. Hubby was in 7th heaven and I was thwarted in my plans of putting my head in the oven and gassing myself because a) after Sylvia Plath’s toxic exit it is no longer poisonous and b) being eye-level it would be a very uncomfortable way to die as I’d probably get a crick in my neck first so, I continued to lie there, staring at the ceiling thinking, any more of this and I wouldn’t have to make any effort to kill myself as I’d be bored to death within the hour. Suddenly the sitting room door opened and Sandy stood there, flushed, panting and shaking. I jumped up.
“Sandy! My love! What has happened to you?” Within seconds all sorts of horrors entered my mind most of them involving drunken sailors or local youths, hell bent on getting their hands on a pretty Heidi as she free-wheeled down the dips, her blonde plaits flying behind her. Nothing could have prepared me for what she was about to say.
“I have killed an eagle”, she said. Even Hubby looked up.
“You’ve what?” he asked, inserting a finger into his ear and wiggling it vigorously.
“She said she’s killed an eagle”. I didn’t want to contradict her but swooping eagles are few and far between in Torpoint.
“Um, are you sure Sandy love? Are you sure it was an eagle?”
“Why yes, of course” she answered in her formal English, “It has very sharp... what do you call these?” and she gestured with stiff, gnarled fingers.
“Talons?” I said, with eyes ever wider.
“Exactly, of course. Please come”. Wild horses, let alone wild eagles couldn’t have stopped me.
“But that bloody race on pause”, I said to Hubby, “Let’s go”. We drove to the Raleigh dips, where in late dusk, the trees, heavy with summer foliage, made it a very gloomy place indeed.
“Where is the eagle darling?” I asked, feeling to be quite honest, rather creeped out. She put a finger to her lips and lifted a pile of bracken. We all held our breath, expecting to see the cadaver of a great bird of prey with gigantic talons, stricken. Instead, still in a very tight ball was Mrs Tiggywinkle, a rather rotund and some might say, not a little aggrieved, hedgehog.
Sandy did the stiff talon thing with her fingers again. Only they obviously didn’t signify talons but more the spines of a small, nocturnal woodland creature.
“It is still alive!” she cried, “The igel is still alive”. Igel being now, oh so evidently Swiss-German for, hedgehog.


DL said...

Has there been a football tournament on? Must have passed me by.

Glad the igel's OK.

Best wishes,
D. x

Anonymous said...

aw, poor igel - but happy one assumes. know how you feel about football and le Tour - mine even went to Belgium to watch it first hand! and i can hear that theme music in my head right now!

Trudy said...

Such a valiant igel to sacrifice herself to save you from the football game, even if for a short time......