Sunday, 17 January 2010

A Perfect Sunday and the Strange Incident of the Sausage in the Garden

So today was a beautiful day. We woke up at 8 and lay in bed dozing and cuddling for half an hour. Compared to most days when Hubby is out of the house by 7am and cuddling is definitely off the menu this alone was bliss, but add to it the stunning sunny morning that was revealed when the curtains were drawn and I was a happy happy woman.

Next stop was our Sunday treat breakfast - a full English, but done the healthy way (I just can;t square all the grease of a 'proper' fry up with my dietary conscience!) - poached eggs, homemade wholemeal bread toasted until just warm, grilled sausage and bacon, hash brown hot from the oven, fresh tomatoes and real coffee. I'm drooling just thinking about it now.

Anyway, so I was standing at the sink filling the kettle for the coffee when I spot the cats outside gnawing on something pale and sausage shaped. Uh oh. I raced outside with my trainers shoved on over my bedsocks (yes, I was still in my PJs) and confiscated what turned out to be an actual sausage. How strange. Hubby and I inspected it, but luckily it was only slightly chewed, so it's unlikely they'd get too sicky from the salt content. I chucked it in the bin and assumed a fox had dropped it after fishing it out of someone's bin.

We sat down to enjoy our breakfast, then got dressed and went to pick up a newspaper from the local shop. Next stop was the garden centre for some potting compost, then a local country park (Coombe Abbey Park, review coming soon) for a long walk in the chilly, crisp sunshine. At 11am only a few families were out and about - just enough to make the place seem alive, without being so busy that we couldn't walk along without getting our feet run over by kids on bikes. It was stunningly beautiful weather, chill but not freezing and so sunny. I took macro photos of tree bark, moss, shrivelled leaves and pine cones, held hands with my husband, enjoyed the fresh air and his undistracted time and attention. All topped off with fresh, hot cinnamon doughnuts.

Gardening when we got back - the cats were so happy to have us outside with them again after the long cold spell. On the way back from the garden shed I spotted a familiar pale shape in the centre of the lawn - another sausage: what the hell?

Over the course of the afternoon a third sausage materialised right smack bang in the middle of the lawn - very peculiar. By now hubby and I were suspicious of our neighbours, a friendly family with a pet bunny they allowed to roam free on sunny days. Were they trying to entice our boys back into their own garden with sausage-shaped bait? Or, even more sinister, perhaps there was poison in it (what can I say, hubby can get a little paranoid and cynical). By now we were on full sausage alert - keeping an eagle eye on the fence that bordered our garden. Typically, in the watched pot never boils fashion, the fourth sausage arrived when we were otherwise engaged with drilling drainage holes in a window box. Now this really was bizarre.

I inspected the sausage carefully, it was utterly lacking in chomp marks, then was just one single puncture wound, as would be made by something like a skewer pushed into the sausage. They definitely weren't being dropped there by a fox, it must be the neighbours flinging them. Well, by now I had utterly abandoned any hope of getting something useful done. I stayed staring at the fence, waiting for one of the cats to go over it in the hopes that it would antagonise the culprits into another sausage-slinging attempt. After twenty minutes or so Barley took the plunge and cramponed his way up the fence that bordered the neighbours'. For several long minutes he teetered at the top, sharpening his claws, licking his foot thoughtfully, one eye apparently on the view the whole time. Eventually he tipped forward and leapt down into next door. I watched through the kitchen window, waiting for the next move.

Hubby wandered into the kitchen as I stood there, washing up in hand but perfectly motionless. I turned my head to talk to him and then some instinct (probably intense curiosity) instructed me to turn back to the garden. There, sneaking over the fence with a mouthful of sausage was our slinky black Barley cat. He trotted over to the middle of the lawn, dropped the sausage in the exact same spot as the previous four and disappeared down the back of the garden. Hubby and I went racing outside and examined the sausage - blemish free except for one, round puncture wound, most likely inflicted by one of the black devil's little white fangs.

Well hubby and I stared aghast at each other for a few moments.
"Have next door left their back door open?"
Hubby, whos almost a foot taller than me stood up on tiptoes.
"Nope, but the one beyond them have."

That settled it. Both our boys are inveterate food thieves at the best of times, but this took the biscuit (or sausage...). Barley could only have been waiting for an opportunity to arise when the kitchen of next-door-but-one's house to be free so he could nip in and grab yet another sausage. It conjured up a mental image of these poor people leaving a pack of sausages out to defrost and returning each time to find them steadily diminishing until they were left with just one lonely little sausage (unless it had been a pack of eight, but still, three lonely little sausages ain't much of a meal either!).

Hubby and I met each others gaze and then, as one, fell about laughing in a guilty, slightly hysterical manner. We would never be able to explain to our neighbours what had happened, or make recompense because from then onwards Barley (and us) would be blamed for everything that went missing from their house. Nope, we would have to shut Barley in, pretend ignorance and hope against hope that he'd actually been stealing them out of the rubbish.

Personally I blame Barley's predilection for any pencil shaped object. Pens, batteries, knitting needles, cotton reels, small torches and, apparently, sausages. He doesn;t even like eating sausage because I've offered him some in the past! Right now, for example, his favourite toy is a tampon he stole out of a drawer. I don't use them any more (Mooncup) so I didn;t mind too much, but was slightly concerned when I discovered the shredded wrapper that he'd materialise with it clenched between his teeth when my in-laws were round for tea. Luckily that didn;t happen, but hes been having a whale of a time carting the damn thing round the house with him and defending it from all comers, especially his brother. Hubby thinks its the tail, but I can't shake the idea that he's got some phallic fixation. After all, the reason we got his balls chopped off was because he kept raping his brother...

The day ended with cheesy oven chips, biscuits, a hot shower and a snuggle on the sofa in front of Sex and the City DVDs - on hubby's request. What can I say? He's quite a guy, and very secure in his masculinity it would seem :-)

A perfect Sunday, what a rare thing.

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