Monday, 14 March 2011

What redundancy means to the worms

Redundancy can mean bouts of fitful job application followed by a week of checking your emails every ten minutes. Then there's the terror of something in your inbox with the subject Application for the post of Secretary General with the first few words Dear Mr Turer, thank you for your application. On this ...

Along with the email checking there can also be quite a lot of tea and coffee. And of course prevarication. Suddenly you understand where all the time comes for all those campaigns and Facebook groups. Then there's housework. After all, what exactly is the green stuff round the hinges of the toilet seat? Why, when you are organising the eggs in order of freshness - as reported before - do they sit better one way round than the other? (Pointy end inwards). And that fine black dust that's there again on the almond-white dado rail by the front door, is it anti-matter or something more allegorical?

Food and drink provide a much better means of prevaricating. For a start, there is a product beyond an arguably more shiny bath. Meals have to be made, so making them is nearly work, and you can listen to the radio (which is, by the way, a whole other subset in the table of prevarication). And everyone has to have a cup of tea at some point, and if you make it with leaves, the old leaves have to go somewhere.

The tea leaves at Fruitcake Miniature College, are pretty interesting at the moment (albeit in a prevaricatory way). Some are large and greeny-gold, others are tiny and black. Some are jasmine scented and others are flowers and not leaves at all. This is because the Head of Animal Care (luckily) does competitions, and she won a stack of posh tea a few months back. Consequently, the discarded tea leaves in the flower bed by the back door are more varied than they used to be. The worms there have certainly noticed, because I overheard them saying so while I wasn't looking at emails just now. (Brandling worms, since you ask).

"Are you getting a little bored of Lapsang Souchong, George/ina?"
"Well, Phillip/a, a little. I must say I enjoyed the Oolong we were getting last month"
"Me too. A pity the ground was a bit hard back then."
"Still, that's the advantage of this place, what with it being warmer nearer the house and nice tea water twice a day."
"More, sometimes. I don't know how those poor bastards out in the lane stand it."
"Urgh, cat poo!"
"That's another advantage. Enormous Howling Monster can't get comfortable under this tree."
"I think you mean camelia."
"Whatever. But I think my real favourite is that camomile he has at night. Mellow or what?"
"Yeah, can't complain with this little doss. Here he comes! Give Hilary and the boys/girls a shout. Ah, what can go wrong in spring time, hey?"

It might have been just my imagination, but as I returned to the boiling kettle I thought I heard little distant voices one more time: "Blackbird! Blackbird!"

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