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Dr Who has turned into a special effects extravaganza of mind numbing incomprehensibility. New Year’s Eve guest Graham (he of the Buckingham compost loo of which more later) and I watched it gaping, such was our inability to understand even a fraction of the plot. The one line that made sense was this spectacular piece of nonsense from The Master and – ‘there’s a gap in the fabric of reality’ – only made sense because it aptly described Beckley and our life here.

 We began the year in traditional fashion with January. We ended the old one in what is becoming a traditional fashion with one of Sarah’s themed evenings, attended only by people who rejoice in our gap in reality. Graham the Loo, his child bride Suzanne of remarkable upper body strength (more of that later too), and Lisa, who is Sarah’s familiar. If I am in a different room I can’t tell which one is speaking, even though they both speak at once.

This year’s theme – or last year’s rather – was a 70’s evening. Now my memories of the 70’s are rather different to theirs, having a couple of decades seniority on the nearest one to me. So far as I recall I dressed exactly as I do now, went to endless parties and took full advantage of the rampant promiscuity that seemed to typify that decade for twenty somethings. Everyone else’s memory is either of childhood, or of their parents, who wore revolting brown shirts with diagonal stripes, empire line maxi frocks, and ate cheese fondues. So that’s what we did. And drank Mateus Rose. Which is taking reality too far.

Then we introduced our two tiny flocks of sheep to each other, which has been giving Sarah cause for alarm for some time even though I pointed out several times that no-one has ever heard of sheep fighting. If they did, it would be a sport down here in the Gap In The Fabric Of Reality. We have five tiny Shetlands, called things like Alice and Victoria. And four enormous Romneys called things like Millie and Molly. The Shetlands instantly cornered the Romneys and baa’d at them while they cowered against a hedge. That was about as aggressive as it got, and after that, they all ate out of the same trough. So far, no scrapping. 

And our good deed for the day was to clean out the Barn Owl box down by the big pond. This successfully housed four years of breeding barn owls until a couple of years ago and it’s taken us this long to go and find out why. Fairly obvious really – barn owls don’t do cleaning. It was absolutely stuffed to the brim with twigs, earth, acorns, bits of shell, moss and a few slices of honeycomb. No room for nesting at all. Where they got the honeycomb from I can’t imagine unless bees took over when the owls had trashed the place.

So maybe we’ll get new owls this year.

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