The spring rays of evening sun trickle down on the Village; chirping birds dwarf any noise from the road. I gaze out on to the front garden, in a reflective mood.

None of us have been very well recently, with a cough. And we are very tired, as the Toddler refuses to wait until the rabbit clock opens its bright bunny eyes before waking up and expecting us to be entertaining. Plus I am sure that I am approaching a crossroads in my life.

The thing about crossroads is that you can either turn left, or you can turn right. Alternatively, you can go straight ahead, being sure to give way to traffic from the left or right (depending on whether you are on the major or minor road). The problem is that if you stop to think too much at the junction, then a man in a lorry behind you will start hooting, and after a while perhaps get out and punch you in the face. (For the purposes of the analogy there is no safe place to pull over off the road, as there is a high wall on both sides and no pavement/layby etc).

It is a dilemma.

I start worrying that the LTLP might be getting a bit eccentric, as I wander outside to take the chickens their pudding. Yesterday she was in a well-to-do establishment, and retired to ‘freshen up’. It was only after wondering for ages why the toilet paper was on the other side of the room that she realised that she had performed her ablutions in the bidet. She has been working very hard recently, and I hope that she is not losing it.

“Here you go, chickens!” I offer, setting the pots down. They seem to have enjoyed their asparagus. We chat a while before I retire back towards the house.

‘I would do anything to make the LTLP’s life a bit easier,’ I think to myself as I scrunch across the gravel.

Smoke starts curling up around me from my pants.

I waft it away irritably. Spring is coming. We need to relax a bit more.

49 thoughts on “I have a long hard think.

  1. Bagpuss says:

    FIRST! First (does a little dance of happiness around the computer…)

    Since when was asparagus pudding, even for chickens?

  2. Bagpuss says:

    have you considered letting the toddler read your blog? then she could be entertained early in the morning without you having to get up, just like the rest of us.

  3. calypso says:

    All sounded quite idyllic til you got to the burning boxers…apart from the bunny clock. Sounds like something out of a horror movie.

  4. Phil says:

    Actually your ablutions is what you do perform on/at/with a bidet. But you have reminded me that the first time I encountered the word I was convinced that (a) it was a grown-up word for going to the toilet and (b) this showed I was reading a really properly grown-up book. Did you read (or start to read) David Copperfield at a formative age?

  5. Pat says:

    Actually it doesn’t sound idyllic and I feel a little concerned. Time to call in the cavalry – your Mum or hers.
    PS I’m not going to re- read but wasn’t asparagus the first course and pots the pud.
    And wasn’t it sweet of Phil not to point out your spelling error?

  6. JonnyB says:

    Golly! Phil – I did not know that. But then I honestly do not know what you use a bidet for anyway. I have never had one in any house that I have owned/rented.

    (Thanks Pat. I need to stop writing directly onto WordPress. It makes you really really lazy).

  7. Peter says:

    *A pedant writes* Tri-lemma, Jonny, if there were such a thing.

    My (genuine) dilemma was in wondering whether or not to comment on what might well be a cheeky little deliberate mistake.

    Loved the Mail on Sunday thing, which I added my 2p to. It’s taken me all this year to start reading blogs again.

  8. Brennig says:

    I thought a bidet was for washing the sand from between one’s toes?

  9. Gimli says:

    My solution to a life-crossroad was to mentally install a mini-roundabout. This enables you to just go around in circles without actually making any decisions at all. Once on the roundabout you are not required to give way to anyone.

  10. Richard says:

    Are you sure it was a crossroads and not a mini-roundabout? Roundabouts are good because you can get on with what you’re doing while others do the same. Occasionally you can career right across the middle of a mini-roundabout and annoy everyone but only usually when you’re in a hurry or drunk.

    Did you manage to put your pants out OK?

  11. AndrewM says:

    Spring is coming.

    Time to go down the pub.


  12. Sarah P says:

    Maybe the LTLP can join the bowls team, the toddler can polish the balls for everyone thus making her exhausted and sleeping longer?

  13. Fanto says:

    You mean you’ve not sent the toddler out to work yet? That’s why she’s not sleeping. A couple of swept chimneys a day and she’ll be out like a light.

    But then I suppose it would make you feel bad to be the ONLY one in the cottage not earning a decent living eh?

  14. The phrase “performed her ablutions” covers a multitude of sins, Jonny. Did she pee in it or wash her hands? Or did she take a huge dump and then push it down the hole with her toes, like some sort of filthy Frenchman?

    Poor girl. Living with you is bound to take its toll sooner or later. The tragedy is she could’ve done so much better, even in Norfolk. There’s that nice Tony Martin just up the road, for a start. What mother would not dream of having him as their son-in-law, if you were the alternative? Mr Martin, at least, spells LTLP “WIFE”…

  15. Indigo says:

    It sounds as if you don’t have a tv, Jonny, at Poultry Towers. I know of parents who are able to get enough sleep only because the Toddler(s) are allowed to go downstairs and switch on the tv at 5.00am and watch cartoons and stuff until breakfast.

    Bidets are so useful – I wish they came as standard in British dwellings – washing feet, washing smalls, washing the dog’s feet, washing the chickens’ bowls (eating that is, not bowling bowls), washing the bits it was designed to wash (prolly helps you save zillions a year on bathwater).

  16. Oli says:

    Bidets are an amazingly useful way of saving on toilet paper, I do not know why your missus had some over there. After spending some time abroad I became accustomed to their presence but still downright refuse to use one.

  17. I hope you find which way to go at your crossroads. Are chickens good conversationalists?

    I still don’t know what a Bidet is for…

  18. Hamish says:

    It’s for washing the poo off of your bum.

  19. a bidet might be useful for putting out the fire in your pants.

  20. guyana gyal says:

    Even crossroads are good, you can go somewhere, at least you’re not stuck.

  21. Megan says:

    For those who are unfamiliar with the bidet:

    In particular, watch the gentleman’s face at second 24 and wonder why, why do I not have a bidet?

    (Because DAMN those are some ablutions he’s enjoying there)

  22. Diana says:

    Heard a really useful piece of info recently to stop night time coughing: rub vicks onto the soles of your feet and put socks on. Miraculous! Try it.

    And, yes, I live on the continent and Hamish is correct as to their original use. However, they are really great for washing feet, toddlers, puppies,etc. I never ever use mine =D

  23. Jules Ritter says:

    I once had an Italian brother-in-law- a psychologist no less go figure – and he thought the bidet-less household was a disgusting one until I pointed out to him that he may use a bidet when he pooed but he failed to use the shower every day….
    As for you Chicken Boy you need a good drinking session and I agree with Pat get the family in and take that long suffering wife of yours away for a chicken-less weekend.

  24. clarissa says:

    No roundabouts in Norfolk?

  25. Z says:

    My son put a child safety gate in the children’s bedroom doorway. They have no choice but to entertain themselves in the early morning.

    Why were your pants smoking?

  26. NAGA - Life Coach Driver says:

    Are your pants old enough to smoke?

  27. Diana says:

    Had to giggle as I glanced over at the bidet this morning: ours is stuffed with magazines to read in peace while on the loo.

  28. cooch says:

    Re sleep – try Vaseline on the bedroom door handle.

  29. gargravarr says:

    Z – a more pertinant question would be ‘why were your pants smoking after visiting the chickens?’

  30. If I had a bunny clock I wouldn’t wait until its eyes were open to get up. That would be scary. I’d get up earlier just to AVOID seeing the rabbit clock open its eyes.


  31. sablonneuse says:

    I’m still wondering what effect the asparagus had on the chickens. Does it make their pee smell (do chickens pee?)- or does it affect the taste of the eggs?

  32. Pat says:

    Why all this reverse snobbery about bidets?
    Hamish (18) has got it wrong. The bidet is an additional aid to hygiene and useful when time is limited, as far as a bath or shower is concerned.
    I’ll come clean: the house came with one and if I EVER get my new bathroom it will have one. And I’m not even mentioning cystitis.

  33. Pat says:

    I don’t know why that yellow face appeared; it should be #16.

  34. NAGA says:

    Bidet: For washing of the parts. Private Secret Parts. Useful for those all nighters. Ahem.

    Also used to keep goldfish in while cleaning out bowl.

  35. Bob says:

    “Bowls” was the previous post. (Not sure what that has to do with goldfish though.)

  36. cramerj says:

    Please, please – once in a while explain what LTLP stands for.

  37. Pat says:

    cramerj: long term life partner. Je crois!

  38. johng says:

    Don’t worry Jonny, BIDET is an anagram of BED IT!

  39. NAGA says:

    Bob: I was going to say Tank, but a Goldfish in a Tank sounds a bit odd.

    And dangerous!

  40. Jules Ritter says:

    Not if he’s in Prince Harry’s regiment. God Chicken Boy have you thunked enough yet? We need a new posting or you will have to do what that does and close the comments but only when she gets to 500.
    You owe me six comments by the way and that last one was a paltry affair, hardly legible.

  41. Pat says:

    Jules: popped over to yours to see JB’s paltry comment and what hits me in the eye? An error. We all make ’em but this is important. Seal was born in London of Nigerian parents. He is not American. Sorry:)

  42. julesritter says:


  43. Hamish says:

    When I am bigger I want to have a bidet. I don’t think I’ll ever use it though, because my bum doesn’t tend to have a lot of poo on it. I like to think of myself as a fairly hygenic pooer. But it would be nice to have one, because it’s quite a grown-up thing to have, a bit like really sharp knives or heated floorboards.

    In many ways having a bidet would be the crowning achievement of a lifetime.

  44. Pat says:

    Tsk Tsk Jonny! What have you done? What are those weird square tarot cards? I can’t click on Jules now.

  45. NAGA says:

    I don’t like my square.

    It says something naughty in Pygmy.

  46. Diana says:

    And mine is dull and looks soooo sad. A bit like a Mr sad in the Mr men series. I shall feel sad all day now.

  47. JonnyB says:

    What the sodding hell are all these patterns?!?

    Honestly – I love WordPress. Moving from Blogger was the best thing I have ever done (that is an exaggeration, but in the context of writing this then it is fair). But it keeps doing strange new barking mad things that I have to find a way of turning off.

  48. Damianq says:

    Crossroads, pants on fire, etc…

    I say right. After all Labor is doing poorly in the polls and Boris is now Mayor of London.

    Right it is.

  49. Boris is an idiot… in my opinion

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