Saturday, September 1

I keep the front gate squeaky

it's an early warning system so I can decide if I want to answer the door -very handy with last year's Cheesey episodes and continues to be useful. I am currently avoiding Toothless Eric, several chirpy 'just-sign-here-to-give-us-a-direct-debit-donation' people and a spat of very young shark-skin-suited Jehovah's witnesses.

A few days ago the gate squeaked and clanged followed by a slobbery, panting commotion. I looked out to see a pack of excited small horses or maybe big dogs cantering around in little circles, they'd pushed to let themselves in but didn't know how to pull and let themselves out, a man was calling in the distance but he couldn't see them, some of the animals realised they could jump out over the wall until one bouncy Tigger remained making circles and yelping, wondering where his friends had gone. Tigger seemed to be smiling so I went out and wrestled the gate open amid his bouncy greetings so he could go and rejoin the herd.

Sometimes people figure out how to mute the squeak. One night, a human visitor arrived in silence and left an enormous turd by the side of the steps, I didn't notice for a few days because my tin watering bucket had been placed on top of it.

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