Tuesday 31st May 2016

Good Morrow, Sweet Peeps, ‘tis I, the Shakespearean Houseboy, swanning in with greetings and some domestic chit and chat before the rough wind currently blowing doth shake away the last of the darling buds of may. Well, that’s my tribute to Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary done with. Rest in peace, Willie, my man, and thanks for all the poems and plays. On that score I’m still trying to shake Benedict Cumberbatch’s half man, half psychotic crab portrayal of Richard the third from my mind. Honest to God I love the guy, but he did go a bit OTT in The Hollow Crown series. I wouldn’t mind so much, but BC is actually related to King Richard, so you think he’d have incorporated a bit more sympathy into his portrayal. Mind you I suppose it’s a bit much to expect third cousins sixteen times removed to have empathetic ties. Posh folks eh, they have all the best relations. I'd be lucky to trace my ancestral roots back to a troglodyte scullion.

If truth be told, Dick isn’t too pleased about the aforementioned wind because it’s blowing all the petals from the cherry blossom trees and he’s a bit precious about them falling on his car. It turns him into a grumpy Daddy and causes a touch of tension between he and me because I love cherry blossom and don’t see how he can be so uptight about something so beautiful. We have a slightly dark history regarding cherry blossom trees. It tends to resurface at this time of year. Daddy Shane keeps a close eye on matters and steps in if he thinks it’s getting in the way of domestic equanimity. Aw well, the cherry blossom season is short lived and all the pretty petals will soon be nothing but dust and memory.

Here in old Blighty, Brexit is the word on everyone’s lips and frankly I’m sick of the whole thing. Shall we stay in the EU, shall we get out, or shall we shake it all about? Fuck knows where it will all end. It’s become a dirty word in our house, especially when I say it because of all the expletives I use before and after it. Arguments abound. You can always rely on politics and religion to cause rifts and set folk at each other’s throats.

I was hoping we could set aside politics and enjoy a neutral bank holiday weekend, but it didn’t happen, not on Sunday anyway. Leo and Mike came over for lunch and talk inevitably turned to the forthcoming referendum, and then on to business talk in general, essentially leaving moi out in the cold. I tried to steer the conversation in other directions, but to no avail. I was out numbered, out voted, shushed and glared at. I decided to opt out of the discussion with good grace - i.e. I retired to the kitchen in a huff where I weighed up my options. I could brutally bludgeon the Daddies, Leo and Mike to death with a leg of frozen lamb, backed up with a ham hock and a large turkey drumstick should the lamb defrost and turn to bloody mince, or I could busy myself with some innocuous activity. I opted for the latter, but only because the nights are still cool and I like having two big warm men to cuddle up to in bed.

With George Ezra for company I set about knocking up a batch of fairy cakes, as you do when you’re pissed off. Sometimes only homemade cake will do, because biscuits don’t hack it and chocolate isn’t enough. It’s baking therapy.

By the time George and I had danced through ‘Budapest’ and ‘Barcelona’ and were duetting on ‘Listen to the Man’ the cakes were in the oven and I was rooting through the cupboards looking for icing sugar to make the topping with. Bugger. I didn’t have any. I could have nipped over to Eileen’s to borrow a bag. She always has icing sugar in. However, she’s recently acquired a rescue cat, Horace, and he’s evil. I’m terrified of him. He’s a big black bastard with demonic green eyes. He hates me. He hisses and growls if I try to stroke him. Eileen claims he’s actually a softy and just needs time to settle into his new environment and get used to different people. She reckons I’ll gain his trust in time. I’m not so sure. It’s been a long time since poor little Clarice died so I was thrilled when she announced that a pal of hers, who’s involved with the Cat’s Protection League, had persuaded her to take on a cat they were finding hard to re-home. I was hoping the puss in question would be a cute kitten, not a hulking monster with ties to Satan. Talk about disappointed. No wonder the moggy protectors didn’t find it easy to re-home Horace. I bet he killed all previous owners while they slept in their beds. I’ve warned Eileen to sleep with her door locked and a sharpened crucifix under her pillow. She says she has every faith that Horace and I will become good friends, just like I became friends with Milly the mad dog that killed Clarice. I think calling Milly and I friends is a bit of an overstatement. It’s more a truce than friendship. It’s hard to be friends with a dog that has air for brains. She makes mad march hares look like Oxford graduates. She’s a clinically insane canine. Time will tell on the Horace front I suppose.

Anyway, getting back to my cakes. I couldn’t leave them naked and I didn’t fancy a run in with the demon mog. Then it came to me. Ping!  A light bulb moment. I didn’t have icing sugar, but I did have a tub of delicious sugary Gourmet Jelly Beans. I would innovate and turn them into a yummy fruity topping for my cakes. Simples. All I had to do was melt them in a bowl in the microwave and hey presto instant cake topping. Warning: please don’t try this at home. When you melt jelly beans they turn into the equivalent of molten lava capable of burning human flesh down to the bone. As the jelly lava cools it turns into a kind of fruity superglue that is nigh on impossible to work with. I added a splash of warm water to the mix in an attempt to make it more pliable. It made it worse. It took supreme effort to get the viscous gloop out of the bowl and spread onto the cakes. They didn’t look pretty. In fact they looked like something created by a toddler using play dough and wax crayons. Persuading myself it was taste that counted I arranged some on a plate and took them through to the lounge along with a pot of tea to serve as refreshment to the political debaters.

Leo poured lofty scorn on my poor cakes, declaring them unappetising in appearance. It didn’t stop him stuffing one in his gob. What followed was sheer heaven from my point of view. The jelly icing was so sticky it all but glued his teeth together. He couldn’t speak. I almost pissed myself laughing watching him do battle with a fairy cake. It made my day. Needless to say no one else fancied a cake after watching Leo churn one around his mouth.  I have to admit the topping was rather nasty both in terms of texture and taste. I won’t be rushing to the patent office to lodge the recipe. The only way to eat the cakes without the risk of hawking out your fillings was to turn them upside down and nibble on the bottom bit, which suited Dick just fine; you know what he’s like for nibbling bottoms. Not one of my culinary successes, but worth the effort just to see Leo pulling strings of goo from his teeth.

Bank Holiday Monday was nice enough. We packed a picnic and went out for a drive in the hills where we had a good long walk. It was my favourite kind of day with just me and my Daddies along with fresh air and beautiful views. Politics and business talk were left behind. Sheer bliss. I’m a man of simple needs. As long as I’m getting one hundred percent attention from my beloveds, I’m happy!

As ever, I’ll leave you with my sincere thanks for all recent emails. I appreciate each and every one. Ciao for now, Peeps. It’s June tomorrow and the year is almost half over. Take time to enjoy the summer before Xmas cards hit the shops and the days shorten.



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