Michael,
The little caravan,
Shrimpton campsite
Norfolk.
Hello there Carlos,
You know, in the twenty years that we have known each other I think that you must have put your writing down in just about every letter between us! Why do you still not believe me, and so many of our mutual friends and acquaintances, when we tell you that your handwriting is probably the best out of all of us in our group? (Unless I get my calligraphy pens out!)
On that note, we all miss you down the Legion and the lads and lasses have all been asking after you. I told you all those years ago that you would never be forgotten. As for Odie, your faithfully, friendly and frolicsome hound, you are definitely right, he is absolutely gorgeous and his face is so expressionable! (In fact he is much better looking than his owner!) We must get another weekend together sometime – he’s never been down this way; there is plenty of good walking here as you know and plenty of fuss from the Legion mob ready to be lavished on him!
I am avoiding the electronic issue here a little bit, but you know what a dinosaur and a technophobe I am. I am still half convinced that big brother can spy on us so much easier with all these societal toys that are thrown at us to wile away our time. I must confess to asking Eric next door the other day if he would be able to send a text message to John on my behalf though. My landline seems to be so much more reliable. Sometimes I just cannot get hold of John on the phone, something to do with no network coverage apparently. It does not happen with my phone.
Anyway, you know why we both still make a massive point of writing, or corresponding, as it is a dying art is it not? And another argument, for me at least, for not having a computer is because I bought that electric typewriter the other year. After a few months with that I am actually rather impressed with my typing!(When I have dug it out of the cupboard that is!) I will give you a race sometime, I reckon I may be up to twenty words an hour by now!
You know, hearing all your tales about your faithful friend has had me thinking about possibly getting a pet in recent months, but as you know I am really not into getting a dog or a cat as they are such a massive responsibility. Like having children and I never even did that one. I set the old grey matter into motion though, read up on several different types of pets and lo and behold actually decided on one that I thought that I would really be into. Actually, one turns out to be two as I did not want them to get lonely. I toddled off into our little town and into the ‘Giant’ pet shop (it is still here through thick and thin, remember how we spent our hard up days years ago?) and returned home a couple of hours later with a couple of rats! They were accompanied with a cage, a wheel, various other toys and other ratty paraphernalia that I was talked into buying by the rather pretty, polite and professional young lady who was serving me. She also has four rats herself and so I got some useful free advice too.
I remember years ago that you kept some rats and I would not come near them for about a year because of the massive stigma attached to them (remember me saying they might ‘fly at your face’ How stupid do I feel with hindsight?). I am eating a bit of humble pie now, massive portions of it! Jesse and Clary are absolutely gorgeous; they are so friendly and highly intelligent. In the last two weeks I think that I have shut the cage door once, the first day! Since then they are just so obedient and seem to know exactly what is required or expected of them and when they have had enough they take themselves off to their home (the cage) and so I leave them to it. I remember you training yours not to pee on people. These two seemed to get that after the first day! I am sure they understand sentences!
I know that they are normally seen as nocturnal animals but all animals adjust do they not? When I get up in the morning and wander through to my kitchen to put the kettle on they know. They rouse themselves, rush into the kitchen and run straight up my pyjamas to sit on my shoulders. One on each side. They sit there then waiting for me to make the tea and breakfast. They love their tea but have to have milk and two sugars, not like mine. Wonder if I can train them to drink tea properly, black, so the tea can be tasted! You know how pedantic I am about my tea habit.
Anyway my old friend (emphasis on the old!) I shall wrap this one up for now and hope that my news will have you setting a date to come and visit, as you and Odie will be greatly received and I know that you will really love to meet my two new house guests. I am sure that there will be no problem with Odie as I remember your rats years ago got on brilliantly with a few dog visitors to your flat.
Until then my futuristic friend, all the best Michael.
P.S. You were right about those pictures of Odie. I cannot wait to meet him.
P.P.S. I cannot believe that I have not met him yet! Is it really seven years you have owned him?

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