Reasons to be cheerful – part One.

happyAh Mary dear  do come in and take a pew.  I’ve had some ideas on how to tackle those pesky winter doldrums.

That sounds fabulous darling.  We certainly need something to cheer ourselves in these dark and chilly days.


I beg your pardon dear one?

Snetter set a bonfire at the weekend.  And I must say it rather bought the child out in me.  I was dashing about the garden, looking for sticks and poking it with the rake.  Such delightful fun!

I did think I could smell something smoky about your person when you embraced me just now.  And your hair has taken on a certain life of it’s own this morning.

Oh yes, well it did get a little out of hand, the odd spark flying about and igniting the lashings of hairspray I normally use on a Sunday.  Still, Snetter managed to quash the flames with a swift swipe of the garden broom.  Left me reeling a little dear, but nothing a stiff gin couldn’t fix.


Anyway, as I say, it warmed me up, got me moving about and prevented that terrible Sunday feeling one gets of impending doom, well at least until tea time when there’s always blancmange and jelly.

Yes, I do know that feeling dear heart. The Count has been unusually down recently.  All this talk of leaving Europe has set his moustaches quite a quiver, he is plotting something and I do hope it’s not dangerous.  You remember he has quite a penchant for explosives. Indeed, as you know, one of the reasons he married me was my lineage and my relationship to Guy Fawkes.

You don’t think he’s plotting to overthrow the Government?

I certainly hope not, although what he’ll do when Trump gets here I wouldn’t like to say. Let’s hope he’s not too rash.  But I know he is very upset, particularly at the possibility that this Brexit situation could tear us apart.  I mean, he may be forced to return permanently to Italy and one wonders if I would be welcome there.  It’s all rather depressing.

Don’t worry Mary dear.  I’m sure it won’t come to that.  We must sort out some charity work soon, that always cheers one’s heart.

Yes, lovely idea.  Although one wouldn’t want to expose oneself just now.

What do you mean?

Belly dancing.  Not until I have shed my Christmas poundage dear.

But dear one, don’t you feel that it sort of adds to the wobble factor?  I know that once I get going my flesh does seem to have a mind completely of it’s own.

Agatha dear, while you may enjoy liberating your upper regions,  my cleavage has quite blossomed over the festive period.  Hence, the lingerie that I purchased from Rigby & Peller last year is somewhat snug, so the excess just has to go dear.  So I was thinking that we could perhaps do a sponsored weight loss, or fitness whatnot.  Raise some cash for charity in the process.

Do you mean one of those videos where the young and gorgeous dash about in Lycra?

Well ….

But Mary dear, it’s a long time since I’ve seen Bruno Tonioli cutting a dash, but I think I still have his contact details.  Snetter would be able to find them I’m sure.

Agatha, I don’t mean that we ask someone to do a video, but that we do one ourselves.

Mary dear that sounds spiffing, but I think it’s more likely that people would pay not to watch us leaping about in leotards.  Perhaps, instead, we could press our friends to join in with a plan to lose weight and sponsor us at the same time.

Oh yes, I do like that idea.  What kind of things could we do then?

Well, eating less cake might be one.

Heaven forbid, no, I simply cannot do without my cake.

Well, perhaps less gin.

Have you gone quite mad Agatha?

What about more exercise then.


I know.  Our dear friend Gussie Twot-Wickham has just started doing that Park Run.  She walks it of course, running is so undignified when you have a large frontage like mine, but she is certainly looking trimmer.

Well,  I think that is a splendid idea.  And all our friends can join in too.

By jingo, how delightful!  Can you imagine darling Miriam Shufflepuff joining in?

Oh Agatha dear, don’t make me laugh when I’m just about to swallow some delicious Assam….She would have to take two strides for our one, but I’m not sure it’s really her thing, you know.  She’s more of a talker than a walker.

Well, perhaps we could ask her to gather all our friends and do some organising then.

So, how much does one have to pay to join in with a Park Run?

Gussie tells me that it’s free, dear heart.

Well, how is that possible?  What about the organisers and people who are helping out on the day?

They are all volunteers.  So every Saturday a huge number of people give up their lie-ins to stand in a chilly open space to help.  It’s quite amazing when you think about it.

Indeed it is Mary.  It quite gladdens the heart to know that there are still people out there who will help others, complete strangers, for the common good.  Do you think if we went back to Egypt we could participate there?  I was thinking of going to see Binkie again, just to see him one very last time (wiping away a tear)

Agatha dear, I think anything is possible.


I completely agree Mary dear.  

And just imagine all that lovely fresh air, striding out in our local park surrounded by like minded fitness enthusiasts.  It sounds terribly invigorating.  Perhaps I should ask The Count to join us.  He would benefit from some fresh air, it might help him out of his fug of frustration.

Good idea Mary.  Now, let me call Ethel.  She has prepared a delicious chocolate cake for us today.  All that talk about exercise has quite piqued my appetite.

BBC Food Website (19th March 2012)

Rhyming with Wine