I Was Swallowed By A Hippo

Castle life, Aga strife, slummy mummy, average wife

Hot Gossip

on January 22, 2014

One of the loveliest things about living in a small, rural setting, is the strong sense of community that is prevalent. For such a small place, there is a lot going on, which has been a great help in making us feel settled. Two events of the past week have cemented this warm, fuzzy feeling of belonging and I almost feel like a local.

erin The first was an invitation to join the Village Hall Committee as a representative of the playgroup, which meets there twice a week. Never having been much of a ‘joiner’, I reluctantly accepted on the premise that I would be sharing the tedium with my friend, who already attends the bi-monthly meetings. Relations are slightly strained between the playgroup and the rest of the committee as there seems to be a mandatory section in the minutes for bollocking us for various petty misdemeanours. Recent gripes have included:

  • The toys encroaching on the next shelf along, belonging to the badminton group who haven’t met since Miss Dunwoody’s* hip replacement in 2004.
  • The store cupboard door being left open which allegedly lets the cold air out into the hall. Which is generally arctic as they conveniently keep forgetting to put the heating on for us.
  • The toilets being left in an unsatisfactory condition. We have photographic evidence that implicates the knitting group who utilise the smaller meeting room on Fridays.

Perhaps with two of us in attendance we can kick some serious ass and show them who they’re messing with. The Vicar of Dibley meets Erin Brockovitch, if you will. Watch this space.

My second initiation test was similarly bitter-sweet. Whilst enjoying a Saturday morning in town with the girls, I received a text from my husband informing me that I was the subject of some intriguing village gossip. Initially I was beside myself with excitement and the feeling that I must truly belong if people are bothering to spread rumours about me. This was short-lived as I digested the content of the rumour which was this: someone in the village asked Gladys* who checked with Agnes* who in turn asked for confirmation from Morwenna*, if I was PREGNANT! I’m not proud of the string of expletives that erupted from my mouth in front of the children, in the busy play park, but I was incensed. I haven’t touched carbohydrate since January 2nd** and have actually managed to shift about 4lb. I’m really hoping it was my unflattering puffy winter jacket that fuelled this idle speculation. Apart from anything else, there is no WAY I would jeopardise the opportunity to drown my sorrows in Sauvignon Blanc on my fortieth birthday in May.

Still, it could have been a lot worse. Helen* from up the glen was the victim of mistaken identity and was wrongly outed as passing away on Christmas Day. Peggy* in the shop got a dreadful shock when Helen innocently popped in for a pint of milk a few days later.

I do love rural living.

*all names have been changed to prevent my 10 readers identifying any individuals.
**notwithstanding wine, baileys, left-over crimbo chocolates and the odd fish finger.


9 responses to “Hot Gossip

  1. I love this piece. I also joined the village hall committee as a play group rep. Most of them are no longer speaking to me and have relegated me to the “dead to us” section of their People’s Friend Diary. *weeping*

    • mrsmachall says:

      Luckily my FiL is also on the committee so he could be an important ally. Unless I embarrass him to the point of disownment with my militant rants about toilet paper. Xxx

  2. snoogiefisk says:

    I left a town of 256 people because I couldn’t sneeze without someone putting me on the prayer list. I’m now hiding in a town of 4,000 hoping not to be noticed.

  3. Caroline says:

    Grier told everyone in Brodie’s nursery that there was a baby in my tummy. There isn’t, there is however a baby in the tummy of a friend we saw a month ago. 2 year olds, don’t trust them, does India look guilty? I’d start your interrogation there. And God bless you someone’s got to do the committee thing:)

    • mrsmachall says:

      I think you are on to something. They are obsessed with stuffing dolls up their tops at the moment. Maybe someone saw it drew completely the wrong conclusion. Or maybe, I am, in fact, just fat. X

  4. Dave says:

    If I ever move to a small town I think I will deliberately try to build a reputation as an eccentric. Build a steam-powered ornithopter in my garage or something. That way they’ll just dismiss me with “Oh that’s just Dave, he’s a little odd, you know.” 😉

  5. […] representative of the playgroup, I was prepared for the worst. Our little group has had bother with certain members of the VHC in the past and as predicted I received a scolding about lights being left on swiftly followed by another […]

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