Thank you to all the bunnies sending me their email addresses, will have something to you all by the end of the week.
Right, as Promised, story of the McMillan arsonists....
I got the whole story in retrospect and 2 versions, one from mother and one from auntie so suspect the truth is a mixture of both..
Mother has sky television, the whole package apart from the filth channels (her words) as me dad used to love his sports and mother is hooked on all the CSI stuff and the food channel. Think she has a fanatsy world as the most exotic cooking mother has done to date is to once buy a jar of cook in sauce. Whatever. Anyway, last week she was watching a programme about summer entertaining with Lorraine Pascal who was doing barbecues and it must have got into mothers head as when she went shopping with auntie mary in asda, she noticed that the disposbale barbecues were on BOGOF.
So mother buys said disposable barbecues, and decides she is going to do some barbecue entertaining. Buys a variety of barbecue prepared stuff from Asda, 2 bottles of Californian blush and starts to plan her party.
Party will be Sunday afternoon and the guest list is me auntie Mary, Madge and Glenys - the one whose husband is in a nursing home and he thinks he is waiting for a bus.
Mother has never used a barbecue in her life but she tells me she got 4 breeze blocks out of the shed to stand the barbecues on, followed the instructions, lit the paper and waited for them to get hot before putting on her BOGOF chicken kebabs (seasoned with lemon and black pepper as they sounded most normal and madge has a problem with anything spicy)
So, guests arrive, wine uncorked and kebabs sizzling away. There they all ate sitting round patio table drinking their Californian blush, eating their chicken and salad and having a jolly good time, but it is turning cool and the wind is getting up so they decide to retreat indoors. Barbecues still full of white ash and some charcoal and morher concerned that as it burns down it will blow all over and make a right mess of the patio window.
Madge suggests a jug of water but mother says that will make a right puther and get on their chests. Auntie (mothers version) then suggest that mother moves barbecues into greenhouse and let them die out naturally. Now at this point I need to explain about the greenhouse becasue we are actually doing the term 'greenhouse' a bit of a dis-service.
My dad was not a handy man but he thoguht he was. Their house has a number of outbuildings, all constructed of left-overs and all should be condemned. Mother has an Anderson shelter.... Anyway the greenhouse consists of 4 or 5 rows of mis-matched bricks, the old kitchen window, the old bathroom window (frosted) the old back door and the back wall of the asbestos garage. The roof is made of sheets of corrugated plastic and the floor is made of crazy paving in other words all sorts of odds amd ends me dad stuck together with cement. But give him his due, he produced the most wonderful tomatoes. Dad has been dead 5 years now but mother still has the Anderson shelter (garden implements and the old boiler) the asbestos garage as it can't be dismantled without considerable expense because it is asbestos, the greenhouse which lives a symbiotic life with the garage in holding each other up at an angle, the dog kennel which also relies on asbestos garage as its 4th wall and 2 sides of the old bath boxing, 2 wonky sheds and a treehouse with no floor. You get the idea.
So off mother goes and lifts one disposable barbecu at a time on a garden spade and takes them into greenhouse, and places them on floor to die a gentle death. Not quite it turns out. Dad used to have a paraffin stove in there to keep the tomatoes warm on cold nights. now although the stove has not been used for years, dad must have slopped a fair bit of parrafin about in his time.
Mother closes greenhouse door and they retire into house to watch Mamma Mia for the umpteenth time fuelled by 2 bottles of Californian blush and a belly full of kebabs. Well, they just got to singing Money money' when auntie mary says she can smell smoke..... Is mother sure there was nothing to catch fire in greenhouse? Out they all troop to see flames coming through roof and foul smelling smoke... madge goes to ring fire brigade but is stopped by Glenys who says that fire brigade will tell social services and seeing as they are all tipsy and over 80, it won't look good that mother has put lighted barbecues into a greenhouse with a paraffin heater and closed door. Mother ( auntie Marys versioon) gets hysterical. Madge says if she doesn't ring fire brigade, one of the neighbours will. Auntie Mary then goes and gets hosepipe, always hooked up as me mother has dozens of bedding plants and pots and no hose pipe ban, and says she will put fire out.
Mother (her version) grapples hose pipe of auntie mary and says she is going to make a right mess spraying muck everywhere and its bound to go out on its own soon as asbestos is fireproof. Then a man and his dog turn up. He was walking past and noticed the smoke and could hear a lot of ladies shouting.... Madge is still insisting on fire brigade, Glenys is saying they will put mother in a home as being incompetent (auntie marys version) and man says it looks worse than it is, Give him the hose pipe.
Mother doesn't' say anything about potential mess he may make (auntie marys version) And all your auntie mary can do (mothers version) is tell everyone she would have preferred fish and chips and stroke the bloody dog.
Man puts fire out and mother offers him a drink but he says he can't stop as he was only out taking Jimmy for his nightly and his wife will wonder where he has got to. Mother is grateful.
This all happened last Sunday. We went away in caravan on Monday and its only when i rang mother on Tuesday that i Got told all this. (mother won't ring my mobile as she fears she will get radiated, and heres her only daughter about to get zapped to eternity for the next 4 weeks)
I then rang auntie for her version. She said she never wanted a barbecue and her chicken tasted of smoke but he was ever such a nice man and the dog never barked once.
They are okay. Roof of greenhouse has gone but rest of it still stands albeit it very blackened. Mother tells me she bets that is why the barbecues were BOGOFs, becasue they were dangerous. I let it go......