Wednesday, 19 November 2008


It's so nice to be home isn't it? For the past few weeks l have spent time in my local cottage hospital and convalescence home in Much Broomfleet. My wounds seem to be heeling nicely now despite the fact that the nursing staff would try to fill me up with a variety of brightly coloured pills that were supposed to do me good! Bah! A touch of good old Solomon seal root, is just the ticket for bruises and swelling. Heaven knows what l have missed whilst l have been away, but it is nice to sit here in my deep. comfy chair with Dog at my feet, toasting my toes in front of the fire with a large steaming mug of delicious milk posset on the adjacent table.

It all happened about a month ago now, l heard a car coming down my lane, which as you know is a dead end, sometime in the early hours of a Monday. Being a good neighbourly sort, l carefully peered around the somewhat faded Sanderson peony curtains to see who on earth was creating such an ungodly din. Couldn't see a damn thing. Now, l am not afraid of the dark, coming from my time spent hiding in ditches some 60 odd years ago in France. Be prepared is my motto! Throwing on my lived-in mackintosh, gumboots and armed with my late husband's well oiled 12 bore, l purposely marched out into the night. By now, the field opposite was a mass of blazing lights whilst the sound of braying hounds unsettled Boy. 'Blurdey poachers', l muttered under my breath, those horrid little men from the towns, armed with powerful lights, riffles and dogs coming here, to my village killing everything within the light. Making sure both barrels were loaded, and l had spare cartridges in my pocket, l strode out across the lane, after making a mental note of the landrover's number plates, and letting down the 2 off side tyres, to prevent escape. Belying my age, l leaped over the gate and with my headscarf securely knotted under my chin prepared to meet the foe face to face. Carefully l raised my gun to shoulder level and released both barrels over the heads of the poachers, just enough to warn them that l meant business. Lights quickly all went out, dogs silenced, all went black.

To my embarrassment, next morning l woke up in a hospital bed with my right shoulder broken in 2 places. The doctor had asked me if l remembered anything of the previous night's events, to which l could only shake my head in bewilderment, had l perhaps fractured my scapula by not preparing for the gun's recoil? No. I had been knocked to the ground by a fully grown stag as it bounded across the field to escape the poachers bullets. Oh well, at least it escaped to rut another day, so to speak.

Do you know, l am really dreading walking up to the village shop in the morning to fetch my papers, perhaps young Morris-from-then-end-of-the-lane will collect them for me tomorrow as l really can't face those gossips fawning all over me when all l did was miss the target.

As a footnote, the police were unable to apprehend the poachers, despite the fact that the criminals vehicle was 'out of action' as they were attending a beetle drive 10 miles away.

Milk Possit

1 pint whole milk
3 fl oz white wine or sherry or to taste
a squeeze of lemon
a little sugar
pinch of ginger
pinch of nutmeg

heat the milk until it froths add the wine or sherry, strain and add lemon juice and sugar to taste, stir in ginger and nutmeg, serve hot.


Sally's Chateau said...

Mrs Elder-Berry you do seem to have some incredible adventures to tell tucked up your sleeve but what a lucky escape you had whilst endeavouring to reprimand those scoundrels.

Mrs Rhubarb said...

Oh dear what a calamity I must say! Here was I a thinking that twas only me who has been in the wars.

Grouse said...

Now, Dear......what have we told you about shooting at strange men? Could have been the Prime Minister........

Pondside said...

Good for you!!! I love to hear that women of a certain age are able to stand up for themselves...... and the underdog. Wishing you a speedy recovery.