So, Chris and the girls were up for a few days last week, during which time the pool was paddled, the tree house climbed, the swing swunged (swang? swingled??), the Swingball whalloped, the Kerplunk kerplunked and the bingo binged. Amongst other things. (Elizabeth, aged 2 years and almost 3 months, proved spookily good at Kerplunk. Her method of speed over tactics proved most effectual.)
And we went various places and did holiday type stuff. And then they all went home.
The next day, as I was doing a bit of the housework, I said to Andy, 'Can you smell something odd in the study?' and he said, yes, he could. And we stood in the study sniffing the air and saying, 'What on earth is THAT?' (When I said there was something niffy in the woodshed, I meant the study - it's just that 'woodshed' sounded funnier than 'study' because, presumably, of the connotations with Cold Comfort Farm and Aunt Ada Doom. The woodshed smells, well, like a woodshed. Bit damp, bit woody. Not niffy.)
Anyway, because Kayleigh and Elizabeth had used the study as their bedroom during the stay we blamed the niff on them, and decided all it needed was a good airing. Well, it had been a hot few days, and Elizabeth may have hidden something away, like a bit of cheese, or a haddock, because she is a bit handy in the food hiding department. Like a squirrel.
The next morning the room smelled a bit better. There you go - it just needy a good airing! Concerns of dead rats in the attic faded from my mind. I shut the window.
But come evening time, the niff was back and then some. We stood in the study sniffing. My mind had moved from a dead rat in the attic to a dead gnu in the attic. The smell was stronger in some areas of the study than others. Now, my sense of smell is better than Andy's, so I made my way slowly towards the source of the niff, sniffing here, sniffing there, sniffing up, sniffing down. Until I got to a small table over Andy's side of the study, in the corner by the cupboard. 'Pon the table there stood Andy's rucksack. His work rucksack. The rucksack he hasn't used for 4 weeks now, because he's been off work with the rabid cat bite.
I unzipped the rucksack! I leapt backwards...
'Oh my WORD!!' said I. 'What is THAT in your rucksack?'
For yea verily I had discovered the source of the niff and, by undoing the rucksack, had unleashed its potent fug into the room. And I sort of flung the rucksack in Andy's direction, working on the premise that it was HIS niff so HE should deal with it. Off he trotted then, at high speed, to deal with the whatever it was, and I went to disinfect my olfactory system.
'So, what was it then?' said I, upon his return, because I know Andy's record of storing unusual things, like the time he kept a dead hedgehog in the saddlebag of his mum's bicycle when he was a lad. That ended well, once you add his short term memory issues into the equation.
And do you know what it was, dear reader? The source of the 'orrible niff?
An apple! A manky, niffy, 'I've been stewing in a warm rucksack for 4 weeks going mouldy' apple!! Well! Who'd of thought, eh?
And we blamed the granddaughters.
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