Friday, 11 May 2018

Say hello to our new in-house Agony Aunt…

Margery Orpington-Smythe at your service!

Ever mindful of wanting to give something back to the local community, we now have our very own resident Agony Aunt in post: say hello to Margery Orpington-Smythe.

Having just returned from an almost sell-out tour of two South Oxfordshire community halls, we’re pleased to announce that Margery’s at last bringing her coveted counsel online, ready to help our clients and readers address their everyday dilemmas and travails.

And with a reputation cobbled together around none of the qualities you’d expect from a half-decent Agony Aunt, she’s never short of some good old misplaced advice and opinions – all based on personal experience, of course (and what she imagines her experience might have been otherwise).

So, whatever you need to know and no matter what’s on your mind – whether it’s finance-related or otherwise, just ask Marge…

Here’s one to get us started:

Dear Marge,

After one of the hottest early May Bank Holidays ever, I’m now completely out of sorts. Not only am I concerned that the village has developed its own microclimate due to global warming, my dahlias have gone into overdrive, the cat refuses to vacate the bidet, and my G&Ts won’t stay chilled long enough for me to Instagram them. I’m at my wit’s end. Please help.

Yours, Perturbed and Desperate. (East Hendred)

Dear Perturbed and Desperate,

My, my. How awful for you. Luckily, I can completely empathise.

It reminds me of the summer of ’76 when our village too experienced unseasonably premature sunshine. If we’d heard of it, we also would have put it down to global warming. We hadn’t though, so we didn’t. Yet that was the very least of our problems.

Around that same period, I recall that our garden hedge maze grew so wild that a local tax inspector became lost in it for 3 whole weeks. Thankfully, there was an upside. It could have been a fortnight.

Our cats (Spreadsheet and Debit) were similarly out of sorts due to the heat. However, instead of being forced to seek a place of cool refuge in the way you describe, they were plagued with the biggest furballs I’d ever seen. At one point, I thought we had an infestation of extremely idle guinea pigs all over the house.

And, as for keeping one’s drinks cool, that remains a perennial problem. My advice would be to forget about the need for posy snapshots and just drink it while you can. If it’s still not staying cool for long enough, then just top it up. That always works for me.

Or just photoshop your G&T. Everybody does it and no one will know. Besides, when I was younger, it would take ages to take and develop a photograph, so it was much easier to instead write about whatever it was you wanted to capture by way of letter. Quaint, I know but oh, so satisfying! (By the way, if you think chilled tipples are a challenge, you should try keeping a Baked Alaska at the right temperature. There have been innumerable instances in our house when it’s resulted in marital disharmony and many a time nearly caused me to resort to simply being called Ms Smythe again.)

Anyway, I digress.

In summary, consider taking a social media holiday, build a walk-in refrigerator in which to enjoy your summer aperitifs, and keep your bathroom door shut. If that doesn’t work, remove the cat flap from it altogether.

The global warming issue is slightly trickier. One option is to move village. Or, if you don’t fancy that, just stay in the UK and wait until June.

Oh, and find yourself a nice accountant. They’re not all listless and boring.

Helpfully yours, Marge.

Until next month...