Thursday, November 07, 2013

Guinea pig heaven is a place on earth

OK. That's the whizzes, bangs and flashes out of the way for another year.

All that's left of the money you spent on fireworks is a sooty cardboard box in the garden and the sticks from a few spent rockets rattling around on the garage roof.

The lovingly carved pumpkins are turning to mush on the front doorstep, the trick or treat sweeties have coalesced into a sticky mess on the kids' bedroom floor.

And even more tellingly, style icon Samantha Cameron, who graced a number of newspaper front pages earlier this week all done up for Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, has reverted to a wardrobe in sensible shades of autumnal russet, cumulonimbus grey and crepuscular blue.

Probably. This blogger's grasp of what's in and out, fashion-wise, is shaky to say the least.

Everything, in other words, is back to normal. It's cold, it's raining and it's six weeks till Christmas. Or is it seven? In many ways the latter would be far, far preferable.

So what are we going to do to cheer ourselves up?

Twitter seems a good place to start. There's always something heart-warming on Twitter.

Take the tale, repeated and retweeted ad nauseam, of Sooty the randy guinea pig.

Sooty, from Pontypridd, tunnelled out of his cage, broke into another enclosure occupied by 24 female guinea pigs, had his wicked way with them and was found the next day exhausted but highly chuffed with his efforts.

This, according to Twitter, is the best story about a guinea pig you'll ever read in your entire life.

Maybe so, but no one seems to be worried that it's old news, and that South Wales's very own cavy Casanova made his great escape way back in the year 2000.

Or that Sooty, and his 43 direct offspring, and probably all his grand-piglets too, have long since departed to guinea pig Heaven.

Which brings us in a roundabout way to broccoli: one of those vegetables, along with sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale, on our eat-it-to-set-a-good-example-never-mind-if-you-like-or-not list.

The only possible excuse for avoiding it, up to now, has been the fact that it contains high levels of fructose, which in susceptible individuals can cause distressing symptoms of a gastric nature.

That one's unlikely to wash at Dixon Towers, but there is a small chink of light on the ever-more-wintry horizon: our very own guinea pig Heaven, right here on earth.

Because living at the back of the house are three of the cutest cavies ever to escape a Peruvian cooking pot. (No risk of any offspring – the vet put a stop to any Valley-style shenanigans round our house).

And as Mrs D let slip just the other day, they are very partial to a stalk or two of broccoli.

So here's the plan. Next time the evil brassica pops up on the menu, hide it away while it's still raw.

Make a small hole in the side of the guinea pig cage, paint some convincing-looking tracks from there to the kitchen, and say, when asked if we have any broccoli: "We did have, but the guinea pigs ate it."

Sooty would have been proud.

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