About Harbours, As Promised

When we resumed the blog this Advent, we introduced you to Rocky the Dachshund. Rocky is a tan Dachshund with a lovely white stripe down his front, and he is extremely charming. He is, in fact, Rockingham Napier, Charmer of WRENS. Alias: The Coaster Eater.

We can hear you already: Rocky would never! He is Extremely Cute! The friend in the Civil Service got there first and was more vocal.

Here’s the thing about Rocky Dachshund: He’s extremely cute and he could get away with murder. See further the coasters. What happens is that every morning, someone has their coffee. And because someone in this scenario has the memory of a goldfish, they leave the coaster on the coffee table. And along comes this very charming, very cute Coaster Eater, whose name rhymes with, let’s say Docky, and munches the cosater

Not a lot, you know. Just a little. A bite off the corner. A munch along the edges. It gives them unique shape, like. So, anyway, Docky-Maybe-Rocky munched the first coaster into pieces. We salvaged the second one. We’ve mostly been diligent about coasters three through six until this evening. Whereat the Coaster Eater cannibalised a whole coaster.

No one noticed. He popped up nice and surreptitious on one of the chairs, where he seized on the neglected coaster. Then he tok it back to his bed and ate it into a shadow of its former self. He did this nice and quietly, so no one heard him. The mess was spectacular. The Coaster Eater was extremely happy. Some, unreasonable human, might say unlawfully happy.

We now have two and three quarter coasters in this pattern, if you want to know.

It’s a nice pattern though, of the St Andrews harbour. We know the view well. Now we know it even better, because the plot twist of the evening was that we spent two hours chasing down the origins of this coaster set. And yes, yes, we have others. But everyone loves these ones. And the scenery makes them sentimental.

(And sometimes, we go to ridiculous lengths, as for instance, that time we hunted down a replacement valerian dolphin for the cat on a German-only website despite not speaking German.)

Finally, though, we found them and tried to order them. Whereat the site declared our cart empty. Three attempts later, we decided it was a fault with our tablet, so hopped over to the laptop where we type this blog. Here a new wrinkle; The algorithm refused to display the item we wanted. Round and round we went, which is how finding these coasters, no name, only keywords, took hours.

We did eventually find and replace them. Call that a satisfying end to this story. And you’d better believe we bought the things in triplicate. Do we need twelve coasters of St Andrews? No. Will the Coaster Eater gobble at least two? Almost certainly. And candidly, we can’t face a repetition of tonight. It doesn’t matter how cute Rocky, er sorry, Docky, is. It’s the next bus to Shelbourne if he tries that again.

After all that, here’s a poem about harbours. Maybe it will sell you on why someone would forgive a Dachshund like Docky his crimes. Since, you know, Rocky is much too cute to commit any.

Harbour Dawn
L.M. Montgomery

There’s a hush and stillness calm and deep,
For the waves have wooed all the winds to sleep
In the shadow of headlands bold and steep;
But some gracious spirit has taken the cup
Of the crystal sky and filled it up
With rosy wine, and in it afar
Has dissolved the pearl of the morning star.

The girdling hills with the night-mist cold
In purple raiment are hooded and stoled
And smit on the brows with fire and gold;
And in the distance the wide, white sea
Is a thing of glamor and wizardry,
With its wild heart lulled to a passing rest,
And the sunrise cradled upon its breast.

With the first red sunlight on mast and spar
A ship is sailing beyond the bar,
Bound to a land that is fair and far;
And those who wait and those who go
Are brave and hopeful, for well they know
Fortune and favor the ship shall win
That crosses the bar when the dawn comes in.

The tea? Oh, right. Let’s tell you about the tea. It’s called Tinsel Today, and we went looking for info on it to tell you what was in it. None came up, so we’re gambling and saying that it’s new this year. We’ve certainly never had it before.

It’s quite a nice herbal tea. There’s a bit of ginger in there to give it life, and what looks like the suggestion of rooibos leaves. There aren’t enough to give it the robustness of a normal rooibos, but it’s still a warm tea for a winter evening. And it comes highly recommended by your favourite Chorister at Home.


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