In which sweet FA proposes and I proclaim war on wheelie bins

From last week:  “Lizzie, darling, look we’re both in our fifties, single and childless, I think we are the perfect match.  I have something important I want to ask you ....”


I waited with girlish excitement, heart racing as the handsome Famous Actor lowered his lashes and placed a sweet and tender kiss on my ear.  He stood back slightly, delicately placing my palms in his manly hands as he outlined what was so important.
“I think we should become a couple, you know, officially dating.  I have a villa in Italy, near Lake Como.  Would you like to join me for an extended break whilst we see if we can make a go of it?”
For a moment I drowned in the pools of his coruscatingly beautiful brown eyes, set off so magnificently by his tanned complexion and silver hair.  [THIS WILL PUT A CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS OF THOSE DEDICATED FORUM POSTERS WHO THOUGHT IT WAS HUGH GRANT LAST WEEK!  HA!  THYE’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO GET IT RIGHT! ]
“Well, yes, of course George, Ringo, Mark, Peter, Paul, Matthew, Luke, John, Andrew, Simon, Thomas, Judas, Philip, Bartholomew  or whatever your name is, I’d love to come!”
The FA said he just had to finish filming a wee little movie, but that we could try out living together in Laglio in two weeks’ time.  Two weeks!   Fourteen days!  How would I cope, knowing that my life was about to change so monumentally, whilst having to continue with the mundane drudgery of mucking out the horses, herding the sheep, feeding the dogs and  whizzing up to London and back twice a week?  How, dear reader, how?
On my return flight I couldn’t get a moment’s rest, my head was buzzing and my heart throbbing with anticipation.  Sadly, a wretched officious letter from West Somerset Cider Council soon brought me down with bump.

“Dear Miss Jones.  We write to inform you that under Section 87/88 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, sub-section 94.1v3 and the Waste Collection Rules of the Council, you have breached local bye-laws on all of the following counts:
  1.  Not disposing of your black and green sacks in the appropriate wheelie bin. 
2.   Leaving empty sheep lick containers in the hedgerow. 
3.   Littering your fields with tyres.
4.   Dumping grass clippings at your gate. 
5.  Wrapping hay in black plastic sacks, some of which had come loose and been floating in the hedges, trees and pond.  Miss Jones this is a danger to local wildlife.
6.  Parking a derelict bus in your north field and daubing it with pink graffiti proclaiming “West Somerset Cider Council are the spawn of the devil.”
The penalty fee for these breaches is £1,600 and we would appreciate payment within 28 days.”
Dear god, no.  Just when I thought I was getting over the last “help me I’m down to my last brass farthing” episode and begging for donations from readers, I get hit with this!   How dare they!  Don’t they know who I am?

I poured myself a gin and went to rummage in my “emergency drawer” (you know the place where you keep 15 half dead batteries, an old USB cable, two candles in case of power cuts, 3 fuses of various ampage but none a decent 13 amp fuse, some environmentally friendly raffia, and old watches that no longer work.)
I searched in vain for a cheque I might have forgotten to cash [AS IF], or pension book sent in by a kindly reader, but all I found was an exquisite Rolex that a former lover had given me, a politician with whom I had been extremely good 'mates' but will have to discreetly and mysteriously refer to him for now simply as "MP".
I turned the trinket over and found this inscription:
           “Dear Lizzie, don't let the buggers get you down!!”