Laughed out loud on the way back from viewing a property this evening. Then had to try and explain - in Spanish - to Toni, our newest favourite estate agent - about 'Cold Comfort Farm'. In case you haven't read it, it's a novel by Stella Gibbons that I can recommend most highly if you enjoy parody of any sort. I couldn't possibly provide you with the plot here as it's just far too complicated - and all the funnier for it - but Wikipedia does a good job of not making it sound silly, providing a rather sensible explanation as to where it all came from..and went to.
I always loved this book and know I have met many characters from it in my life thus far!
Today, Toni and I were met by a character with big whiskers running the width of his face and an accent so thick I struggled to catch a word. Let's call him Amos or Urk; he led us along 2km of potholed dirt track before yelling at Toni to turn left at the almond tree. A large black dog barked furiously on a short lead - he'd worn a deep circle of earth away all around him - and we got out of the car and entered his farm. Which was lovely, in a ramshackle sort of way. I was strangely too intimidated to take photos...not sure why...and unless I go back, I will never be able to remember the layout.
What I do remember is a door rattling closed as we entered the farmhouse and Toni and I eyed each other quizzically. Amos/Urk explained that was one of his brothers in the shower - obviously wasn't expecting us. (Or was he?!) There were at least six bedrooms in the house and Amos/Urk informed us who slept in which room - turns out there were eight brothers!! As we came downstairs again, youngest brother was out of the bathroom and ...let's call him Seth..was lurking moodily by the fireplace. He didn't speak to us.
(This is Rufus Sewell as Seth in the BBC TV series..)
I tried to ask Toni whether all the brothers wanted to sell the farm, or just Amos/Urk but her English wasn't good enough and I didn't want to ask in Spanish in case I offended Amos/Urk or even Seth. We politely went into each of the animal sheds and the place where Amos/Urk hung his chorizos...
But even though she's an estate agent, Toni made it clear that there was nothing to be gained by hanging around longer than necessary - and so we made good our escape before any other brothers should emerge. Not that we said that to each other, of course.
And as she drove off at speed over the potholes, that's when I thought of Cold Comfort Farm and started giggling. I hadn't thought to look in the woodshed, thank goodness!