This week’s prompt from Sue Vincent is
I’ve based my take on a recent item in the news
Planning for the next millennium
‘So Mr MacDonald, this is 14th century, you say?’ Jeremy Tintadgel enjoyed his work as a planning enforcement officer. He worked outdoors a lot, he had his own clipboard and he got to tell people what to do. It justified the pencil moustache – short back and sides combo as well as the officious manner and rather fetching tick in his left eye when about to demand a ‘restoration’.
And this one was so going to have to be ‘restored’. Jeremy hadn’t been keen when the Town and Country Planning Inspectorate introduced the new terminology: substituting ‘restorations’ for ‘pull the sodding thing down’ but he had gotten used to it now. ‘Customer care’ they called it; ‘giving the deluded scumbags false hope’ was how he saw it.
The farmer was of the monosyllabic school of conversationalists. ‘Yup. Been there since Gramps were a bairn.’
‘Right. So the fact it has been covered in a hayrick for four years was because of what exactly?”
‘It doesn’t have a roof or windows. Isn’t that where the damp problem lies?’
‘Arr. But with the hay bales the damp don’t get it, do it?’
‘And four years? That has nothing to do within the limitation period on new buildings, I suppose?’
Mr McDonald had the sort of face that launched glaciers but even his managed a modicum of hurt. ‘That’d be cheating.’
‘Indeed.’ Jeremy began to circle the folly. ‘The stones have ‘Wickes’ stamped on them.’
‘Well known builder hereabouts, that Seth Wickes. Built Ely cathedral.’
‘Right. And the ivy? It’s been glued to the walls.’
‘It’s an ‘istoric monument so I ‘ad to preserve the ancient ivy. It’s all that holds it up.’
‘Really? It takes no support from the rolled steel joists then?’
‘Decorative, them is. Come all the way from Mesopotamia.’ MacDonald scratched his bottom and added, ‘that’s near Derby.’
Jeremy let his clipboard hang by his side. ‘Mr MacDonald, I’m not going to beat about the bush. You have tried to circumvent the legal process. It will not work. This landscape will have to be restored.’
MacDonald nodded at something behind Jeremy. ‘Don’t tell me. Tell Billy Boy.’
Jeremy looked back. Trotting towards them was an enormous bull. Jeremy, whose sporting prowess extended as far as a game of darts at the Red Lion took in the beady eyes, the snarl and the super sharp horns and he excelled himself: he jumped. In moments he had scaled the wall of the folly and sat astride one of the windows. ‘Mr MacDonald, remove this weaponised wildlife.’
Macdonald patted the bull’s head and leered up at the ungainly official. ‘I think I’ll go and make us tea and we can then discuss this ‘ere ‘restoration’ properly.’
Jeremy watched him go; he knew that, for once, officialdom’s immovable object had met bovine irresistible force. He sniffed. The adrenaline had triggered a significant loosing of the bowel. While he waited, Jeremy had something else to restore: his dignity.