Fire drama means it’s time for my annual bath

Chipper 'enjoying' his annual bath

Chipper 'enjoying' his annual bath

Friends and supporters welcome back to the White Heart in Denmead, Mick and Angie Upson after they cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats to raise money for Bethany Tiller who is in need of a bone marrow transplant
Picture Ian Hargreaves  (170741-1)

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Oooohhh, greetings Chipsters! Please forgive the heavy panting this week. I’m out of breath because I’ve been doing some much-needed spring cleaning in the kennel.

During the winter things here at Dunyelping have got, how shall I put it, a little messy and smelly.

I’m still finding a plethora of pine needles from the Christmas tree tucked, annoyingly, between the tongue and groove boards. And the ceiling is still covered in black smudges from the fire on New Year’s Eve.

The fire? Oh, didn’t I tell you? You might remember, my old bear pals Paddington and Winnie spent Christmas and new year with me. That’s why the old place is a little ‘high’ at the moment – two bears and an old mutt confined to barracks for a fortnight munching our way through jars of pickled onions and picalilli and packs of dates. Not good for the air quality.

As midnight approached on December 31, Winnie added to the atmosphere by lighting a dozen or so tea lights. Everything was going so well until... a very happy Paddington, three schooners of marmalade-infused sherry behind him, decided to light another clutch of tea lights with a taper clenched between his teeth. He tottered over and the taper set light to a pile of those needles.

We managed to put it out but not before the smoke stained the ceiling and our fur.

I needed my annual bath I can tell you and here’s a picture of that rare event for you to colour. Chip chip for now my friends. Chipper.

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