I return - not for the first time - with an apology for my lengthy absence.
My partner seemed to enjoy her time in London, at the BBC and elsewhere, with her friends despite my absence.
Chris Evans, Moira Stuart, Lynn Bowles, Ken Bruce, Jeremy Vine, Tony Blackburn, Len Goodman, Sir Cliff Richard, Nicky from Westlife - these are just some of the "entertainment professionals" with whom my partner had least some interaction at the BBC. Alas, worthy and decent though these good folks are, none can eclipse my own celebrity. I did, at least, have a small presence at the Radio 2 HQ however - see if you can spot your very own Jasper Horatio Stafford in this (slightly out-of-focus) snap of my partner with Nicky-from-Westlife:
My partner failed to recognise the (admittedly passably attractive) young gentleman at first, and confessed this to him - he did not seem to mind. In the absence of any celeb-chat therefore, and noting the charming Irish lilt of the fellow's accent, my partner instead decided to apologise on behalf of our ancestors for the appalling cruelty meted out to the Irish by English oppressors throughout the ages, including (but not limited to) their inexcusable failure to act during the truly horrific Irish Potato Famine. She thinks he appreciated that. As for myself - I am just wondering if there will ever come a time when my partner ceases to embarrass me in such open and public ways... For goodness' sake...
Away with such trivialities - let us return to the true celebrity of this forum...
I have been a trifle unwell since my last post. I continue to be in good form and am suffering no actual pain, but the tumour in my snout is now visible to the casual observer and is no insignificant irritation to me. I wondered where the wretched thing would ultimately manifest itself and settle for the long-haul. 'Tis at the base of the right-paw side of my snout, not too far from my eye, and is approximately the size of a Robin's egg. It occasionally impedes my regular breathing, though not often to be more than an irritation, and my liveliness, appetites and energies remain undiminished. My partner has procured a supply of anti-inflammatory medication, which she feeds me through a dropper each morning (I am a good boy for my medicine-taking), and this helps to keep secondary swelling and infection to an absolute minimum.
Unfortunately, my return from the last vets' trip coincided with Peaches the cat's nightly amble back to his house from the allotments and the river, which takes him past my house. The impudent fat furry fungus squinted at me in the autumn dusk, an ugly smile spreading across his foolish face, as he registered the lump on my snout.
"Bl**dy h*ll, Jasper." he sneered, "Is your tiny brain finally trying to eat its way out of your thick head?!"
I ignored him.
"I hope it makes it out of there!" continued the abominable feline, "Then you'll be nearly as clever as your meatball-for-brains friend Ewan!"
"Funny, aren't you." I muttered, dangerously, not giving Peaches the satisfaction of provoking an angry bark, "I must look out, in case my sides should split with laughter at such wit from our greatest living comedian..."
Peaches was not so contented with this response as to hazard another cheeky insult and, on my taking a step towards him with teeth bared and a malevolent twinkle in my eye he fled, squealing (no doubt remembering our last encounter). Satisfied that the ghastly beast would not return (at least for that evening) to further insult me or my friends, I accompanied my partner into our home for a late dinner followed by a chapter of our book (we're now on Mansfield Park Volume I, Chapter XII) and then sleep.
I recall that, in my last blog entry, I promised you, dear reader, an account of my good friend Ewan's attempts to comprehend egg-based procreation and its many limitations. This will, again, have to be put off until next time, for I grow weary. Medication and the sweet insensibility of sleep await me.
Until tomorrow then;