Mole has told Polly that thinks he might like a pair of glasses Like Billi's, on account of hardly being able to see anything at all. 

Once he'd tried Billi's on he said he thinks they may help him look for Uncle Z. 

Even though the investigation into Uncle Z's disappearance has now been officially declared a Cold Case, he says it might be a good idea to keep looking on a casual basis, 'Just in case'.

Polly agreed, and gave him her CSI baseball cap, declaring him to be an Official Bounty Hunter.

Wilson is a tiny bit miffed that he didn't get a CSI Baseball Cap too, but he made off with his Cold Case Series 1 Box Set and special marker for writing on glass before anyone changed their minds about them.

Johnson Major is finding it quite a struggle to wipe the Evidence Wall clean — I'm afraid there may be the wrong sort of Incident if that glass Evidence Wall falls over and crushes someone...



Today is International Happiness Day* but the atmosphere Chez Wilson would be more suited to International Melancholy Day, for it is now one month since Uncle Zoltan disappeared without trace.

Billi fears Uncle Zoltan may have travelled to the fabled 'Hornets' Graveyard' — where elderly hornets go to die. Without a doubt, Uncle Z is elderly (he's 56, which for a hornet is beyond ancient) so this seems a tragic but plausible explanation.

The Bees have somehow obtained tiny CSI baseball caps (which make it quite difficult for them to see) but even with these new investigative accessories, I fear this inquiry is now a Cold Case.

Wilson asked Polly whether, since Uncle Z was now officially a Lost Cause, he could borrow the Without A Trace box-set. Oh, and the special pen for writing on glass.

Telling me about yesterday's picnic, he said it went pretty well, although Antony kept making sinister remarks about what happened in the film, Picnic At Hanging Rock which rather spoiled TT's appetite...

* I can only wonder who's idea it was to schedule International Happiness Day on a Monday...



I think the constant talk of Uncle Z's disappearance is getting Wilson down, so this morning he announced that he was going out for a picnic, and anyone who wanted to join him was welcome.

At the top of Mallard Drive, next to the Highlands roundabout, there is an area apparently called Chestnut Ridge, where some landscaping work seems to have been abandoned half-way through. 

At the moment it looks a bit of an eyesore, but Wilson reasoned that, if whoever is responsible for it saw people using it and enjoying themselves there, it would encourage them to get the work finished.

Accordingly, he packed his picnic basket with ant-based comestibles and headed off — accompanied by Antony, Tiny Toy, Dave the Pig, Neil the Sloth and Mole the Mole.

I didn't go because I think it's still a bit cold for alfresco dining... and I'm really trying to reduce my ant consumption. To zero. 😕



Now the Bees have acknowledged that they can expect no help from the Authorities in tracking down their missing relative, they have erected their glass Evidence Wall — converting the dining room into what we must apparently now refer to as The Incident Room.

Lacking the facilities for Tarsal Pad-printing and DNA analysis, their only technical aids are Wilson's magnifying glass, a marker for writing on their Evidence Wall and a box set of Without A Trace (Season 1) for reference and training purposes.

Wilson popped in to see what was occurring, but complained that he couldn't read the Bees' writing on the Evidence Wall because it looked 'all sort of backwards'...



Polly has telephoned Missing Persons to report Uncle Zoltan missing. 

She stood at one end of the phone shouting into the mouthpiece, while Billi sat listening by the earpiece, conveying the operator's answers back to Polly.

At first the operator said the line was too bad — 'all sort of buzzy' — but with perseverance Polly finally made herself understood.

After she had been given Uncle Z's description, the operator said, 'If this is a problem with Hornets, I really think you want Rentokil!' and hung up! 

So, it looks like we're on our own in our mission to locate the absent Uncle...



Wilson has somehow learned that this year Angel Delight* turns 50 years old — so naturally he has organised an Angel Delight party.

Once he had tasted it, he announced that Angel Delight is definitely the way forward, Dessert-wise, and he's resolved to write to Premier Foods to compliment them on this outstanding product. 

And to suggest they make an Ant Flavour version.

The party passed off smoothly, apart from an unfortunate incident when Tiny Toy accidentally(?) fell into the bowl. He was rescued safely, though the level in the dish had fallen a few millimeters by the  time he emerged from the sticky pudding...

Once the bowl was licked clean, W remarked that the Bees (who were unable to attend due to the search for Uncle Z) are acting like Thelma and Louise. 

I think he means Cagney and Lacey...

* Angel Delight has been voted the nation's favourite childhood dish — unfortunately I don't think you can buy it outside the UK. ☹️



As the evening drew in and darkness fell, both the sTone brothers looked increasingly morose as they stoically guarded the scene of Uncle Z's last sighting. 

sTony remarked that he had once considered a career in Law Enforcement, but he had imagined it would be more exciting than standing motionless with a length of Crime Tape tied round his handle — altogether more Harry Bosch, less Traffic Cone...



Once the Witness Statements were completed, the Bees sealed off the Hedgehog Gate with Scene Of Crime tape, admonishing the sTone Brothers not to let anyone 'Compromise the scene' before the Forensic Examination was completed.

They then headed off into the village to buy a sheet of glass to use as their Evidence Wall — they certainly take it all in when they watch CSI or re-runs of The Bill!



Taking Wilson's advice, the Bees headed out into the garden to interview any possible Eye Witnesses to Uncle Zoltan's disappearance. 

First on their list were the sTone Brothers.

When questioned, sTony admitted that sToneye had seen Uncle Z leaving through a hole in the fence, carrying a small bundle tied in a red spotted handkerchief hanging from a stick over his shoulder — they hadn't mentioned it before because neither of them was aware of Uncle Z's disappearance.

Billi noted this down carefully in a notebook, while Polly searched in the mud for tarsal pad prints, using a magnifying glass loaned to her by Wilson.



Wilson is in the kitchen replenishing his supplies of Very Special Old Reserve Ant Wine

As a concession to the Bees, he has agreed to donate a (tiny and unspecified) portion of the proceeds of the sales* of his Very Special Old Reserve Ant Wine to fund a reward for the safe return of Uncle Zoltan, of whom there is still no news.

W finds Polly's and Billi's 'constant harping' about Uncle Z a bit off-putting, so to divest himself of their company he has said that, as a Professional Consulting Detective, his advice would be to collect some witness statements.

The Bees thanked him for his suggestion and left, leaving Wilson to get on with decanting his Ant Vinegar into new bottles.

* I say 'sales' but who in their right mind would buy this stuff? After it has 'matured' for a couple of days, Wilson always ends up drinking it himself...



Driving home from the Nissan Dealership, Wilson mused, 'I wonder whether there'd be any discount for the Ant King of Uckfield 2017?' 

Then he proceeded to list, in great detail, the many ways in which the Juke surpassed our ageing Ford in wonderfulness and its abundance of gadgets.

I pointed out that the trade-in value of our current car would be massively reduced by the fact that it had signwriting all over it. 

W countered this by saying it would be the perfect vehicle for someone who wanted to start a coffee delivery service.

I would have thought the chances of finding such a person and persuading him or her to buy a second-hand car would be vanishingly small, but W assured me that you can sell almost anything on eBay...



Once Wilson had settled down with the first of his many cups of complementary coffee, he asked the salesman countless probing questions about the Juke — questions which he thought I might have been afraid to ask.

Questions such as:
     Is it electric?
     Is it self-driving?
     Has it got an Ejector Seat?
     Rocket Launchers?
     An Invisibility Cloak?
and perhaps most important of all,
     Will this car make my New Dad happy?



We made our way over to the showroom and introduced ourselves to the salesman, who asked whether we'd like a cup of tea or coffee. 

I said I'd really like a double espresso, but when I turned to see what Wilson wanted, I found he'd left my side and was running out the door! Calling over his shoulder, he shouted: 'I'll be back in a minute! Well, not more than an hour or two, anyway. Probably.' and he was gone.

This left me in a rather embarrassing position, as I had no idea of the purpose of this meeting — but the salesman returned a moment later with my coffee, and showed me a Juke that was parked in the showroom, pointing out its beautiful lines and cleverly concealed rear doors.

After he had demonstrated the Keyless Entry system I sat in the driver's seat while he explained the automatic headlights and the all-round parking-assist cameras. I must admit, it was very impressive!

Finally Wilson returned, wearing his crown and a smile, proudly carrying his jam-jar containing a single ant.

'Did someone mention coffee? he enquired.



As we drove out to the Nissan Dealership to keep my Mystery Appointment, Wilson pointed out that a Nissan Juke would be an ideal mid-life-crisis vehicle — sporty, but safer than a Harley-Davidson VR1000 superbike.

I don't know how old W thinks I am, but my mid-life crises are all well behind me now. 

Moreover, the Juke remind W of Lightning McQueen in the Pixar movie Cars — Ka-Chow!

Be that as it may, the Juke IS a very attractive car...



I've been wondering who might be the target demographic for Wilson's Ant Report, because I couldn't think of anyone who needed — or would be even remotely interested in — that kind of information. 

When I asked him, he gave me a withering look and sighed in the manner of someone addressing a child. Or an idiot. 

He explained, in a tone of voice that suggested he was repeating something which he had told me MANY times before, that such information is like gold dust to anteaters all over the world in the run-up to National Ant Day — which, as it happens, falls this Sunday.

So now I know!

In other news, I have received a phone call from the local NISSAN Dealership, confirming my appointment for tomorrow. 

I know absolutely nothing about this, but the young man who called sounded very nice, and as I didn't like to disappoint him I agreed to go.

Still no news of Uncle Zoltan.



To celebrate the 20th World Book Day, please accept a free copy of two of Wilson's books:

Anteaters In Space:

and Wilson Vermilingua's Big Book of Free Stuff:

You're welcome!




What with Uncle Zoltan disappearing without trace, the Bees are feeling quite low. 

So Wilson suggested that instead of writing their Blog today (which, let's face it, is often filled with quite distressing news about the imminent extinction of bees due to indiscriminate use of pesticides) they go down to the Mall and have a few goes on the Happy Bee ride, while he stays at home to man the phone in case there is news of uncle Z. 

He even gave them a big pile of £1 coins to spend on the machine, in hopes that it might cheer them up.

He's a generous lad, although I know deep down I shall find all the £1 coins missing from my loose change jar...

Billi has taken her 'Have you seen this insect?' banner with her to the Mall. 

Polly thought 'Insect' was more likely to elicit a positive response than 'Hornet' which, she admits, does have 'one or two' negative connotations...



Now I understand what an 'alternative media platform' means —  Wilson has decided to host his Ant Report on the Blog instead of on broadcast tv, since it will cost him nothing... although with a readership significantly below the 5 Million viewers Sky News had promised.

Out of idle curiosity, I asked Wilson where he was getting the data for his Ants Report, and he said he was using AI. 

'Artificial Intelligence?' I asked, greatly impressed by his resourcefulness. 

'No,' he replied, 'Anteater Intuition — it never lets me down! Well, not often, anyway...'

At least with all this going on, plus the search for Uncle Zoltan still in full swing, Wilson has been distracted from thoughts of his Winter Holiday!



Wilson has learned that sponsoring The Ant Report on Sky News would be prohibitively expensive. 

He told the young lady from the Sales Department who called him that he wanted to sponsor a 30 seconds report — not buy the entire SKY Network!

So, he has told me he will find an 'alternative media platform' to host his Ant Report.

I don't really know what that means...



Wilson has been out and about in the village this morning, putting up posters offering what he describes as 'a substantial reward' for information about Uncle Z, of whom there is still no news.

I disapprove of Wilson's fly-posting activities, but I suppose these are extenuating circumstances.

I've only just seen the posters, and I have to say I don't think the Bees would altogether approve of the wording he's used — it doesn't exactly say 'Reward for information leading to Uncle Zoltan's safe return' which is what they asked for... and personally I think the bullets-holes are just a bit gratuitous.

Still, with any luck the Bees won't see them!

Wherever you are, could you go outside and shout, 'Uncle Zoltan — please phone home as your relatives are concerned for your safety!' just in case he's somewhere near you?