JULY 2017

After staying up well past his bedtime last night, Wilson has just finished the next instalment of your free 2017 calendar: JULY 2017.

The picture shows him being very brave on the Isle of Wight – not on the holiday with his friend Dennis (which by all accounts was a bit of a disaster) but when he went there with me a year or so ago.



The whole family had so many questions about Wilson's holiday with Dennis that he assembled everyone in the living room to tell them about it.

First he said that he just missed the IoW Festival – he should have taken his tent – so no, sadly he did not see Rod Stewart. Or The Undertones. Nor Barry Gibb. (Unsurprising, as Barry Gibb was at Glastonbury, not IoW!)

Polly asked whether he'd happened to see any sign of Uncle Zoltan on Wight Island, and W said he had not. 

There followed a barrage of questions from his excited family. 

W held up his paw for silence and admitted that he'd spent the entire holiday indoors with Dennis watching old VHS tapes of County Cricket Matches on a black-and-white tv, while drinking Earl Grey tea with no milk... but with plenty of tea-leaves floating around in the cup. 

A shocked Antony asked, 'What – so you didn't go out at all? In the hottest week in living memory?'

'We went out just once,' W replied, adding, 'I've got a photo here somewhere...'



While Wilson was away I hired a Skip [Dumpster] so I could sort out some of my rubbish. It's on the front drive, so it's pretty difficult to miss. Wilson did not miss it.

As soon as the car had stopped he jumped out and dashed over, fished out an old amplifier to stand on and began rooting through the contents looking for 'exhibits' for his 'museum'.

I knew I should have had it collected before W returned – I know from past experience that everything except the used tea bags and coffee capsules will be retrieved, cleaned and exhibited in the 'Wilson Vermilingua Museum of Old Stuff and a Robot'.

'Why don't you come inside to say hello to everyone?' I asked, 'Have a nice chocolate milkshake and some cookies? The skip will still be there tomorrow.'

Reluctantly he climbed down and we went indoors...



On the drive home, Wilson explained that, contrary to the title of the article he'd been reading in New Scientist, Reality is not so much Real as surreal.

Grasping the existential nettle which I knew lay at the root of this discussion, I asked him, 'So, do you believe you're real or not?'

'Oh, I'm Real!' he replied, confidently. 

I relaxed, hoping that another Crisis had been averted... but he continued, 'So long as I'm being observed, anyway – we mustn't forget that the Copenhagen Interpretation is still the Standard Model. You must look at me constantly to ensure I don't wink out of existence.'

I glanced across at him, but he shrieked, 'Watch the road, New Dad – I'm too young to die!'

Trying desperately to change the subject, I asked, 'So how was your holiday?'

Wilson held up a massive and ancient book entitled Modern Etiquette for Modern Anteaters, saying, 'Dennis gave me this. He said my manners were "not incapable of improvement" in some departments.'

My hackles rose a little at this, as I believe his manners to be impeccable (for an anteater) but I continued to ask about what he'd been up to.

He seemed uncharacteristically reticent in his answers...



I arrived at the station a few minutes late, and I found Wilson sitting on the platform waiting for me with his cases, engrossed in a copy of New Scientist Magazine.

Glancing at the cover, I saw that the featured article was, REALITY IS REAL – we've just been looking for it in the wrong place and my spirits sank a little at the thought of Wilson suffering another Crisis Of Reality.

Anyway, he seemed as pleased to see me as I was to see him, and gathering up his cases we headed back to the car.



I've just received a call from Wilson (he borrowed one of the zoo keepers' phones) saying that he'll be coming home tomorrow, and asking me to meet him at London Road Station!

I'll be glad when he's safely home again – with just me, Diesel the Goldfish and all W's stuffed toys, the house is just too quiet without him...


If you were listening to BBC Radio 5 Live's 5 Live Breakfast at around 8:20 this morning, you probably heard Wilson's name mentioned! 

I hope he heard it too... although Dennis is probably more of a BBC Radio Four listener...



As the temperature soars to an almost-unprecedented 32ΒΊC (90ΒΊF) I hope Wilson is wearing his sun hat and putting some Factor 50 on the end of his sniffer. 

I expect the zoo keepers will take care of that, won't they?

The house is very quiet with just me, Diesel the goldfish and dozens of stuffed toys — I'll be glad when Wilson returns home...




Yesterday the postman brought me a letter addressed to:

     New Dad
     New Dad's House
     Europe (for the time being)
     The World
     The Milky Way Galaxy


The use of the title 'New Dad' was a bit of a clue, and as expected it turned out to be a Father's Day communication from Wilson.



I've still not heard from Wilson, so I'm assuming that everything's okay.

Here, though, is an update on his Strawberry Farm.

I've been watering his plants every day, Dave the Pig has been guarding them every night and the weather has been lovely – and here are the early fruits of our labours...

I suspect that these may not actually be the first strawberries – it's more than likely that the earliest crop was used by W for 'taste-testing'!

Dave and I have had one each (not a word to Wilson!) and I can confirm that they are delicious. 

10/10 for flavour and succulence, 8/10 for size. πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“



The trains from Uckfield don't connect with Portsmouth, so I've driven Wilson to London Road Station, just outside Brighton, from where he will catch a train into Brighton and hence to Portsmouth.

From there he will board the Isle of Wight Ferry.

I don't know whether the zoo where Dennis lives has Wi-Fi — if not I guess I shan't hear from Wilson until he phones to be collected from the station on his return. 

He'll only be away for a few days, but I know from experience how very quiet and empty the house feels without him... πŸ˜•



Wilson is busy packing everything he can think of in preparation for his holiday with Dennis on the Isle of Wight.

He'll only be away for a few days – I can't believe he'll have time to use half the stuff he plans on taking with him...



This morning Wilson received a letter from Dennis – the Giant Anteater who lives on the Isle of Wight – inviting him over to stay for a few days.

Wilson has just RSVP'd to Dennis, saying that he'd be delighted to visit with him, and enquiring whether he should bring any Formal Attire* with him, as he knows Dennis likes to change for Dinner. 

Dennis is not only pretty posh, he's also a Role Model for Wilson – when he comes back we'll probably have to start using butter knives and jam spoons. Doilies and antimacassars. Keep our elbows off the dining table...

W was mortified at having to send his reply in a brown envelope, but I assured him that if Dennis was any sort of friend, he would understand. 

When he took his letter to the post box round the corner, he was very surprised by the poster he saw taped to its side...

* His black bow-tie



This morning Wilson was determined to do his duty as a British Citizen and cast his vote in the General Election.

In spite of his being well under 18 – and an anteater – he told me he was even willing to forego his liberty in the pursuit of exercising his Democratic Right to Vote. 

'If I don't cast my vote,' he told me earnestly, 'we might get stuck with some mendacious dummy like President Trump!'

'If they lock me up,' he continued, 'they lock me up – it is what it is! I shall go forward in the spirit of the famous Ms Emily Pankhurst!'

Accordingly he accompanied me to the Voting Station, clutching his home-made Voting Card in his paw, ready to argue his case with anyone who tried to prevent him exercising his suffrage.

As we arrived, he proclaimed loudly to a surprised group of voters in the car park, 'I am here, not because I am a  law-breaker; I am here in my effort to become a law-maker!'

However, once he saw the policeman outside the entrance to the Polling Station, his bravado deserted him.

I can sympathise with him – I feel just the same if a police car is following me, even though I'm doing well under the speed limit! πŸ˜•

You've got until 10pm to cast your vote! But don't leave it too late – there might be a queue!



Wilson noticed that the bench at the top of Mallard Drive has been transformed from what previously resembled a building site into what now looks like a lovely area to sit and relax.

Now he has told everyone that he's organising a 'Picnic At Chestnut Ridge' which is what the area is apparently called.

Everybody was very excited, and they all set off together – apart from the immobile sTone Brothers, who I agreed to take round later in the car.

When I dropped them off, I found Wilson almost engulfed in flames as he tried to brew a pot of Ant Coffee. 

He said it was a temporary inconvenience and everything was under control.

I hope he's right, because once the coffee is done he intends to cook his signature dish, Ant Lasagna. I've never seen a lasagna cooked on a paraffin stove before, and I fear it may be beyond his abilities. 

I wished everyone good luck, and told Wilson I would pop home and bring him a fire extinguisher, just in case.

I sensed that Antony was uneasy about the picnic. I asked him what was the matter, and he whispered, 'I can't help comparing this to  the classic movie Picnic At Hanging Rock – I'm just waiting for the other children to disappear...'



Last night we all stayed up well past Wilson's bedtime to watch Ariana Grande's wonderful One Love Manchester concert on tv.

This morning I heard that over £2,000,000 – $2.6M or €2.3M – had been raised by the concert to help the bereaved and injured from the Manchester bombing. 

Billi got a bit overexcited at the end when Liam Gallagher appeared, although she was disappointed that his brother Noel hadn't turned up too. As she said, 'If Mr Robbie can sing alongside TakeThat, I think that's the least Mr Noel could have done...'

If you like, you can still contribute to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund by clicking:



Following last year's Pick-Your-Own Tomato Farm debacle, Wilson has decided to start small with this year's new venture: PICK-YOUR-OWN STRAWBERRIES.

Consequently he has planted only two baskets of strawberry plants so he can calculate Yield per Hectare ratios, EU Subsidy Rates etc and decide how much of the garden to set aside for strawberry cultivation.

I hope he leaves a tiny corner for me to sit in the shade and read...

Polly and Billi The Bees have been entrusted with the responsibility of Pollinating the strawberry flowers, while Dave The Pig has been assigned to Guard Duty, commencing as soon as the fruit starts to ripen.

Dave is extremely proud to have been entrusted with what he calls 'this vital task'!



Wilson is re-thinking his plan to stand for Parliament on the grounds that it looks like entirely too much work. 

Also he'd have to travel up to the House of Commons occasionally (in order to claim his expenses) and the Southern-operated trains from Uckfield are, as he rightly says, 'Utter, total rubbish!' 

In any case, Entrepreneurship is in his blood, and he still thinks his future lies in Musical Theatre.

Accordingly, he has taken Antony and Tiny Toy into Uckfield to show them something at the bus station.

He says it's to remind them what they're all working towards, and to stop them getting sidetracked by distractions such as football.

He says that they must both keep their eyes firmly focussed on the prize: a stunning production of Antsy Malone – The Musical.



Wilson, having been very busy with one thing and another (mostly writing Antsy Malone; The Musical) has only just noticed that a General Election is imminent! 

I went for a stroll this morning and came across Wilson, accompanied by The Bees, in front of Bridge Cottage in the Town Centre. Wilson was standing on a box, apparently addressing an invisible audience.

Wandering up to him, I enquired, 'What's up, Matey?'

'I am on the Hustings – whatever they may be,' he replied, 'Electioneering!'

'What, you're standing for election?' I asked, incredulously – 'What's your platform?'

'Well, I'm using this box as a platform at the moment, but once Party Donations start to roll in I hope to get a proper Podium!'

Billi, the only politically-aware person here, whispered to him, 'He means what's in your manifesto!'

'Oh,' he announced, confidently, 'My Manifesto is embargoed until after I've written it. But I can tell you that it will be Good! Very Good! It will be Strong and Stable, unlike this platform, and it will be For The Many, Not The Few! It will Change Britain's Future – for anteaters, anyway.'

If he were to stand, I imagine his Manifesto would be not dissimilar to Screaming Lord Sutch's Monster Raving Loony Party's.

But more ant-centric.



Hello, we're Polly and Billi The Bees, and this is our Guest Blog.

Wilson is in the house listening to his New Dad tell him about 1967, the Summer of Love, with Sgt Pepper playing on repeat in the background. They're both wearing Kaftans, and bells round their necks, which is a bit unnerving!

However, since this is the first day of Meteorological Summer, we are in our little flower garden with our children, planting bee-friendly flowers and herbs. It's great fun – perhaps you should try it!

We've just heard The Beatles' song She's Leaving Home which sadly reminds us of poor Uncle Zoltan, who disappeared earlier this year. If you see him or have any information about him, please telephone us at Wilson's New Dad's House. 

Also, it's probably safest if you don't approach him...

Anyway, we've been The Bees, and we'll see you all next month – until then, BEEEEEEE GOOD! 



JUNE 2017

By the narrowest of margins, late last night Wilson finally finished his Commemorative June 2017 calendar page.

It celebrates the 50th Anniversary tomorrow of the publication of The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on 1 June 1967.

Honestly, while it doesn't mean a lot to W or his family, I can still remember exactly where I was when I first listened to this iconoclastic album. The Beatles' popularity was at a very low ebb — then Sgt Pepper made them immortal...

Tomorrow it is The Bees' turn to blog — they say you mustn't miss it!