Mr Juicy's Mortal Remains have been brought home from the hospital, and Wilson and The Bees have 'Laid Him Out' in preparation for his funeral in a couple of days time.

Until the funeral, Mr J is 'Lying In Repose' in the dining room.

Given the circumstances of Mr J's demise, I personally think a 'Closed Casket' would have been preferable, but Wilson is adamant. (And despite what people who know me may think, I do sometimes know when to keep my opinion to myself.)

Anyway, Wilson has drawn the curtains, covered all the mirrors with black crepe, stopped the clocks (even his famous Mk2 WASTE clock), hung a black wreath on the front door and strewn straw in the road outside the house.

Right now he's on the phone to the Uckfield Examiner organising an Obituary Notice to appear in tomorrow's edition.



Last night Mr Juicy was Pronounced an ex-orange and is now, according to Wilson, living in Pasta Heaven with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, eating all the vegetarian meatballs with pasta he can manage. Possibly Torchiette, or even Radiatori, which W thinks might have been his favourites.

W told me, 'Anyone who says, "cheer up – it was just an orange!" has obviously never had an orange...' and I can see his point of view. Sort of.

He doesn't want to talk at the moment, though – he is content to sit quietly, surrounded by his closest family... and in any case, no-one knows what to say.

I'm very glad that Byron is here, to support Wilson and distract him from his loss.

To Wilson, Mr J wasn't just an orange, he was his friend, and his partner in their Ventriloquism act. A lot of W's hopes for riches and fame were tied up with his 'Talking Orange'



The ICU nurse has told Wilson that Mr Juicy's temperature is 'Ambient'. 

W doesn't know whether that's good or bad, and he doesn't like to ask as she's very busy setting up an IV Drip – I'm not certain, but I think it contains orange juice.

Once the nurse had left, a melancholy mood descended as we all sat at the bedside watching Mr J moulder. 

Wilson reached out and nudged him gently with his paw; Mr J rolled over and W said, 'Look! He moved!' but now the fading fruit is just lying motionless on his side.

After a few minutes, one of Mr J's Googly Eyes slid down his face and came to rest on the sheet...



We all trooped into the A&E Waiting Area, where we tried to pass the time by reading posters about Not Using Mobile Phones and Quitting Smoking, and leaflets about Malaria and 'Flu Shots, while we waited for Mr Juicy to be seen.

Soon a door opened and a nurse called, rather uncertainly, 'Mister... ummm, Juicy?'. 

Wilson immediately raised his paw, said, 'Yes! Yes! That's us!' and wheeled Mr J's wheelchair through the doorway into the Examination Room.

After what seemed like a very long time, Wilson emerged, alone, and announced, 'Mr J has been admitted. He's in the ICU. We can visit him in a little while.'

Byron put an arm round Wilson's shoulder and tried to comfort him, saying quietly, 'He's in the best place – I bet the doctors here know everything about fixing oranges.'



Mr Juicy's taken ill,
We're relying on the doctors' skill

Mr Juicy's condition has worsened, so at Wilson's insistence I have driven him round to the A&E Department at the Village Hospital.

W, having watched a lot of ER, House and Grey's Anatomy, expected us to be met at the door by medics shouting Medical Things; things like, 

'Coming through! Patient is one year old, unresponsive, juice pressure 90 over 60, GCS3, severe mould infection; possible PE, and BM's off the scale; I need an EtCO2 NOW! Prep the OR — STAT!'
Instead, we were asked to complete a form, directed to a waiting room and told that we would be seen 'Soon'.

Wilson grabbed a wheelchair from the Reception area and gently placed Mr J on it, then wheeled him into the Waiting Area, accompanied by Byron and The Bees.



There has been no improvement in Mr Juicy's condition — in fact his fungal infection seems to have worsened, and spread even further — and Wilson is getting very anxious.

The Bees have donned their Hallowe'en Nurses' Outfits (they never need much persuading to do that) and are ministering to the suffering satsuma as best they can.

I've tried to reassure W, but from the little I know about citrus fruit, I have to say that the prognosis is not very encouraging.

I've given him an antibiotic capsule, but Wilson says he needs a second opinion, and Mr J must be taken to the Accidebt & Emergency department immediately.

Rather than put unnecessary strain on the ambulance service, I bundled everyone into the car and we drove quickly to Uckfield's Bird-in-Eye Hospital...



Mister Juicy's feeling poorly,
But "The Show Must Go On" — surely?

Mr J's fungal infection now appears to have spread to his mouth, rendering him unable to speak properly.

I asked him to open his mouth and say 'AHHH' (Wilson squeezed his sides and without moving his lips said 'Ahhhh' himself) while I examined Mr J's oral cavity. 

I have to say that I'm afraid his infection is getting worse.

Tragically, Wilson has had to cancel his appearance at the Uckfield Empire Theatre, owing to Mr Juicy's worsening health. He phoned the Theatre Manager to apprise him of the situation, and was told the show should be cancelled forthwith, before any more tickets were sold.

This blow is going to strike Wilson very hard...



Following a great deal of thought, deliberation and strong black coffee, Wilson has composed what he hopes is an appropriate response to The Bees' Agony Uncle letter about their missing Uncle Zoltan:
❝Dear Heartbroken Bees
I feel the most important thing to consider here is your Uncle's wishes. If Uncle Zoltan 'disappeared' by running away from home and has not attempted to make contact with you, it's probably because he wants to remain hidden from normal society. Perhaps it would be best just to let him be, and mayhap in the fulness of time, he will return to the bosom of your family.
However, I would be neglecting my duty as an Agony Uncle if I didn't ask you this important question:
Are you CERTAIN you want him back? After all, let's face facts – he was a poisonous and unpleasant little person that you're probably better off without.
If you wish to employ a Consulting Detective to locate Uncle Z, I would be happy to suggest some reputable names; as for engaging a Psychic Medium, I would recommend that only if you are exceptionally gullible.
I hope you find my advice helpful and consoling,
Sincerely yours
Uncle Wilson❞

After he pressed Send, Wilson turned to me and asked, 'Do you think I did right in not saying that he's probably dead?'



W diagnoses a case of Stage Fright;
Perhaps Mr J is scared of footlights!


Wilson has put his latest Agony Uncle letter on the 'back burner' in hopes that his subconscious mind will find a balance between what he wants to say with what a more experienced Agony Uncle would advise.

To pass the time while this happens, Wilson was rehearsing his Ventriloquism Act with Mr Juicy, The Talking Orange,  when Mr J complained of feeling unwell.

On close examination, he does have a bit of a rash on his forehead.

Wilson, in his capacity as Professional Agony Uncle, has diagnosed this as Stage Fright, and has sent off to an on-line theatrical Supplies Company for a pot of Donald Trump Orange Foundation Creme.

However, having Googled his symptoms, I'm afraid that Mr Juicy's rash looks like the onset of Ringworm – I'll pop down to the Chemists later for some anti-fungal cream...



Wilson is extremely excited about his forthcoming engagement at the Uckfield Empire Theatre!

'Mister Juicy and me, we're going places!' he told me enthusiastically, 'We'll be the new Morecambe and Wise, or maybe the Millennial Chuckle Brothers!'

He was in the dining room rehearsing his act with Mr Juicy and Byron when the postman called.

'Ah!' he exclaimed, 'that will be my Contract!' but in fact it was another Agony Uncle letter bringing a poignant new moral conundrum soliciting Wilson's perceptive yet sympathetic advice.

The letter reads:

❝Dear Uncle Wilson
Several months ago our cherished Uncle Zoltan disappeared without a trace. We all miss him terribly but don't know how to proceed. We have made many public appeals and circulated his photograph, but without success.
Would you advise that we engage a Professional Consulting Detective? Or a Psychic Medium?
Yours very sincerely,
Two Heartbroken Bees❞

W frowned and regarded the missive for a moment, before remarking, 'Uncle Zoltan, eh? I shall have to give this some serious consideration. If I reply too honestly I'm liable to cause grave offence, so I need to respond with a measure of tact. Oh, and feigned compassion!'



Wilson is getting extremely excited
To see his performance, you'll all be invited


Wilson's Theatrical Agent, Antony, has negotiated a Gig for W! He is to perform his Ventriloquism Act at the old Uckfield Empire Theatre!

I thought the Empire had been pulled down years ago, but apparently not, as they've just sent round a copy of their promo poster for his approval — perhaps Fame and Riches have finally come knocking at Wilson's door! 

I must say, this is very exciting for everyone – especially, of course, Wilson and Mr Juicy!

Wilson keeps walking round in a stunned daze, repeating, 'I've snagged a Gig, New Dad! Richness and Famousness shall be Mine!' 

Mr Juicy, on the other hand, has been rendered temporarily speechless.

I hope success doesn't turn W into a Luvvie...



When we got home from the Fireworks Display it was WELL past the boys' bedtime – but they pleaded to stay up a bit longer as they had 'Important Matters' to discuss and plans to make.

I didn't see any harm in letting them stay up a little longer, so after we'd all had a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows and ants I went to bed and left them to it – whatever 'it' was.

This morning, I found them like this, sleeping soundly (if uncomfortably) on the floor in the kitchen. I covered them with blankets and left them to sleep.

Judging by the notes they've made, I fear they may be planning to open a Motor Museum...



In the past we've sometimes bought our own fireworks and let them off in the back garden, but with Byron staying with us (and me being In Loco Parentis to him) I'm unwilling to accept the extra responsibility of TWO boisterous young anteaters running round in the dark with matches and explosives. 

For the same reason I put my foot down about going to Lewes for their bonfire celebrations. They may be the biggest and oldest in the country, but there are always huge and boisterous crowds there, which isn't very anteater-friendly. 

In any case there's no way of getting to Lewes: the Police have insisted on the railway stations and car parks all being closed for the occasion in case the crowds grow too massive and get out-of-hand!

Consequently, last night we went to an organised display in the village, which was outstanding.



Everyone is obviously very excited about Firework Night tonight, so to help pass the time until nightfall I took the boys to the excellent Bentley Wildlife and Motor Museum not far from here.

Living as he does in a zoo, Byron wasn't much interested in the animals, but was fascinated by the display of vintage cars. 

Wilson liked them too, although I thought he had an introspective and preoccupied air about him... and he kept making notes about the displays.

As we drove home, there was even more whispering and giggling than usual coming from the back of the car – but I expect I'm just being paranoid...



Following a not terribly healthy breakfast of Slushies and Croissants, Wilson proudly introduced Byron to Mr Juicy the Talking Orange.

Byron, never having seen a ventriloquism act before, was spellbound, chatting happily with 'Mr J' for some time. 

Once the impromptu show was over and Mr J had been returned to his home in the fruit bowl, Byron asked whether all oranges could talk, or whether this was a special orange that Wilson had raised from a pip and trained...



Well, by the narrowest of margins we have all survived the Day of the Dead Celebrations, although there are still a few lingering hangovers.

The Día de los Muertos Cake was a great success, but The Bees have insisted that Wilson, Byron and I are not allowed to help finish it up due to the risk of diabetes. 

Apparently Moles, Piglets, Ladybirds, Stuffed Toys and, of course, Bees are all immune to diabetes, so they're eating the cake leftovers while Wilson, Byron and I gaze longingly as the succulent confectionary is consumed...



Although now an ordained minister in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Wilson was raised as a Catholic.

Consequently, Catholic practices are deeply ingrained in his psyche, and it was almost second nature for him to construct a small Day Of The Dead Shrine to his Great Great […] Grandfather, Alberto Victor Gutiérrez-López, who grew up to be war hero The Blue Baron in the Great Ant Wars of 1921.

He also found time to bake a delicious-looking Day of the Dead cake – a mouthwatering confection of which even master-patissier extraordinaire Uncle Zoltan would have been proud! 

Also there are some Free Día de los Muertos Badges for you to cut out and wear – W warns you to be very careful if you stick them to your fur, as he's had some nasty glue-related incidents in the past...



Hello there! We are Polly and Billi the Bees, and this is our Guest Blog!

We usually blog about the terrible way that bees and other (less charming and lovely) insects are being poisoned by humanity in general, and by the huge Chemical Pesticide Companies in particular, but today, Bee Lovers, we have something VERY special to show you: we are COVER STARS!

We, and our young children Johnson Major and Johnson Minor, all have our photo on the cover of Cooking For Insects Magazine! 

Our unique recipe for Honey on Toast (first featured here on this Blog on 1 March 2015) is being published, along with a 'lifestyle' feature about our lives as Busy Mummy Bees with a young family!

You can buy a copy of Cooking For Insects at all good insect-related newsagents — and we hope you will!

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



In a break with Hallowe'en tradition, Wilson has decided NOT to go out Trick-or-Treating tonight, opting rather to stay at home with his family 'Partying Hard'. 

I suspect this means a lot of wild dancing, eating too much and getting totally Blootered on Ant Gin, but it's only once a year.

To avoid interruptions from visiting Trick-or-Treaters, he has installed a Candy Vending Machine outside the front door, with instructions to Insert 50p for Spooky Treat.

Moreover, W has confided to me that for the amount of work involved, Hallowe'en doesn't last long enough, so this year he's going the Full Day Of The Dead – a festivity that continues until 2 November!

He's a bit miffed that tomorrow it's The Bees turn to Blog, but says he'll be back with more not-to-be-missed revelry on Thursday.

Hangover permitting.

I hope I can survive these extended celebrations – I find even Easter is a bit burdensome...



Wilson and Byron have been out all day fixing up their Big Surprise.

Now, as dusk falls, I've just had a phone call from W to go up to Chestnut Ridge, just by the Highlands Roundabout, so they can show it to me.

As I made my way there, I could see a weird glow in the sky – and now I know why!

I have to say, it looks really good, and not half as terrible as I feared – I don't see how anyone could complain about it!

Unless drivers negotiating the roundabout are distracted by it and crash.

Oh, and I suppose whoever pays for the electricity they've tapped into to light the sign might have something to say about it...