The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

The poetry of Notelet Folder makes me weep with laughter.

Photo: Pile of books

Photo: Pile of books

Quite often I buy or am given packs of greeting cards. They are a great stop gap if suddenly I need to produce a card at a moment’s notice.

Years ago we had a true Picasso moment with a small pack of greeting cards that I had been given and placed in between the books on the shelves in The Rat Room. As this used to be my studio, I had a lot of reference and poetry books up there. In fact this was my core collection of books. The rest were scattered across the rest of the upstairs rooms.

One day Danny was examining the shelves, spotted the spine of the small pack and assumed that it was a book of poems written by Notelet Folder. Clearly European and probably German.

A few weeks later he finally opened this book of poetry and discovered that it was just a cardboard cover holding six small cards. But by then he had already conjured up the sort of poet that Notelet would be. The precious male heir of the Folder family. Danny was so disappointed, he rushed downstairs.
“I thought that this was a book of verse. And it just turns out to be a handful cards in a pretty cover. I didn’t read notelet folder, rather No-tel-let Fol-dur.”

I must admit I was tickled by this and laughed so much that I wept tears of joy. We imagined The Folders bending over the crib and choosing the name for their newborn son.
“Fritz?”
“Max?”
“He looks more like a Notelet.”
“Yes he does.”

D reminded me about Notelet this evening. I had briefly forgotten that Notelet Folder had become a chapter in our annals.  A misunderstood, romantic poet who spends all his money on printing cheap editions of his verse. 

We needed this boost of laughter – so thank you Notelet. Every time that I buy a pack of cards I’ll think of you and smile.


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13 Comments

  1. Fiona, this is such a great post, of course people would be amused. It’s gentle, funny and even now, it’s still making me smile. Just what I’m sure a lot of us need at the moment. xx

  2. Granny Sue

    How funny! Thank you for the laugh. I can imagine the anticipation of reading Not-e-lay’s poetry. Very musical name.

    My husband has a hat with many pins and buttons he’s added to it over the past few years. A few weeks ago he saw a button he liked and bought it without actually reading what it said. When I looked at the new additions on his hat, I asked “Why do you have a button that says “West Virginia Mother”? Ah well. He left the button on the hat anyway. It’s still good for a laugh when I see it.

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Veronica

    I am working at home at the mo. Only outdoor jobs booked and misty damp weather means that these jobs have to wait until later.

    We had a fun day laughing about poor Notelet. Meanwhile I’m decorating our cottage and loving life. Kitchen nearly done, stairs finished. bathroom and corridor looking trim.

    Hello Magic Cochin

    Ohhhh poor you. Pot holes can mean disaster. Often poor street lighting means that it’s impossible to miss them nowadays.

    Hi Jackie

    We loved your comment! And even began to fantasise about the families that live in the village of Loose Chippings.

    Thank you so much for adding a spring to our day!

    Hello Amanda

    Great that it made you giggle. And thanks for putting the link on Facebook.

    We thought long and hard about putting this post up. Would anyone else be even faintly amused?

    Hi Pamela

    Great story about the tur’bodree. Love the idea of putting good shots by the loo roll holder!

    Hi Ann

    Thanks for dropping by.

    This reminded me of a story. I have an email account that we use possibly once a year. I’d forgotten the password so rang the company to change it. The guy on the other end of the line was very chirpy.
    “Have you got a pen?”
    I assured him that I had.
    “Your new password is FACALF.”

    We didn’t need to write it down! And it’s the only password that I can remember easily.

  4. I just put a link to this on facebook as it is still making me laugh even now.

  5. Oh, thank you, Fiona – I love this tale, made me laugh out loud! Reminded me of a time at work when I had to ring the network engineers and describe what was on the screen of one of the computers so they could try and fix it remotely. I read the name of the file to them as clearly as I could – ‘it says t h reed dot dll’. Without a flicker of a smirk the sweet boy at the other end of the phone said, ‘Right, 3D it is, then’. He still couldn’t fix it though!

  6. It’s funny how your brain can sometimes process the written word so bizarrely. Have you ever discussed science fiction novels where the characters have funny made up names? You are frantically thinking I don’t remember character X in that book until you realise that the other person just saw the name in a completely different way, not helped by the fact that my brain doesn’t automatically go to English for pronunciation help! My friend bought herself a new Zanussi washer-dryer back in the 80s when we both bought our own homes after sharing a flat for about 3 years. This machine was called a Turbodry xxx, only she never saw it as two words and somehow struggled to put the stress on the letter O coming up with something sounding a bit like tur’bodree. Not knowing this, at some point I was over at her’s for dinner and, putting on a mock superhero voice, I commented on her turbo dry machine. We cried laughing and her machine remained a tur’bodree until its sad demise when it had to work overtime on the arrival of her first daughter a few years later. We also used to blu-tak pictures of fit actors or sportsmen torn from magazines or newspapers by the loo roll holder. Only 1 pic at a time so we had a regularly changing gallery – we were so young back then and easily amused. The night of the tur’bodree revelation I also left a picture of an extremely hot looking Imran Khan – who was definitely in his prime back then – tucked in her bed.

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you, I’m still laughing, though it’s now more of a quiet giggle. Was very much in need of laughter this morning. x

  8. Reminds me of someone I once knew, who was lost on the outskirts of Milton Keynes. She called her boyfriend on her mobile (while driving, of which I wholly disapprove, but that’s another story) and he said ‘Where are you now? Look round for a sign’
    Gazing around in slight panic she announced ‘I’m in Loose Chippings’.
    No doubt the resting place of Notelet…..

  9. magic cochin

    LOL!!! I needed that…

    Drove over a pothole last night and ****ed my front wheel – AAAAAAAAAGHHHHHH!

    Thanks for making me laugh – can hear Danny saying “No-to-let Folder” 🙂

    Celia
    x

  10. Thank you Fiona — first laugh of the day! I will think of this when I buy cards too. Poor misunderstood Notelet 🙂

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