Sunday, 15 November 2009


It is two weeks since I blogged: allow one for that cold to work its way out, and you would imagine I have spent the last week getting some study done ....

the best laid plans o' mice and men ... or, in this case, rats and men. On Monday morning I came to the kitchen to get my breakfast to find a pile of shredded bread on the floor ... what on earth???? And my M+S bread looked as though someone had attacked it. I didn't look too closely and fished a more-or-less intact slice out of the pack. The next morning I found another pile of shredded bread: once may be a fluke (the bread is very soft and difficult to spread so I thought it had collapsed inwards) but twice is something else. Having been a bit early-morning dozy the first time, this time I looked for something else for my breakfast as I was pretty certain something was into my bread.

Somewhat of a mystery, as my kitchen floor is tiled on a concrete base, so reasonably proof against invasion. However, after I had made my chicken casserole I left the kitchen and as I did saw a nose poking under the door, followed by a creature bigger and darker than a mouse, which came out from behind my fridge and disappeared I know not where. My best mate, who has had rats in her kitchen, says it is small for a rat, but I think that is what it is. If it is a small one it will have brothers and sisters, if it is a big one it is old enough to have babies ... either way I do not want it, and still less its companions, scampering all over my kitchen floor.

I called the Council and made an appointment for the rat man to come. I thought of getting a trap or two, but I need expertise, because getting rid of one rat will not get to the bottom of it: I need to know where it's getting in so I can block the gap. It looks as though it's gnawed at the Artex near the washing machine, but there's no hole to see. After calling the rat man, I remembered there used to be a cupboard behind the units next to it, which was covered with a panel of hardboard when they fitted the kitchen ... that could be a handy place for a rat to make a home ... Just in case, I asked around after Mass for an odd-job/handyman who could see to the hole and might have found someone.

Added to this, on the last two Sundays my little scooter has suddenly lost power. Last Sunday I had to get a neighbour to push me home from the traffic lights at the end of the road, and this week I had to get a taxi home - with a very kind driver who gave me push up the ramp into the house - so he won't need to go to the gym this week! The machine has a persistent fault, it seems, and the engineer can't test it himself: I have to road test it myself. There is now a model of the same small machine with a bigger battery which might be worth investing in. The size is perfect for my trips to Birmingham as I can get it into a taxi and around the house when I get there, but I have always had to be careful to watch the battery gauge as it runs down fairly quickly (and is a mite optimistic, to boot!). Not due to the size of the machine as the previous one I used was the same size and I had more warning. A bigger battery would give me more range (enough for me not to have to curtail my shopping trips, I hope) and more warning.

If you have been patient enough to bear with me so far, here's the chance of a reward:

Hop over to

where there is blog candy up for grabs.

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