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Sunday, 19 May 2013


"Chirrup! Chirrup!"  Last night I was awoken by Pocket (quarter Bengal) bringing a dead mouse into my room. It was two o'clock in the morning and my heart sank which is pretty hard when you're already lying down. I could tell he was  pleased with himself but I couldn't bear the thought of listening to him chucking it around the room and running with it all over the place as if he's got the ball. So I got up and dispatched it out of the window.(It was dead after all and I thought an owl might fancy a little canape] and if you don't do that you find them in your shoes later and you have to shake them before putting your feet in them as if you lived in Africa and were checking for snakes or scorpions. No sooner had I clambered back into bed then he popped out of the bedroom door and brought another one in. Also dead. He lay it down by the bed."Chirrup! Chirrup!" Again I dispatched it out of the window and went back under the duvet. Then I kid you not he came back with a third mouse. It was like he had  a whole stash of them laid out on the landing like an advent calendar collection- one for each day of the week only I'd spoilt it so he presented them  to me all at once. 
I learnt from the London Zoo that a group of tigers are called A Streak. He doesn't need to be in a group - he's one big streak all on his own. I pushed him and the mouse out of the door and shut it firmly.

How could he have been so small?
 I had so many flowers on the pelargoniums that in spite of what I said in the previous post I did cut a few to put in a vase. I've taken them out of the greenhouse now and just hope there isn't a late frost. You are supposed to harden them off by taking them out in the day and putting them back at night but I've got so many that by the time I'd have got them all out it would have become dark and I'd have to put them straight back in - like Sisyphus - so I'm just taking a chance.
Pelargonium Surcouf

 To-day the duck eggs should have hatched but as I suspected they hadn't been fertilised and I had to pull the plugs. I felt as if I was switching off a life support machine.  It was awful but as there was nothing in the eggs I suppose I was just killing off a potential omelette.

It's Chelsea Flower show this week. I'm not going this year. Last year as I pushed my way through the crowds I noticed a really beautiful show garden. When I go there it was just a wild patch next to the picnic area. Nature should have won Best in Show it was heavenly, with cow parsley and grasses and looked so serene. Nature's done a great job in the woods too. It is a tapestry now of blue and green and white. It's predominately a beech wood which was planted I've no idea how many years ago in a series of straight lines. The trees have a lower canopy of bright green leaves then a bare stem and then the upper canopy and it looks as if they are all wearing green dancing skirts and are lined up to dance a quadrille.

There are three rams in the field at the bottom of our garden. I think they look like rugby players. They are big and burly and seem to be wearing huge woollen shoulder pads. I'm not particularly interested in rugby but I do like this poem by Mick Imlah about the rugby player Gordon Brown -  not the politician.

The Rams

Gordon Brown
(Rugby Player – “The Ayrshire Bull” – d.2001]

 Their gratitude for your career was such
That when some District prop in his narrow pride
Stamped on your head, and legged it into touch,
The Board banned you (that’s rugby suicide]:
Who blew through London Scottish on the breeze,
When I’d been training with the fourths or thirds
And dreamt you’d said I’d like to meet him please!,
Till someone drew me in, and we had words.
You knew two bits of Burns. Still you pretended
Poems would outlast what the British Lions did,
You, who had beaten Springbok and all Black;
And when you put your spare hand on my back
I felt at first a woman, then a kid,
And then a man, the thing you had intended.

Mick Imlah

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