Tag Archives: Rats

The Midwife is Marvellous!

As the week has progressed the Spinster has been overwhelmed with the whiff of testosterone; all disturbing, albeit not entirely unwelcome, within the confines of Chez Moi. Cruella continues to display bored behaviour to the extent the Spinster wonders if the minx has ADHD; perhaps this is why I can corral i.e. temporarily control her with the brain enhancing pills purchased over the internet. I confess to not entirely understanding why a stimulant would help an already overactive brain; probably getting the neurons to all do the same thing rather than a million things simultaneously. Hmm frankly they help so the Spinster doesn’t care!

mixedAfter managing to cut through my left index finger tip whilst doing something with scissors; probably cutting the mass of flowers purchased from the reduced box in Morrisons. The Spinster adores cut flowers; the pink antirrhinums (snapdragons to me and you) 2 bunches 79p each went perfectly with the baby’s breath 1 bunch 59p creating a lovely cottage garden feel although every time the Spinster walks passed I am drawn to tweaking the blooms as the dinky white flowers seem to overwhelm and silence the usually chatty dragons!

rosesThe salmon pink roses 1 bunch 79p placed in the ‘study’ by the back door look OK but the ratio of the height of the stems to the height of the vase isn’t quite right! The Spinster has been chronically enabled (and disabled) by that evening class in flower arranging my ma did decades ago! Finally the lilies reduced to £1.99 (and yes they are something one would normally purchase); when the Spinster picked the lilies out I was struck by the fact the stems seem to have undergone some form of prolapsed! When the lilies were unwrapped; laid bare as it were the ‘kink’ half way up was obvious; but fear not I thought the solution is simple a shorter vase. Which is fine until the blessed things open when one expects to come down one morning to find floral civil war has erupted; a risk this Spinster is prepared to take!lillies

The bleeding finger tip was an ongoing challenge; Sunday the blood was soaked in left over dental gauze (the kind that makes a gal gag when stuffed in ones mouth when driving); Monday morning the plaster came off in the shower after swimming the blood just kept pouring out only to be stemmed by the donation (from me mate) of the odd sock she had been using on account of having forgotten her ‘puff’; and Tuesday morning the muslin cloth (leftover from the Liz Earle facial wash box set given to the Spinster by my big Godson!). How could one little cut cause so many problems?

Later on Sunday evening the Spinster found water standing in the bottom of the dishwasher; an essential appliance when one is a manually incompetent as I am! Why do you always find out these problems when you’ve just made food; hot food which by the time the problem is resolved is at best lukewarm  the least palliative temperature one finds? Having tackled the scum build up on the filter the Spinster stood and starred at the empty machine; and the pile of dirty dishes in the ceramic Belfast sink. Hmm what the ??? am I going to do now? Obviously one can’t go to bed with a sink of dirty dishes; someone might see (there is always the risk that Cruella has an aggressive fit of the vapours overnight rendering the Spinster bedridden requiring the assistance of a third party) and the last thing one wants to do is to give the impression one is not coping! Besides which dirty dishes look even dirtier in the 6am pre swim gloom.

So the Spinster did a spot of domestic juggling having squirted TOO much fairy into the sink; and now I know how those chips in the ceramic sink got there! The plastic washing up bowl having been used for compost months ago when the Spinster had a functioning dishwasher! And what is it about new tea towels; the cheap bundle variety that look so appealing but have the absorbency of seaweed? £5 for 12 is not a bargain at this point no matter how decorative they might be!!

Bugger this for a game of cards I think the dishes can dry themselves off in the cupboard; leaving them to dry on the worktop will simply result in the Spinster finding herself with a dust pan and brush at 3am – whilst one seldom falls when wandering in the early hours my spacial awareness seems to disappear altogether! But hey on the bright side the ‘sleep disturbance’ inducing drugs do mute the pain (some of the time)!

Next morning having arrived back from swimming with a soggy sock wrapped around the bleeding left hand – of course gripping a crutch handle sufficiently tight enough to balance just makes the bleeding more profuse! The Spinster prioritises finding someone to sort the dishwasher out; the web is wonderful I can highly recommend Assured Electrical Solutions: place phone number in box, within seconds phone rings and woman answers! OK it’s 930 am and the Spinster has apparently interrupted something as having answered the phone I hear ‘can you hang on a minute, have you got a pen and paper, OK let me take your details and someone will phone you back within an hour. I’m out at the moment’.  Oh lord I think who have I called. But within an hour a man calls back and within 2 ½ hours there a man at me door!

Now it seems prudent for the Spinster to answer the door on two crutches; OK I don’t have much choice at the moment and one to anxious not to give the wrong impression by inadvertently toppling into the arms of random male callers! The Assured engineer doesn’t exactly reassure the Spinster as he has a noticeable absence of tools and the fresh faced appearance of an apprentice! But no no no one mustn’t judge and the Spinster metaphorically slaps herself whilst simultaneously (albeit silently) shouting ‘don’t behave like Auntie!’

So having ascertained the problem he returns to his van (complete with logo so seems official). Diagnosis not having been assisted by the fact that the Spinster had spent 20 minutes on me hands and knees decanting the scummy water out of the dishwasher with a small jug i.e. there is no longer any water standing in the appliance. Don’t even think of asking when this frankly pointless task seemed a good idea; but one is pleased that this strange man does not have to see the scum on the filter – please one doesn’t actually want the world to know ones inner appliance hygiene is someone lacking!

Deciding it was a good idea to locate myself in a position where discrete surveillance was possible i.e. so the Spinster can watch him to see what he’s doing I sit checking emails in the study. For study read the tiny space at the back of the kitchen where a desk has been built into the alcove; excellent use of limited space!

After about 20 minutes during which the Spinster ‘bombards’ the guy with enquiries I look into the kitchen. Curiously he is lying on the floor blowing into one of the hoses at the back of the machine! Swallowing a snigger – how often can I gal say for £55 she got her pipes blown in her own kitchen; cheap joke I admit! As the Spinster ends up coughing – swallowing a laugh seems to constitute multitasking these days god Cruella is such a kill joy!!

Poor bloke renders himself breathless and red in the face; please don’t pass out the Spinster thinks whilst momentarily panicking! Sitting himself up he says ‘that should have got rid of the blockage’; bless you young man you have absolutely NO idea how reassuringly understated those words are!!

Yesterday the Midwife came; another young man with the power to raise the Spinster’s spirits! For some reason a friend of mine thinks the guy who cuts my hair looks like a midwife; a profession he has never considered he told me when I passed on this random observation. This morning impatient to be in a state of readiness for the Rat Man who is coming sometime between 830 and 1 pm to check the black box he put in the garden a week ago; at 1025 am the Spinster is still in a state of unfulfilled readiness!

ratThe question is do I ask to see the contents of the black box or not? Given that last night’s Fentanyl induced ‘sleep disturbance’ involved the Spinster encountering a rodent nibbling away at VERY CLOSE quarters I should probably decline the offer should it be made. The disturbing part about the ‘dream’ was this Spinster wasn’t frightened until I looked at its teeth; the rodent dentition was annoying clean and robust unlike my own choppers!!!

Ha just been lulled into almost throwing meself into the arms of a man wanting to tell me about the relevance of the bible; please don’t be offended but right now unless it can offer tips of rodent control or how to make the printer work this Spinster is BUSY! It was on the tip of me tongue to tell them that the door they had just been knocking on over the road belong to the eccentric lady who sadly died two days ago but thought I’d keep my counsel on this occasion; it made me smile reflecting on how the late Mrs H would have loved to give them the run around and then write a pithy little letter to the Barry Gem (she had a double barrelled name used for just this purpose).

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Gatepost Gossip/local intelligence exchange!

Terraced housesLast night the doorbell went and my neighbour, who is getting married today, asked if I had a plant sprayer to keep her wedding bouquet fresh. I couldn’t help so asked how it was all going ‘James (the man she’s marrying) has gone so its just me and the (seven) bridesmaids. It’s all a bit emotional’. We, or rather the Spinster, has lived through the preparations which seem to have been going on for months; it has  been months of meticulous planning as we all know (or are told by people, mainly women, who’ve already been through this), that the devil is in those all important details to complete the romantic experience. No wonder people are happy to engage the services of a wedding planner.

The Spinster has just come back in doors having taken photographs of the bride and bridesmaids; they all looked lovely with the adult women in hot pink shiny figure hugging strapless numbers and the children in 50’s style cream having had their hair styled into ringlets.  Making conversation with the morning be-suited older gentleman driving the soft top Chrysler the Spinster was able to garner a few more details to convey to the neighbour the other side – this neighbour was most annoyed that her lunch plans would mean she couldn’t witness the whole event and was insistent that I took photos!

The married couple are the epitome of opposites attract; he is a music teacher whose father is a QC and she a stay at home mum of four (one day she said to me ‘in case you were wondering there are four fathers’.  To be fair whilst it certainly is interesting living next door they don’t cause the Spinster any bother – you never quite know how many people are there as managing the difficult custody arrangements takes some juggling; after 6 months the Spinster has just about got her head around it so heaven only knows how the mother manages it. When I said this one day she just said she’s used to it and she’s not yet 30! Apparently her mother said to her one day ‘look on the bright side they’ll all be off your hands by the time your forty’  of course the latest one rather puts the kibosh on that one! (One too many drinks on holiday she said to me wistfully one day..)

ratThe conversation on the street of late has focused on rats; we have rats in the garden again and yesterday one ran over the Spinster’s bare foot in the kitchen! Given the weather the back door has been open most of the time so the Spinster is telling herself that the not so little beast came in from outside; I do not have rats living in the house! The council Rat Man only came 5 days ago and said there were no obvious hiding places in my garden so nothing was done. Apparently the two sightings were probably rats passing through; sometimes you’re just unlucky the Rat Man said! The Spinster doesn’t want to be lucky; after all I’m a vulnerable adult to use Social Service lingo! So first thing tomorrow morning this vulnerable adult is going to be onto Pest Control asking for immediate assistance! Wiles disease (the one you get from rat pee) could see the Spinster waving goodbye to this mortal coil and frankly I’m not ready quite yet.

One evening the Spinster was in conversation with my other neighbour about who was going to phone the council and how we’d split the cost if traps were needed. The Council charge for pest control these days unlike four years ago when we had the same problem; the Spinster has been archiving the Victorious Endeavours missives sent by email before introducing this wordpress blog and  came across a reference to rats in 2010. At the time we were all given a strong talking to about the folly of feeding the birds in our gardens as the rats were attracted by the dropped seed. Reluctantly we collectively stopped feeding the birds in the garden; I say reluctant but in all honesty it was one last thing to stop feeling guilty about forgetting to do! Other neighbours started putting bird feeders in the park that the houses back onto; regularly the Spinster smiles as I watch people carrying sets of ladders into the alley to reach over the wall into the park! When saying this to the Rat Man he said ‘they want to be careful, I won’t say anything, but that’s public property!’ Oh for heavens sake I wanted to say but didn’t as he’s a nice guy and yes I thought I might need his help again; little did I realise it would be quite so soon!

During our doorstep conversation about the rats, and other shenanigans on the Street, the other neighbour (the one getting married today) came out holding her 7 month old baby. She proceeded to tell us how she’d cleaned up her garden so the rats had nothing to attract them; and then she uttered the following ‘but the nappies are still there!’ Our black bags are collected once a fortnight and the idea that the rats were feeding of dirty nappies frankly turned the Spinster and her other neighbour’s stomach! We just looked at each other in horror (quite comical when I reflect on it now). Thankfully the Council have now delivered a nappy bin which is reassuringly rat proof!

Any way must sign off now as the Spinster is off for a facial; as they say ‘every little helps’ and a nicotine addicted woman of my age frankly needs all the help she can get! Plus me eyelashes are being tinted too for the first time; the Spinster has drawn the line before getting to eyebrow tattooing as that sounds like a step too far especially when using tweezers with this built in shake draws enough blood to occasionally give the impression of an incompetent tattoo artiste at work!

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