Saturday, September 08, 2007

Physiology, Vermin and Warriors.

So, after the major maths triumph, I now discover that I also need a GCSE in a science. Apparently the A level psychology won't do. Hmm. It's a conspiracy. I signed up for the first class and duly went last Thursday night, after a days work at the hospital. Can anyone tell me the seven things that prove a thing is/has been alive as opposed to not, i.e a table? I could feel myself slumping lower and lower through the two hour lesson. Oh easy, said Elle, the babysitting daughter when I got home. MRS. NERG -


(NERG! Clever isn't it! Ha!)

Theres two hours well spent then. Could've got it for free from the smartarse.

Whilst she is telling me all this mnemonic nonsense, I'm putting the kettle on, she's lecturing me on cell structures, and then I notice the dog and the cat being suspiciously and uncharacteristically matey, sniffing around the table. A sense of dread began to creep slowly over me. The cat shoots to the end of the (non mrs nerg) table. I'm torn between watching, finishing making the mug of tea I've been dreaming of since lunchtime, and getting the hell out of the kitchen, when Elle realises that Something Is Up. Her conversation peters haltingly to a stop and she follows my gaze down to the feet of the table. I'm edging out of the door at this point, and then she screams.

Very loudly.

And shouts. "RAAAAAAT!" (and it's definitely a MRS NERG rat, as opposed to the footless, headless, plastic one that the dog carries around with it).

I slam the door closed and leap onto the little footstool. Elle is still in the kitchen (I'll be writing my speech for Mother of the Year later thanks). She wrestles the handle down and skedaddles into the living room, almost knocking me off my perch. The phone rings. Faintly, as it is in the kitchen. Elle and I look at each other in a woebegone fashion. It's my mum, who is ringing to check all is ok before they leave for London in a few hours. Realising that no one is picking up, mum then wanders off around her (rat free) house chatting to my dad with the phone still in her hand. We are treated to a conversation about signposts, a rather loud burp and some scuffly shuffly noises. Terrific. I cant even ring her back from my mobile because she's forgotten to hang up her phone.

Elle bravely goes back into the kitchen and I ring dad's mobile. "There's a rat in my kitchen!" (sing it to the UB40 tune if you wish) I gabble. "Again?" says dad. (Oh yes, this happened twice last year too.)

We're on our way, he says. Dad my hero. The dog then barges her way into the room, rat in mouth. Elle screams, startled dog drops it, Elle screams again. I peek through a crack in the door to see Elle grab the TAIL OF THE RAT, run across the room with it SWINGING FROM HER HAND, open the window and fling it out!
My admiration knows no bounds. I rush off to find my sterile handstuff from work and spray her madly. I call dad back and he says they'll come over anyway. They too, are admiring.

I finally get my tea and there's a knock at the door. Mum and dad are there, dad like an assigai warrior, a large thick length of garden bamboo in his hand, the end of which has a large chisel inserted within it. He seems disappointed that he won't be making a kill, and looks fleetingly yet longingly out of the window. "Are you sure it's gone? Have you checked for any others?" (as though I live on the council tip). He peers under the table, says mournfully - "I made this spear especially when you had the last rat". And sighs.

Can someone, anyone, swap lives with me? Please?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Scent of Success

On Sunday, we cleaned out the office. Wibs starts at grammar school today, and as Chez Pesk is miniscule, we needed to create a warm, quiet place for her to study in. I converted the coal hole (don't laugh) when I was at uni a few years ago, and it was perfect. It has a radiator and plug sockets, a desk, a filing cabinet and two bookshelves. Perhaps 'coal hole' is a bit of an exaggeration, it's more of an internal shed, but anyway. In the gap between me being at uni and Wibs starting Big School it had semi reverted to shed status, but we got cracking and soon it was once more fit for purpose. We left a pile of things that came out of the office in the kitchen for More Sorting Later (yes I know). Then Monday we were exhausted and it was sunny. Tuesday was my dad's birthday so we were out, and yesterday - bad smell. Really bad smell. Every time we came into the living room, there it was. Passing through into the kitchen - there it was too. Strange. And not nice - like a exceptionally strong and severely vintage frankfurter.
So, rubber gloves on, bleach out. We moved the cooker away from the wall, swept out crumbs and mopped the tiles - nothing there. All the surfaces washed down, floor swept and mopped. We needed to clear the pile of papers from the office. Chatting away with Wibs and Bonnyholding out the recycling bag, I sorted and riffled. Then I saw it. With a comedy whooooOOOoooooarghh and a jete that Darcy Bussell would be proud of, I leapt two kilometers away from the table.
There are times that owning a cat is not a good idea. This happened last year too when I discovered a writhing brain of maggots underneath the bookshelf in the living room, all feasting on a vole.
I got the trowel from the garden, put seven carrier bags one inside the other, and troweled it up off the table. It left its skin behind.

Perhaps those motivated moms should enter mouse hunt onto their daily chores list. I might join up.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A Full Heart...

This ad really moves me - I find it just astonishing. When I saw it last night, I watched as the gorilla breathed, eyes closing and opening, nostrils flaring, that barely perceptible lunge at the camera, and was almost moved to tears at the grace of it. The perfect background of swirly Phil Collins (yes, I am inordinately fond of Phil Collins and often play his albums when no one else is around. Tell anyone and I will hunt you down and hurt you), I suspected a save the gorillas charity appeal any second. When the drums kicked in, the camera panned out, and well. Have a look if you haven't seen it yet. I laughed out loud in surprise and delight, and the memory of it has had me grinning all day.

Fantastic. And very clever.