Sunday, 13 May 2018


Tui still singing on the wires

I am not sure where they went to. Blame it on this lingering late summer weather, the garden tidy-up continuing and it being way too nice to be coming inside and sitting at the computer. It's easy to forget that winter is coming.

But I can't deny that the tourist season closes on Mothers' Day, the cafe has shut its doors, the park gates close and the autumn leaves are falling in drifts.

And it is only at this time of the year, for about a couple of weeks, an oak tree clothed in glowing gold suddenly appears out of the dense green of the bush  to remind us that a hundred or so years ago there was a home and family living here going about their daily lives, and one day planting an oak tree by their gate.

And fittingly to re-appear each year on Mothers' Day, when we celebrate our mother and the home-life she created around us until we were ready to leave and go out into the world. 

Mothers' Day and my youngest daughter and family have invited me to lunch. I cannot even begin to imagine living a life without being a mother. I feel truly blessed. 

All a bit syrupy?  Well, what better time to be so.

Sunday, 1 April 2018


WELL THE MAIN NEWS, THE EVERYDAY news is, you guessed it, all about kittens. They are growing so fast now so here is a video of them at play for you.

Monday, 26 March 2018





9.10 pm. I’m talking on the phone and Cat 1 arrives late, and with my mind on the conversation, I open the door and let her in.

Cat 1 has a big rat in her mouth.
Cat 2 jumps Cat 1 to get rat.
I say I'll call back and put down the phone.
Cat 1 drops the rat
Cat 1, Cat 2, Cat 3, dog and myself chasing rat.
Yes. No. Yes. Ummn - whose got it now?.
I trip over the dog. 
Yes! Cat 2 has the rat and I chase them all outside.
I put Arnica on my elbow and knee.

9.30 pm. I let Cat 1, Cat 3 and dog back inside. Cat 2 is nowhere to be see.


7.00 am It’s dawn at this time of the year.

I let Cat 2 inside.
There are rat droppings in the kitchen!!

I talk to Cat1, Cat 2, Cat 3 and the dog and say, “get that rat out of here!” and put four ‘Temptation’ Cat treats just under the fridge so they can hook them out. They think there are more under there and haunt the fridge hunting for more. I believe the rat is hiding under there.

9.30 pm. I have pulled out my old cage rat-trap and bait it with a piece of bread.


7.00 am. There are more rat droppings in kitchen.
The bait has gone but the trap is empty.
I check the trap. Yes it is a bit old and the springs and hinges have rusted up a bit. I clean them up and oil them.
Cat 1, Cat 2, Cat 3, and the dog haunt the fridge.

9.30 pm I bait the trap with a crust of bread spread with some dog food.


7.00 am. There are more rat droppings in the kitchen.
The bait has gone but the trap is empty
I put four more ‘Temptation’ cat treats just under the fridge to keep the animals circling it. Plus one or two words added about their competency.

9.30 pm. I bait the trap with a piece of unripe pear. I think the bread was too soft to trigger the hook/door release system.


7.00 am. There are more rat droppings in the kitchen
The bait has gone and the trap is empty.
The animals have lost interest in the fridge – I think they can count.

9.30 pm. I re-bait the trap.


12.15 am  I re-bait the trap

3.00 am – I wake with a start. I’m damned sure that was a rat I heard on my dressing table – yes it’s knocked my sunglasses onto the floor.
I re-set the trap with a really big bit of pear. It’s so heavy I’m having trouble not setting it off.

3.15. I go back to bed, but keep the light on and the heavy torch is right next to my pillow, just in case…
No, I don’t want to think anything about rats, other than being caught in the cage. I’m reading my book.

6.05 I can’t believe I actually fell asleep and there in the cage trap is a Very   Fat   Rat.

6.10 am. This rat has survived being chased, caught and re-caught, been fought over by 3 cats and a dog. But escaped only to have his bolt-hole hour after hour constantly invaded with multiple reaching paws. Then nightly escaped again and again the cage that would trap him as he gently eased away and devoured the food put there to tempt him in to his death.

You can’t help but admire him for that.

I reckon after all his trauma – if a cat can have nine lives, then this rat can have his 90 hours – and I took the trap outside and let him run back to the bush.

7.00 am. Cat 1, Cat 2, Cat 3 and the dog are circling the fridge.

Saturday, 17 March 2018



Morning tasks done - time to have a lazy afternoon,