Rat runs

I’ve been to Reading and back, yet again. This time it was for another funeral. Kate was 98, the mother of Tim’s sister-in-law and a good friend. I felt I could do nothing less, though going back to the same crematorium was hard. Friends called round the afternoon I arrived and another friend called round the next morning, then I had an online meeting, so I was hardly alone and I’ve come back with another carful.

Kate’s young great-grandchildren are delightful. They and their parents live on Jersey and everyone flew over for the day. The two children, aged 9 and 7, read out their tributes and, when Kate’s son, their grandad, gave the eulogy, he was fine while recounting her earlier life but found it hard to carry on to the end. As he sat down, little L put a warmly sympathetic hand on his arm. It was sensitively done for a little girl. Later, at the pub where we had a buffet lunch (delicious and all home made, really excellent) they sat at a table tucking into a very late meal and then offered to help with tea and fruit salad. As i left, I said goodbye to B and he politely said goodbye ZoĆ«, I hope we’ll see you again soon. That he remembered my name (I’d met hime once before, two and a half years ago) – I suppose the family had spoken about me recently, but it was exceptionally polite and charming and completely unprompted. On the occasion we visited the family when Tim and I visited Jersey, we thought they were lovely children, but they’re really unusually grown up, in the best way.

I drove home afterwards and Wink gave me supper. We went to Norwich for an appointment for her this morning and then she took me out for lunch. Later, we unpacked the car and I’m getting the study sorted out. It’s all very hard, I’m finding myself struggling to do anything at all. I manage by listing the achievements of the day, every day.

Tomorrow’s will be signing my new will and carrying on sorting out the study, and dealing with some paperwork.

Round here, there are no acorns this year. A complete crop failure. Someone asked on a local Facebook page and so various people reported back. i went to look at the big oak on the drifve – zilch. Usually, in the autumn, the pheasants are gorging on the crop and I suppose squirrels and other creatures eat them too. If there really are none out in the countryside, a lot of creatures will feel the lack. I’ll buy some mixed grains for the birds and put it out every day.

I’ve got rats in the chicken’s greenhouse. It’s a great nuisance and I can’t do anything about it. There’s no food for them, but unfortunately some cat food was left in there for a week or two and I didn’t realise they’d eaten a hole in the bag. That was taken away ages ago, but they’re busily tunnelling away – the chickens do not all go inside their shed but some sleep on the roof and others on the open door, so i can’t trap the rats. There’s no food for them unless they’ve worked out how to access the so-called rat proof feeder (which isn’t at all, if one manages to work out how to use it). All I can do is block the feeder at night, which is hard on the chickens in the morning before I come to open it up again. I haven’t done that yet, but I’ll have to. I have no idea how to get rid of the rats. I guess it’s warmer for them at this time of the year and so, even if there’s no food, they’ll be llkely to stay until the spring. There’s no point blocking up runs, the’ll make more mess tunnelling out new ones. I am tempted to put a hose down and flood them out, though.

4 comments on “Rat runs

  1. Scarlet

    You’re right about the acorns – I’ve not seen any either – I’ll have a closer look on my walk today. Though I think there’s been more Sweet Chestnut round these parts. We had some lovely Autumnal colour this year – really vibrant reds and oranges – all gone now.
    You achieve a lot more than me! I gave myself a gold star for cleaning the downstairs loo yesterday, but apart from that and daily kitchen duties, not a lot happened!

  2. 63mago

    A new will. Now that you mention it, I think I should take care of this too, thank you.

    Rats are one of the very few sorts of animals I really, really detest. They not even make me shiver, like deep-sea-creatures, but these I can not hate simply because they are ugly (not everything that looks “nice” is “good”, not everything that looks “terrible” is “bad”, “kalos kai agathos” does not work) – they simply make me numb and I want to kill them.
    Someone I know closely decided to have rats as pets, what I found in the end unacceptable, and believe me, I tried. But it means no more visits from me, as long as rats are in the house. So, excuses, I may be a bit biased, when it comes to rats. I vaguely remember that a rat-problem occurred some years ago. Didn’t Russell shoot them ?
    I personally would opt for total warfare, including chemical agents (yes, it sounds awful from a German) like war gas (mace works the symptoms, chloric solves the problem – yes, I retire in shame …) I have no idea what a “natural” agens against them would be. In earlier days people had rat catchers with special dogs. but I doubt that they are for hire nowadays.

    Here are standing some large oak trees – I have to go and look.

  3. Z Post author

    Autumn colours have been lovely, though wind and cold rain have finally removed most of the leaves. Someone on Facebook put up pictures of sweet chestnuts – I think it’s just a matter of when the late frosts take place.

    I applaud everything that’s extra to daily chores. Sometimes, doing those is enough and needs to be acknowledged.

    Mago, I cannot do anything to kill the rats. If I used poison, it would be eaten by the chickens – and if the rats got out of the greenhouse and were caught by the cats, they’d be killed too. It just isn’t an option. I can’t trap them either because the chickens aren’t shut in the shed any more. I would shut them up, but they roost on the roof (which is inside the greenhouse, they are securely indoors and I can’t do anything about it. All I can do is cut off their source of food and, eventually, they’ll go away. At least I don’t see them any more. A few years ago, they were so bold that they ran around in daylight, which was horrible. I trapped them, which was not very pleasant.


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