April 14th & 15th

Saturday 14th April

Saturday was a beautiful day that we spent in the garden – Robert planted out the grape vines that he collected when we were in Aquitaine. They are looking very healthy. I decided to tackle the back of the house where we had the polytunnel that fell apart in one of the storms in December. At that time I used the plastic to covered the storage boxes that held our garden tools, lawnmower, etc. Everything looked a mess! As I removed the layers of plastic, I saw that lots of it had been nibbled. I pulled the 2 boxes (6ft x 2.5ft x 2.5) out onto the grass into the sun to unload. The top of one was covered in small pellets? Too big to be a mouse – but we never see rats …. but what if there is a RAT living in one of the boxes. I carefully open the first one…………… what a pong!!!!  It was disgusting! Started pulling the tools out and laying them open on the grass for a hose down. I had left an old pair of garden shoes in the box, lifted one up and saw that it was stuffed with ‘bits’ of chewed up sock etc. started to move it and from out of sight down in the toe, flew a little brown mouse! I managed to quickly point it to the box and that is where the mouse ended up…. LOL  I now see several little scurring figures running about in the base. I cannot tell you how disgusting it was, between the stink and about a quarter inch of wet ‘stuff’ in the bottom, no doubt it was mouse urine and excrement etc.  I removed everything and then tipped the box on its end beside the fence so that the mice would run into the little spinny and field beyond.  There were only four mice, this surprised me as I would have expected there to be many more.  I had also left a ‘batbox’ to put up when we are cladding the house, this had bits of plastic, string, and paper peeping out of the narrow entrance. The only way I could empty it was to stick in one side of a long scissors. I hooked out as much as I could, hoping all the while that I wouldn’t ‘stab’ anything (??).  Knocked it on the ground several times to empty it and when nothing more was coming out, I then got the hose and shot a few squirts of water in and out…….. next thing………. yes you guessed…………………… one little wet mouse ran out. Poor thing!  It followed the rest of its family into the undergrowth. I must say, they all looked very healthy. I don’t know what they were living on, I assume that they could get in and out somehow but they were certainly living in squalor.  I sprayed and cleaned the boxes, dried them out in the sun, and put the tools back in. I doubt the smell will ever disappear, most likely the boxes will go before the smell.  I filled a large garbage bag with the disposable ‘stuff’ and took it straight to the public bin drop.  Am I glad that job is finished, I’ll be checking that the squatters don’t return as they are known to do. 


Sunday 15th April


“Here I am – what shall I do next?

Cupboards are pulled out to connect up the sink.

Robert working out where everything must go – this is a tricky job with lots of measuring and no mistakes allowed

And when you have finished the sink Robert, would you please sort out this lot.


Poor Robert, scrunched up, on his knees, doing the necessary jointings for the sink installation.

While Robert is out there working on the kitchen, I have been here updating the blog, catching up on laundry etc. but more importantly, filling the nesting ball. This is a ball we bought in Florida which I fill with nesting material. Not having anything appropriate to hand, I decided to cut a small piece off a sheepskin rug. Cleaned and combed a section of the wool, cut it off the skin and pushed it into the ball.  Tomorrow I will make a little box for it to hang in, to keep it dry and find somewhere safe to place it.  The next week is to be dry and sunny and a good time to present this to the many birds we have feeding here at the back of the house. We have noticed that there is an abundance of birds of prey in this area, from small halks to larger buzzards. I think the odd one drops in and picks off one of our little guys on the feeders. I try to put the birdball feeder in the branches of the tree in order to make it difficult for a preying bird to surprise the little tits and finches that feed on the balls.


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