Sunday, 14 June 2009

Running smells...

Running smells unpleasant sometimes. One hill I run up is regularly visited by a dog for purposes of defecation. These poos (and the dog must be HUGE because its turds are monstrous) are lined up the road like a hideous canine olfactory alternative to cats eyes. What I really need is a heavy downpour or a road sweeper. We get the former regularly, but the latter only about once a year and I'm pathetically grateful when it does come.

The other thing I notice as I'm bounding along like a gazelle (really?) is the bubble of cigarette smoke when cars pass containing smokers, and the funny stale fridge smell when the air conditioning is on. At the moment the roads smell of hot tarmac and horse dung, which isn't so very bad, and freshly mown grass mingled with diesel, because everyone is furiously making silage.

I have been traumatised this week by rats. We have hundreds again, partly because the resident population of feral cats cleared all the rats and then moved on to solve someone else's problem. Now the rats are back and all our movements in the garden are accompanied by sinister rustlings in the hedges. I see them pitter pattering from the chicken coop to the bird feeders and I was out quietly weeding the other day and looked up to see this lot:

So Granny in the Annexe ordered three new farm cats from the local cat rescue centre. They arrived on Wedneday, three identical black neutered toms. They have to live in large cages for a fortnight and all we see of them at the moment are belligerent yellow staring eyes. They'll get used to us, we are told.

More rat trauma occurred today while I was in the polytunnel pottering. Just outside the door, lying on a pallet is the last bag of Fertile Fibre potting compost. As I was tying in the cucumbers I watched, idly, as the bag moved. Then I realised the bag had a tail.

Being a country girl, I immediately whacked the bag and its wriggling contents with the nearest thing I had to hand, which happened to be a border fork. Then I came over a little squeamish and fetched Brian. He surveyed the situation and fetched The Dog. Now The Dog (aka Mido) is half Labrador, half terrier. Unfortunately he has a Labrador's instinct for killing rats (i.e. Hey! Let's play!) and a terrier's instinct for being a gun dog (Ooh look! Rabbit hole! Dig! Disappear!) He thought the idea of a rat in a bag was a jolly wheeze and then bounded off to bark at the hens.

Brian whacked the compost bag with the handle of a mattock and left it to one side, presumably to allow the rat, should it merely have a headache, rather than something more terminal, to come to and stagger home. (Now can you see why I decided to go back to work?!)

Meanwhile, on a happier note, a whole nest of little wrens fledged. Sweet.


  1. Now if you'd asked me two weeks ago I could have given you a proper Jack Russell!

    I agree about the smells of running - I notice it most just after rain, when the air smells of dust.

    Been in Wiltshire this weekend - so frustrating.

    Oh, and ages ago you asked about the Sony Reader - there is no back-light, but you can get a light emitting cover so you can read in the dark.

  2. Thanks for explaining the stale fridge smell, and I agree about the fag smoke bubble.

    We have a pure-breed terrier who appears to be channelling Labrador. She did at least tell us (in a doggy way) about our rat infestation.

  3. Rats - ugh! 18 months ago we went away for five weeks to find a family of rats had nested in our boiler and were using the airing cupboard for a playground. Yuk.

  4. Oh bleurgh, Mags! That was a good idea to get back to work! God, what is it about smells and running, especially when you're going for it? Sights can push me over the edge too - road kill puts me right off (any excuse, eh?)!

  5. Glad you have the cats, have you got a dog? Wherever there are poultry there seem to be rats, we have a few here. M shoots them with his airgun as does our neighbour.

  6. Oh golly Mags I hope the cats are good ratters! Apparently Siamese cats are amazing and hunt in pairs, though I can't bear them myself. Hope it all getts resolved soon for you. x


I am sorry to have to add word verification thing again but I keep getting spammed.