Wow, it’s already January 8 and before things get too far away from me, I thought I’d get back to my blog. Unlike you lucky ducks out there, I had to work through most of the Christmas New Year holiday break and make do catching snippets of time with family and friends in-between work. This is probably the most unfortunate part of my job.
The time we did have though was particularly special as Chris’s daughter Ali and her husband Ben were back in Australia, so relaxed and comfortable in our home, just like it should be. Talk about lucky – after all the rain and overcast days throughout November and December, they had superb weather and enough sunshine to spend a few days at the beach, ride the Sydney ferries and walk in the Blue Mountains. It was a short trip and we already miss them but what a treat it was to see them again so soon. They arrived back in New York on January 3 greeted by a chilli minus 7° C. Brrrr!
Ben is forever fascinated in the wildlife that live at our doorstep and our friend Monty II the Diamond Python reappeared briefly just before they returned home. They were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of him sleeping seductively beneath the low garden near our letterbox. Only a trained eye could spot him as his speckled scales were magnificently camoflagued amongst the dappled foilage. He’s away again, probably out hunting for more rats and mice – of which there are plenty available at our place, of the native kind at least!
Now don’t take this the wrong way…..but speaking of rats, my darling mother-in-law Eileen is a remarkable 90 year old still living independently in her home in Budeena Queensland and has been following our blog since it’s inception. Poor deluded soul! Anyway, she has regular computer lessons in her home, has a mobile phone and like to keep up to date with what’s going on in our world. She’s always been particularly interested in health and nutrition and is fabulously fit and healthy, eats fresh nutritious food and still walks 4 kilometres along the beach each day. She’s also been an avid gardener and has raised chooks and still grows her own herbs and we were so inspired recently when she announced she was going to install solar panels on her roof. What a wonderful role model for her children, grandchildren and first great grandchild.
Eileen is also one of the few remaining people I know that actually writes letters on paper and mails them, you know the ones that arrive in the letterbox out the front of the house! And it’s always exciting when they do arrive because invariably there’s a story, update, card, clipping or joke to be shared.
Recently she wrote to relay a humorous little story about a rat and with her permission, I thought it was appropriate as a follow-on from my pre-Christmas blog about natural pest control. It’s goes like this…..
‘RATS, you write about….well I only wish that we had had a pet python on hand when we had an encounter with a bush rat. Our rat was not a small type that you talk so blithely about….no, our rat was a strapping fine figure of a rat….to start with that is.
It all happened like this…back in the good old days, about 1982 Nick and I had just moved from Sydney to our 2 acres at Mt Tambourine. We had had the house built while we were still in Sydney and we moved in without any furnishings etc whatsoever, except for a bit of bedding and a saucepan or two that we had brought up in our small trailer. The rest of the stuff that we needed we would buy up in Queensland.
As we had no curtains, and full length glass doors, at night we would get undressed in the walk in wardrobe, turn the light off and hop into bed. We were used to sleeping ‘au natural’ so there was nothing to put on. Bedrooms were upstairs, and this particular night we went to bed and started to sleep the sleep of the just, when we became aware of a quite loud thumping noise coming from downstairs. Nick went down to investigate, and it seemed to be coming from the garage (which had an access door from the kitchen). He went through, leaving this door open, and it sounded like it was coming from the garbage bin. Quick as a flash this rat leaped out and raced straight through the door into the kitchen. Of course Nick had to put the lights on, and he was flinging boots at it as he chased it around the living area. Got a few lucky hits, when the rat made a dash for the stairs, and as it was free standing it scrambled up the rail….I was up by this time and, sans clothing, had collected some shoes and turned the lights on.
Then our brand new neighbours had the unedifying sight of these two naked, crazed people (from New South Wales!!) racing around the house with every light blazing, chucking shoes (supposedly) at one another…
Nick finally landed a shot that stunned the rat and he got it (and don’t read the next bit if you are too kind hearted) and he put an end to it’s rotten life! I don’t think I would have slept again if he hadn’t.
And on second thought, it was probably just as well we didn’t have a python handy, because my next pet hate to anything in the ‘rat’ category is anything in the snake/python/slimy/slithery creature category.
…oh well I s’pose worms are okay providing they stay in their own territory!’
What a fun story and a great way to start the blogging New Year. Here’s to a happy rat-free ‘Permaculture’ 2012.
Stay tuned for the next tale from the Serendipity2000 Permaculture garden….an update on growing potatoes in pots.