We’re having summer. Eh. I hope it goes away soon. I like daylight fine—us old people need our vitamin D—but HOT HOT HOT FRELLING DAZZLING SUNSHINE IS OVERRATED.* And it’s thunderstorm weather so for even those of you (strange) people who like hot-hot-hot-frelling it’s not good hot-hot-hot-frelling, it’s oppressive and headachy. I always get up in the morning [sic] feeling like the slurry in the bottom of your dishwasher but days like today it’s all I can do to play tug-of-war with the hellterror.**
Or by evening be capable of writing a blog post.***
Unnnnnngh. . . . †
* * *
* A certain heroine of a certain book might disagree with me. Although I don’t think even Sunshine wants her tyres—tires—melting into the pavement.
** This is an IMPORTANT PART OF THE MORNING RITUAL. I stagger downstairs in my semi-decomposed state and get my tea and the hellterror’s breakfast^ started. Then I brace myself and let her out of her crate while the hellhounds cower in the back of theirs. She goes out for a pee in the courtyard and then comes indoors and checks all the corners for escaped kibble.^^ And then at some point while I’m peacefully mincing leftovers to make her tinned food a little more exciting^^^ she will trot up purposefully carrying her long yellow rubber toy and if I don’t notice quickly enough she will whack me with it, smartly across the calves.#
Let me just say that any woman who worries about her upper arms## . . . consider purchasing a hellterror, or other square, solid critter with jaws that could chomp for England, and spend serious time playing tug of war with it. It will adore you, and you will have beautifully toned upper arms.
^ Have I mentioned that my local bird population is nuts? I’ve spent all this frelling money on bird feeders and bird food and THEY DON’T EAT IT. By the end of the winter I was tired of dumping out (expensive) mouldy bird food and scrubbing the frelling bird feeders so I . . . stopped. I took the one most prone to morphing its contents into sticky black sludge down altogether—it’s still around here somewhere all cleaned out and innocent-looking—and left the other three up. The wire fat-ball container in the apple tree does have some turnover, but I can’t see it that well from the kitchen window so I’m not absolutely sure it’s not mice, there being a vibrant mouse population in my garden. The suet block and seed feeders sway gently in the airy zephyrs and . . . over the months their fardels have become pretty disgusting-looking but I have other tasks ahead of dealing with superfluous feeders for ungrateful avian passers-by.
About a month ago I noticed that the by now black suet block was . . . diminishing. Eh. It was probably struck by lightning when I wasn’t noticing.
Nope. Birds. They ate the whole thing. Ewwwww. And, furthermore, the day that I noticed it had disappeared entirely there was also a crabby looking bird sitting on top of the feeder, swapping ends occasionally the better to keep watch for whoever was in charge of REPLACEMENT and also occasionally bending down to peer, in a significant manner, into the still offensively empty feeder. Just in case the bungling factotum was nearby and could be brought to awareness of her failings.
I bought a suet block that day. I put it in the feeder.
That was, I think, three suet blocks ago. I assume this is the Hungry Gap—which is always later in the year than I expect it to be—so I’ll be interested to see if the little feathered ratbags have now got into the habit, or if they’ll drop me again as soon as something better comes along.
^^ Since the hellhounds have stopped eating altogether and force-feeding+ is not an exact science++, this tends to be worth her while.
+ Aside from little matters like starving to death or the fact that the hellhounds’ unique internal economy goes haywire if they miss more than one meal, this new drug they’re on has to be given with food.
++ Not when I do it anyway. Siiiiiiiigh.
^^^ Given that it’s ORGANIC the PRICE is quite EXCITING ENOUGH FOR ME.
# Speaking of the somewhat uncontrolled exuberance of youth . . . there’s been a great spreading glob of building work near here since last winter. They were supposed to be finished by the end of March. Anyone with experience of Great Globs of Building Work will not be surprised to hear that they are still not finished. The most annoying thing about this particular glob is that it’s closed off a footpath that everybody in this town uses, including the youff. Now generally speaking teenage anarchy holds no charms for me but occasionally I do enjoy watching it take on self-righteous adult admin.
The glob admin reopened the footpath briefly about a month ago and then—no, no, mustn’t have that!—changed their minds and closed it off again. They closed it off by sticking a big gate panel in the gap in the fence they were now regretting.
Over the first weekend, the local youff knocked it down.
Next weekend, the admin attached it to the gateposts with these little plastic loop things like the builders’ version of the plastic loops that hold price tags on clothing.
The youff cut the loops and knocked the gate down again.
This weekend just past, the admin chained the panel to the posts.
The youff dug out the bottom of the panel and shoved it back far enough that they and, possibly, a cranky old lady and her ebb and flow of hellcritters could get through.
The admin have now lowered and tightened the loops of chain.
## And doesn’t have a change-ringing bell tower available^
^ With my usual caveat that good ringers do not use brute strength. I am not a good ringer. But I have unembarrassing upper arms.
*** Maybe I’ll tell you about my voice lesson tomorrow.
† Fortunately we have a oscillating fan so both Darkness and I can get some churned-up air. Neither Pav nor Chaos seems to mind that much.
Please join the discussion at Robin McKinley's Web Forum.