Email from my brother : Double A Batteries


Hi Fay,

How’s it going?  I just went and checked out your blog before writing this and boy, for your meal planning I can’t believe you had a Burger King for breakfast the other week!?  Most of the time I’m a vegetarian by proxy so I’m going to have to live through you.  Did you have bacon or a hamburger?  Did you have a Whopper or a double Whopper?  More details please.

This week we have been getting used to our new driveway.  By  that I mean I’ve installed three new battery powered LED security lights.  And by installed I mean I put some nails into the fences and hung those babies off of them like Christmas decorations.   Two of them run off four AA batteries and feature two little LED spotlights that can be angled in different directions like a man wearing big foam hands.  I’ve got one on one side of a gate pointing down towards our back door, the other is on the other side in the actual car park pointing at random points that I hope correspond to places where people need light.  These little things just seem to blind me like a BMW on full beam at the moment, so I don’t really know where to point them.  It’s all trial and error.  I’ll get feedback from Juliette’s family when they start coming back to the door saying they’ve lost their car in the dark.

We’ve also got a solar powered LED spotlight that I fixed up a pole and was supposed to flood the entire area with luminescence because they said it was three times more powerful than the mother*cking sun (not actual quote from box).   In fact creates about the same amount of light as the spotlight in the opening credits from an episode of Mr Bean but spread out over a larger area it’s not so impressive.  Also the little sensor on seems to be a bit rubbish.  It’s supposed to be a ten meter detection area but I could walk up to the thing before it popped on.  They should just put an on/off switch on it and be done.  I’m thinking I should just gaffer tape a load of pound shop torches onto the fences and get visitors to rip them off the fence why then need them.

Anyway I say this because these lights are all battery powered.  Again the blurb on the boxes said that the AA batteries will last 9 months based on three activations per night.  So which 9 months?  Does that include February or are we talking about the long months like July & August.  Also is it a leap year?  Okay so it’s roughly six or seven hundred activations before the batteries are flat.  No big deal.

So on a normal workday I get up about an hour to half an hour early and take Sam in the sling to give Juliette a bit more time to sleep on her own.  This Tuesday I was up with Sam in the sling and looking out of our kitchen window marveling at the coming sun rise because I could also see a crescent moon rising over the hills at the same time.  I’m not soft or anything, I just live in rural New Zealand and I’m starved of entertainment.  We don’t have a TV but I feel silly and elitist telling people that because we torrent America’s Next Top Model and Sons of a Guns.  But a good sunrise is worth writing home about. 

So I’m standing there in the dark and the lights went on in the car park, so I’m wondering who’s in there.  Then I see the silhouette of Tom the cat slinking back from his nightly hunt.  I thought he spent the night under our house killing rats, but no, it seems he prefers to go into the fields so no wonder he’s so fat.  Also now we’ve got a driveway for him to walk up there’s no way he’s getting his paws wet in the damp grass.  Check out King O’ The Cats.

Trouble is he’s setting off the lights.  I wouldn’t mind if he just walked up to the house but he’s walking a bit, lights go on, he stops, he crouches, a leg shoots up in the air for a lick, lights eventually dim, he moves off, lights go on, he stops for another lick, lights dim and so on and so on.  I swear at one point a car came down from the hill and must have seen a giant silhouette against the house of Tom licking his balls.

So now I’m thinking we’re going to have to set a rat bounty on his kills.  Each rat he brings in is worth four double-A batteries and if he’s short a month – no more cat biscuits.  You lick your balls in daylight my friend.  I’ve told him this to his face but he just gives me a look that says I need to charter a container ship from China to carry all the f*cks he does not give.

Hope you have a good week and all,
Take care,
Love Mark xxx
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As always Mark.........


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