This week is all about rats!

You want the next instalment? You got it!

Hi Fay,

How’s it going?  Hope your arse has un-numbed itself after your two hour wait for your drug trial.  That makes you sound like Mr Big in an international bust but you know what I mean.

Not much to report this week except of course we’re still waiting for a new bathroom.  We’ve got hot water now but it’s been disconnected from our old bathroom so it can go through to the new one.  The new bathroom is still waiting for the floor to be tiled before we put in things like a toilet and sink.  We’ve got a shower in now though.  It’s not plumbed in yet.  The new bath is still in bubble wrap in the garage too.  Getting a bit sick of flannel baths now, almost as sick as you are reading about flannel baths I reckon.

Our fencing guy is still replacing the old fencing and the place really looks good now.  Where once some rickety old wire and wood edifice used to be is a proper sturdy three rail wooden fence.  It’s added millions to the value of the property.  I reckon we could sell up now and move to a mansion and be fed peeled grapes by live in grape peelers.  But we won’t because there’s still no hot showers at the house and buyers tend not to want places where they can’t get themselves clean without a resorting to the same wash routine as a car.  Warm water, bucket, soap.  If it’s good enough for a Rolls Royce surely it’s good enough for you?  Chamois leather is optional of course.

I go out and have a chat with our fencing bloke every now and again and I reckon we’re both glad of a bit of conversation.  Subjects we’ve talked about; hunting using infra-red night vision goggles, alpacas, how to hang a gate correctly, the weather, using a throwing knife to kill a rat, his wife’s grandmother who was born in our house, chickens and gas bottles used for barbecues.  I go out in the morning and never know where the conversation will go.  I had a chat to him about rats again this morning.

We’ve been woken up with the sound of a rat in our loft for a couple of nights.  Not just running around, but the sound of clawing and gnawing.  Try waking up with the sound of a country rat trying to get through the ceiling above your bed.  Now imagine trying to ignore it and get back to sleep.  Juliette is a vegetarian and an all round peace loving hippy but when it comes to rats coming at your face while you sleep, rat paws spread out like the four of clubs and eyeball-chewing teeth going like a chainsaw …then its time to terminate the rats with extreme prejudice.  Flamethrowers aren’t available over the counter so I bought a trap.  Just the one trap, but it was the most expensive and up to date.  Rather than get something that wouldn’t look out of place in a Tom and Jerry cartoon I got this one that basically imitates the jaws of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.  It has serrated edges and, more to the point, offered the benefit that when a rat is caught you can take the whole thing out to where it needs to be disposed of (miniature Viking burial ship ready for burning after being pushed out from the coast, funeral pyre complete with little rat sized Darth Vader hat, the ditch that runs along side our property etc) and you can press the clean end, the jaws open and the rat drops out sans blood, brains and guts that you get with a traditional trap.  The instructions say you just have to wash it afterwards in warm soapy water and it’s good for the next one.  Warm soapy water?  In this house?  It’s a run under the outside tap for you me-laddo, what do you think we’re made of luxury?

Anyway I primed it with peanut butter (all rodents love peanut butter apparently), tied a string around the loop at then end so I could pull it in afterwards, set it up in the loft and left it to do it’s thing.  This morning I went up into the loft to check it and pushed open the hatch with all the enthusiasm of an unnamed extra in an Alien film.  It’s dark up there and when every one is out, no one can hear you scream.  I pulled the piece of string and gathered it up, gathered it up, gathered it up and then I got to the end.  There was no trap, the string was broken!  Or had it been cut?  Cut with tiny rodent teeth.  Why would they cut the string unless they knew!?  Suddenly it was very dark up there and my face felt like it was a shining beacon of rat deliciousness.  They could come out of the dark and take a bite of my cheeks before I knew it.  What was that noise behind me?  I turn.  There it is over in the other corner!  I turn.  The rats would roll that face flesh around their tiny rat mouths like it was butter.

Luckily I’d only put the trap within an arms reach of the hatch so I could just lean over and see I’d got one.  I took the trap outside and not wanting to get my shoes muddy I dropped the carcass onto a fence post for later disposal.  Our fencing guy found it a bit later while I was out at the shops buying lavender hand cream and a tuning fork for my lute, so he slung it in the ditch for me.  I wasn’t really buying that stuff, I just wanted to highlight the puzzled look on his face as to why someone would trap and kill a rat and then not just get his shoes muddy disposing of it.  In my defence I’d like to say that when you haven’t got a f*cking shower or a bath you kind of become averse to the Somme levels of mud and I was wearing my frigging Crocs again okay?!

Sam's okay again now after the virus thing.  Hope you are all right on those experimental drugs.

Mark xxx
Do you know what? As always....
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