Friday, 3 July 2020

It looks like the vixen who lives in my garden is on heat. Her Cubs, I think there are three of them, now seem to be full grown, and a dog fox has taken up residence in the garden. Oddly, the dog fox doesn't use the fox holes the vixen has tunneled, even though these are now a veritable warren. The vixen has three entrances to a huge cavern under my compost bin. Clearly vixens don't mind a smelly neighbourhood. Surprisingly, the dog fox just lays in wait in the garden. Probably he knows he would not be welcome if he poked his nose into the fox holes. Do dog foxes have fox holes?

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Summer rain

This summer is beginning to remind me of the summers of my youth. My dad used to be a professional snake catcher for London Zoo in his youth, so he had done a lot of camping, especially in the New Forest. The snakes he caught were the commoner types: grass snakes and adders. The zoo valued them not because it could exhibit them, but because they formed an important part of the diet of several animals they did display to the public. Spending most of his weekends under canvas for several years made my dad think of himself as something of an expert camper and he was very proud of the army surplus tent we had, which he said was so big it was technically a marquee. But size was not the main issue. The point about this tent was that it could, and did on occasion, withstand hurricanes so he would pitch on a full camp site at night and find we were the only ones left in the morning, the other tents having presumably blown away. We were all weather campers. That meant I frequently got to hear the intoxicating sound of heavy rain beating down on the canvas. Each year we would head off to some distant part of the realm, usually managing to go via the Lake District. For some reason we always stayed a night or two at a tiny but magical camp site hidden from view by surrounding hills. I once asked my dad where this was, hoping to re-visit it. But he said he didn't know. Somehow the car always found it. And when we got there of course it rained. There is nothing that makes you feel safer and sounder than being inside a watertight tent listening to the drumming of a heavy storm. And here it is again. The constant sound of summer rain. Takes me back.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

The thrill of the chaise

Well that was a close one. I came across a chaise longue someone had thrown out, as you do in Chatham. Since I am a dedicated freecycler, my running club, the Medway Rebel Runners, calls us scavengers, I simply couldn't pass it by. There I was sitting on it, thinking would this improve my life style enough to make up for the space it would take up, oblivious to the pressing feeling in my left buttock. I was sitting on my keys. Eventually I decided it was too much effort and reluctantly parted from it. But when I got home I was shocked to find my key had been bent out of shape and would not fit the lock. I was stuck outside wearing a sweaty t shirt and shorts. I had been running. So I set about finding a blunt instrument to hit the key to bend it back into shape. Success came eventually when I found a lump of concrete; but it is surprisingly difficult to straighten a key with concrete. If you see a chaise my advice is run on by. Note: with thanks to Tony Coll who wrote the title.