Jaye’s Journal ~25-31 July

 

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I listened to the thunder approaching as I caught up with writing the next chapter of my WIP. It sounded slightly ominous, but in a half-hearted way, if you know what I mean. We seem to get a lot of this half-hearted weather down here in Hampshire. They say it has something to do with being so close to the South Downs. It kind of messes with the wind currents or something.

At this stage, there was no way of knowing if it the storm would ever reach us, or veer off somewhere else. In the end, we had a few more rumbles and that was it.

On to the next disappointment. The eclipse.

Wall to wall cloud made sure we didn’t see anything, either the moon or the eclipse. We had been watching the moon all week as it slowly became full, only to have nothing at all to see on the night in question. We were in good company, for no one else in the UK saw it either, but the awful sticky heat had gone, and I could really concentrate on my writing. Word count has gone up by nearly 5000 words this week!

They promised rain, which would be more than welcome, as I could hear the garden screaming for moisture all way inside my office.

But when it did rain, it wasn’t the deluge they promised, just a quick half-hearted shower, but better than nothing, I suppose.

After a damp and slightly chilly weekend, I had the opportunity to play truant, and I didn’t hesitate. It was like the Prisoner of Zenda escaping, as I ran and jumped in the car, ready for the off. An afternoon walking around The New Forest? What’s not to like?

There will be lots of pictures and post to follow!

 A Surprise and Unwelcome Visitor

During the heatwave, we had an unwanted disturbance late one night.

We had not long been in bed and couldn’t sleep as the heat was stifling. We heard a commotion downstairs and thought we were being burgled. We were about to investigate when we heard bottles clinking. A thirsty burglar? What was going on?

The culprit turned out to be Merlin, our beloved black and white cat. He tried to look innocent, but we knew what was going on. Somewhere in our house was a very small but unwelcome visitor. After crawling around on my hands and knees, looking in all his favourite places, I managed to track it down to the dining room, where Merlin had the tiny mouse cornered under the table. I managed to grab it with an old tea towel and take it out to the garden.

It was while I was out there, I decided it was the perfect place to sit and enjoy a coffee, even though it was two in the morning. I wasn’t having any luck sleeping anyway…

Tom and Jerry… Part one

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How many of you know the answer to this question… which is worse than finding a mouse running around your office?
Finding two, is the right answer.

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We willingly share our house with one stroppy, arrogant and demanding black and white cat, called Merlin. He is a lovely cat, but with one particular quirk we wish he didn’t have. He loves to bring us gifts from the garden. Usually a mouse of some description, but we have had a frog and a butterfly too. He is a very gentle cat, so none of his gifts are damaged.

He is getting on a bit now, as are we all, but he still hasn’t learned that his chosen gift will not sit and wait while he has a spot of lunch. It’s quite comical really, the way you can see him trying to puzzle out where it went.

But this time he has surpassed himself and we have two at the same time. One is larger than the other, a field mouse I think, with a lovely white chest, and the other is so cute. Just like a cartoon mouse, dark, round, and not a bit shy. Lovely, but we don’t want them in doors.
Over the years, we have tried to catch them, and sometimes get lucky. Like the time one was hiding behind the cushions on the couch, leaving his tail sticking out for all to see.

Mostly though, it’s a very frustrating time, wondering where they are and what they might be chewing.

As we are getting far too old to be crawling around the floor, we bought one of those humane traps. Loaded with cheese and room to move around, they seem to work some of the time.

The larger field mouse used this facility and was soon back outside, but the smaller one was becoming a problem, acting like no mouse I have ever seen. He has taken to sitting in the middle of the floor, staring at Merlin. Merlin just stares back, as if he can’t figure it out either. Then the funny little creature started patrolling around the house as if he belonged there. Seeing this tiny brown ball (with a tail) slowly moving around was weird. He was ignoring the trap, so this was becoming a real problem.

In the end, we left the back door open all day, hoping he would take advantage of it and go back to where he belonged.

We do consider ourselves lucky though. Next doors cats bring in half eaten mice and birds. At least our old Merlin is a big softy!

There is a lot more to this story… tune in next week, to see what happened next!