Saturday, 25 February 2012

I am Rock Chick

Yeah baby!

My house is nearly empty.

I am rattling around.

Less people, less furniture, less stuff.

A lot less stuff.

It feels good.

Apart from my bed and piano, the only functioning equipment left set up is the stereo. By some fluke of subliminal organisation, my CDs are also still visible.

And one of the best things about this house is the very thick basement walls. They are really thick, thick like a castle.

This means you can turn the volume and bass up to deliriously high levels.

So while I was feeling a bit grim, finding out just what had fallen behind the washing machine over the last decade, I remembered that I could be doing it all to music.

Then I saw it.

Led Zeppelin.

Hadn't listened to it for years.

Yes, it was loud.

Yes it was brilliant.

It was more brilliant than I remembered it being, probably because everything since has been feeble dross in comparison.

I could fling cobweb covered wall tiles and pots of paint over my shoulder, as if they were television sets out of hotel windows.

It was harder to be so dramatic with the odd socks, but I tried anyway.

When it was all over, there was the cup of tea, and a sing along to 'Stairway to Heaven' between sips.

Proper music. Does what it says on the tin.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Mouse Traps - The Bad News

I went to my mother's house today to pick up the post and (as I convinced myself) to check the empty mousetraps.

They were meant to be empty, they really were.

It was VERY spooky to go into an empty house, and peer round the kitchen door, to see the bedraggled corpse of an adult mouse, pinned by its neck, next to the washing machine. The second trap was empty.

I'm not usually squeamish, having seen rats and other enchanting wildlife in India, but something about this poor rodent sent shivers all through me. I stood in the hall, wondering whether to drive all the way home again to fetch a son or two to help, but decided that would be daft.

I stood for a bit longer, thinking I could leave it and hope the carpet fitters coming a few days later would deal with it, but would that be fair?

Probably not.

I stood for a bit longer in the hall, feeling all creepy.

And slightly foolish.

I stood with that sensation for many minutes. Then decided I had to take charge of the situation. I was an adult, I could do this sort of thing.

Then I waited some more.

Finally, I put on my Marigolds and hesitantly took a bin liner out of my bag. I planned to cover the corpse with the bin liner, then scoop up the offending creature so the bag turned inside out round it, then I would run for the front door (left open for speed) and head for the wheelie bin.

The tactic worked, but with little electric shock sensations running up my spine, as I felt the limpness of the body through the gloves. I ran through the house with a silent scream (although I have to confess, it might not have been totally silent)and made it to the wheelie bin.

I couldn't get out of the house fast enough after that, which is sad as I am supposed to be moving in on Friday - and we all know that there is never, ever, only one mouse in a house.


Friday, 3 February 2012

Shopping - not as much fun as it used to be

Life's been rather stressful lately. I'm expecting to move house, to a very small place. This means I've been sifting through 16 years of family bits and pieces and trying to get rid of quite a lot of furniture. It's been interesting - I realised that I need to handle every single item in the house, and make a decision about each one. I've been doing well, there have been numerous trips to the dump, two local charity shops stocked almost entirely with our things, and Freecycle devotees have been coming round regularly to dismantle wardrobes and shelves. As well as all this, my mother's house, which I let on her behalf, has (for complicated reasons I won't go into here) required complete refurbishment. So I have been project managing that and doing runs to the dump and so on for her house as well. This has coincided with the busiest time of year at work. No peace for the wicked, as they say.

This decluttering of my life has been liberating. I was very surprised to find the only thing I felt slightly traumatised about getting rid of was the family collection of about a cubic metre of Lego. I started to sift through it, meaning to take only a small box of the more interesting bricks and little people to keep, but as I started to put to one side spacecraft engine parts and gears, I realised I couldn't let it go. Weird. It's not like I'm going to sit and build a spaceship or pirate island any time soon (although that might be quite soothing, thinking about it).

All this sorting and removing and clearing and decision making has meant there is no point in my buying more material possessions. Instead, yesterday on a shopping trip, I ended up in an ironmonger buying flea powder and mouse traps. Not for myself I hasten to add, but for my mother's house (the last tenants weren't the sort of people you would have back in a hurry - astonishingly, one was a student health visitor). It's not the same as the sort of shopping trip where you can do a 'show and tell' when you get home.

The bad news is that now I have to go to my mother's house and set the mousetraps and squirt the flea powder everywhere. I feel very sorry for the mice (who I am rather fond of) but as friend pointed out, I can't use a humane trap, as between visits the poor little creatures would starve slowly, which we decided would be worse. I was tempted by the sonic repelling machine, but as the house has new windows, there is no where for them to escape, so they would end up being driven mad. Life is full of difficult choices at the moment, the mode for murdering mice, and whether to keep a Lego shark and octopus.

I wonder whether the shark would like a trip into outer space?

I hope the sale goes through now, otherwise I am going to be rattling around in a large, and mainly empty, house.

Freecycle is brilliant by the way, and the people who have been coming round seem to be really good types, who I have enjoyed meeting.