Monday, February 25, 2008

Bump in the night

Being a proper fey town mouse, with a strong strain of sympathy for Buddhism, I am especially squeamish about killing things. After a few months of regular country weekends, however, I began to learn that you just can't be this way in the hinterlands. First it was the spiders, sucked up by the hoover. I don't mind spiders but I do mind their sticky webs coating every nook and cranny in the house. Not long after that, I ordered poison to be poured onto the wasps' nest – it was just too close to my favourite picnic spot in the garden.

But Friday was the night of the first big kill. Driving back to our house from the station in our heavy Land Rover we saw a rabbit run out. Too late, it hesitated and too late we braked. There was the unmistakable bump of a newly squashed Peter Rabbit beneath the tyres. I am sorry, but we left it for dead. I have been reassured that rabbits die quickly (they easily get heart attacks) and perhaps a fox would eat it, so its life wasn't entirely without purpose. Not to mention that there are more rabbits breeding than even Brangelina can manage to adopt – we can spare one or two to the tarmac.

Oddly, the thing I was surprised to note was that I didn't cry or even get too upset. I must be more country than I thought...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Out to lunch

We had a rare bit of fun on Sunday - a friend came to lunch, with her younger sister and a tiny baby boy. Both my friend and I are townies and we found that arranging a lunch in the country is not as easy as looking at the tube map. There were complicated instructions on the phone, then she downloaded more instructions off a route planner. She got almost to the house and then asked someone the way, but they sent her in the wrong direction. Several phone calls later (bad signal in the country means the phone keeps cutting out) my slightly harrassed friend arrived. We wolfed down our lunch (farm chicken, roast potatoes, farm shop carrots etc - all had to be planned early the day before because nothing open on Sunday and most of the good stuff gone from the shops by 1pm on a saturday) and then it was time for her to head off again. Still, she appreciated the log fire in the dining room and her baby was particularly taken by a brass candlestick holder we removed from the piano for him to play with. Ahhh.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Conquer the Castle

Just discovered today that Sky TV are doing a series about six 'dedicated city slickers' attempting to learn some country ways. I can't believe that two weeks at the beautiful Atholl Castle is as 'gruelling' as they promise but apparently someone who has a pet rabbit has to skin one for lunch (not the actual pet, I'm assuming). Anyway - check it out:
I'm going to see if I can't wangle a visit on behalf of the book.

Friday, February 1, 2008

And it's in!

The MS has been delivered. Phew.
All fnigres nad tose crssoed.....