Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 25/03/2012

All Tooled Up

I’m genuinely scared Dear Reader and in need of some serious security solution; whilst enjoying the weather outdoors (the indoors weather by contrast was dreadful) I happened upon the squirrel proof bird feeder laying on the ground. This feeder has been out of action ever since the squirrel proofing failed and I found part of the metal moulding separated from the body of the feeder. I took a closer look to see whether I could possibly fix the metal housing where the birds gain access to the feeders contents and so use the container again. You can imagine my consternation when I noticed on closer inspection that the two metal mouldings connected together and and to my surprise the two were held together by nut and bolt. I know squirrels learn quickly, but I thought it was only man and the great apes that had got to grips with the idea of tools. It looks like our squirrel has been down to B&Q (Home Depot to our American cousins (other DIY stores are available (all in the name of balance*))) and bought himself (or herself**) a screwdriver. I’m worried his next target will be the patio door hinges to the dining room… then there’ll be havoc.

I may be hobbling tomorrow (good hobby hobbling or ‘obblin as they say in the West Country, ooh arrr – good as long as you don’t get caught***) but it was all in a worthy cause. My boy, as I have mentioned, has developed a love of the Glorious Game.. no, not THAT Glorious Game.. he already likes Football (Soccer, if you will (and if you won’t it doesn’t matter anyway)) I mean the REAL Glorious Game, Rugby (Union… it has to be Union, not of that silly League stuff). We quite often spend time inside (or outside) the house passing a rugby ball about, talking about techniques etc; we also go out in the back garden to try some place kicks but even with the length of our garden I’m worried that the ball will go flying over the hedge either into a cordoned off piece of land or the woods behind the house, such is his ability to give the ball a wack. As a solution we took two rugby balls over to the local park where space doesn’t prove an issue and started practising drop kicks, place kicks and passing. It’s been a good few years since I last played (at University in fact) and I don’t think I had the right shoes on for such activities but it was fun to play again (without a marauding pack of “brick toilets”***** bearing down on you) but I suspect I might pay for it in the morning.

I’ve mentioned that the weather has been delightful at the moment, unseasonably so (there’s talk of a hosepipe ban in the South of England where I live… it’s okay, I don’t eat many anyway), and with that in mind we went hunting after our game had finished (no, not for hosepipes… they migrate here around June time).. hunting for snakes. I’ve seen a grass snake close to the bushes that surround one of the ponds in the park and as there’s a large pile of grass clippings thought I’d start there (they will hibernate in the clipping as the central core (and I’m being serious here (for once)) can develop quite high temperatures which the snakes use to their advantage (it saves on their gas and electricity bills) being cold blooded creatures). Despite our best efforts to be quiet and step gently around the hedges nothing was apparent so we headed home via another row of scrub land. The floor was littered with old leaves and whilst walking down a narrow track I heard a rustling (when I’d let the cowboy and his stolen cows pass..) and on closer inspection spotted the source of the noise… a Common Lizard (eeh, it were right common it were******). We followed it’s progress for a minute or so, before leaving it to it’s own devices but pleased to have seen it, and of course, where there are lizards… there are snakes just waiting to devour them!

*Still after that BBC gig!
** Don’t you oppress me!
*** No, I don’t know what I’m talking about either!****
****There seems to be an outbreak of Exclamation Marks! See what I mean?!?!?!
*****I’m very cognisant that I use a lot of colloquial terms in my blog and that this might not translate outside of these ‘ere shores, me hearties – my only advice is to watch some Benny Hill, Blackadder, Faulty Towers or the real insight into the British psyche.. the Carry On movies, honest, Dear Reader we English do run round at silly speeds in long lines and all say “Oooh Matron” all the time.
******Yep, more vernacular terms.


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