Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Rain. Foxes. Colour co-ordination.

I thought we were having a lot of rain and then I saw photos yesterday of floods in parts of Galicia and realised that we were getting off quite lightly. We have had rather a lot of the wet stuff though. 

I’ve been getting up at the crack of dawn to make my way to my daughter’s house and take her offspring to school. Usually it’s raining when I set off from home but by the time I have to do the long walk from their school to the railway station it’s been fine and I’ve managed not to get soaked. Sometimes it just works out. 

 Today I didn’t need to get up at the crack of dawn for one reason and another so I slept a little longer and got up in time to do my usual Wednesday morning run from home to Uppermill where there is a market. There I buy fresh fish from the fish van and various other odds and ends and then catch the bus back home. It was barely raining when I set off but by the time I was halfway to Uppermill it was turning a little torrential. Good job I had my waterproof jacket on! But I was still rather wet. 

Fortunately I did not have to wait too long for the bus. In fact, I barely had time to snatch my change from the hand of the man on the cheese and biscuit stall before leaping onto the bus which I had not expected for another 10 minutes. Either it was very early or it was the previous bus arriving amazingly late! Somehow I suspect the latter. Anyway, I was relieved not to have to wait around in rather damp running gear. 

The day got better later, just as the weathermen had predicted. 

Last night I saw a TV programme about urban foxes. I haven’t seen any around here for ages. Time was I used to see them crossing the by-pass when I was returning from late meetings. Nowadays I don’t do those late evening drives and so I don’t get to see the foxes. In some parts of the country, however, it seems that foxes are causing havoc. Not just attacking farmers’ chickens either. They have learnt to scavenge from dustbins in the suburbs of many cities. Maybe the programme should have been called Suburban Foxes. 

Then the problem has been exacerbated by people who think they are cute and pretty. These people put food out for them, some of them spending large amounts of money on cat food and dogwood for them. One chap was even able to call the fox to come and get her evening meal. Another couple had a cctv set-up which filmed what was going on in their garden and spent hours watching it. Seriously! They should get out more, obviously. Not everyone was happy to have them around. 

Some people employed professional pest-removers to shoot them and take them away. One woman, disgusted by the smell, waited up, unsuccessfully, camped in her garden with a big stick to knock out the fox which was using her lawn as a toilet. When that failed she agreed to let the programme makers put motion-sensitive cameras in her garden. The resulting film revealed not a fox but a large ginger cat using the lawn to leave his calling card. I always thought cats buried their leavings but this one left it splat in the middle of the lawn ... in several different places. This is what the lady could smell when she opened her door. I can vouch for the nastiness of that, having had a cat use our sandpit for a litter tray years ago when our kids were small. 

And then there are the cat-flaps. There have been reports of houses invaded by foxes who get in through the cat-flap. How disgusting is that?! Of course, in a society where the majority of people live in flats and cats are kept indoors this sort of thing could not happen. Maybe the Spanish have got it right. 

Here’s another bit of news. Little Prince George has been christened today. I suppose it had to happen. He is, after all, going to be head of the Church of England one day. So here is a picture of mother and baby co-ordination. I know some people regard their babies as accessories but this kind of colour-matching is a little over the top. 

And as if that’s not enough. the Archbishop of Canterbury seems to have got in on the co-ordinated act. 

Mind you, it doesn’t seem to have rained on them.

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