Thursday, December 14, 2006
That mouse with the sweet tooth continues to make a nuisance of himself. I had thought that we'd gathered up all the chocolates and other confectionery in the kitchen, but apparently not. Following some chewing sounds, we came across a plastic bag containing half a dozen sachets of sugarless drinking chocolate.
Apparently it was the cocoa that had attracted the rodent's attention, since he had gnawed open one of the sachets, sugar-free or not.
I have a humane mouse-trap somewhere. I must get it out and try catching him. It won't be hard to decide on what to use for bait - a chocolate truffle or similar will do the job.
Meanwhile other pests are making their presence felt. There were so many flies in the house last month that we bought a new screen for the back door. Our remaining cat Paco is a bit puzzled by it; so far he has worked out how to get out, but not to get back in again. I'm sure that with time he'll get the hang of it.
Wednesday I had a whole list of things to pick up and to do. I had it all written out on a scrap of paper, crossing them off as I went like that guy on television.
If you'd been watching my progress on a map, I would have zigzagged back and forth and made big wide circles around the city, from Chesterman Street in the north to Weld Street in the south.
Traffic was getting heavier with the Christmas rush, but I was more worried by the slow but steady build-up of that smoky haze in the air. All the hills and mountains on the horizons were becoming harder and harder to see, and there was just a faint tang about the air.
Reports about the fires on the east coast dominated local radio broadcasts, and the local newspapers must have ordered up big on red ink to print all those colour photographs of raging bushfires. The one that struck me the most was a picture of a couple standing at their back gate watching fire-fighters try to quell a blaze that was literally a stone's throw from their boundary. None of us want to imagine ourselves in their place.
Hurrying through the mall on my way to the bank, I stopped for a moment to take a second look at a display in the window of one department store. It was a giant snow dome and inside it, a cheerful looking penguin and a teddy bear were standing under a signpost reading "North Pole." I wondered if I was the only passer-by who was disturbed by this sight.
My sister meanwhile was over at her house feeding the livestock. Two of the goslings survived from the last batch of eggs, and two of the older geese have died during the year, so she finishes 2006 with the same number (11) in the gaggle.
Meantime at my house Zelda the Suburban Goose continues to "rule the roost" in the back garden. I have only to cough when I walk out into the kitchen first thing in the morning for her to give a honk that she's ready for breakfast. For an animal with no visible ears, her hearing is very acute.
I hadn't realised that Rod, our Associate Minister, hadn't been there when I've mentioned National Novel Writing Month in the past. When I happened to mention it in conversation, I had to explain the concept - writing 50,000 words during the month of November.
He stared at me. "That's about 1500 words a day," he said. "It must just pour out of you like a tap."
"Would that it were so!" I thought to myself.
And since it is December the television stations are well into the "silly season". Looking at some of the programmes on offer it's easy to see why it's called that.
Some of their decisions don't really seem to make a lot of sense. For example, who decided to screen the final season of Star Trek Enterprise at 2 a.m. on Monday morning? That's a time slot almost designed to make sure that the target audience isn't watching.
And can we please have fewer programmes about autopsies screened in the early evening? I'm usually late getting dinner on the table and this doesn't do much to encourage my appetite.