The farmers were saying if we didn’t get rain soon the olive crop would be ruined. I said if we don’t get rain soon the garden will be bone dry. So we got rain. My God, did we get rain! The English say it’s raining cats and dogs (what a peculiar expression), the Greeks say it’s raining chair legs (equally odd). I’ve probably said that before. I seem to have a memory of saying it anyway. We didn’t just get chair legs; we got the chairs as well. What a downpour thundering on the breakfast room roof. Fortunately it didn’t settle down for days on end as it sometimes does. It lasted only a few hours but a few hours were enough. I reckon in the first half hour we already had a good three inches of rain or even more.
And the house leaked, boy did it leak, in places it has never leaked before. There were buckets, bowels and towels everywhere. This winter it will leak every time it rains and it’s all down to Mister Ratty. I don’t know how big the family is but we have rats in the various roofs and they have either displaced the waterproofing or destroyed some of it. They have known to keep guests awake at night as they play football up there: scamper, scamper, scamper. Throwing slippers at the ceiling keeps them quiet for a while but not for long. Well, I’m afraid if they’re going to cause any more damage they must be got rid of. They’re not like horrid grey town rats (I remember once in Edinburgh late at night seeing this enormous hunchback rat running across the road to disappear down a drain and it gave me the cold shivers it looked so evil) no, these are country rats obviously and really very pretty. Ray informs us that in Australia they’re kept as pets but these are not pets, they’re pests. The lower roofs can be got at but what does one do about a double story? How do you get under that roof it is so high up? But that is above the guest room and we simply have to find a way of getting rid of the little buggers. Now that the cold weather is settling in they’re there for the duration.
When we bought Hollings Farm the then owner, Stanley Kitchen whose Yorkshire accent was so broad he sometimes had to get his son to translate for him, told us the ceiling in the kitchen (no longer there) was made of canvas which, once painted and dried out became taut and they could always tell by the sound of the scampering whether it was a rat or a mouse.
Chris read somewhere that if you put cat’s piss down that frightens them off. We can do that by using the spoilt litter in the cat box but again you have to get to the right place to put it.
I know I have been going on about cruelty but we have reached the stage unfortunately when we have to do something cruel and we all hate the idea – that is to use glue pads. A rat goes for the titbit in the middle, peanut butter, bacon, chocolate, whatever and gets his paws stuck in the glue. His cries then frighten the other ones away and he dies a slow death. The whole idea is abhorrent. No animal deserves to die in this fashion, not even a rat but what can one do?
So if anyone has a better idea before we put down the pads I would be only too glad to hear it.
I have had an e-mail from Action Alert re what in America are called crush videos. Evidently there are certain monsters in the world that make videos of animals being deliberately maimed tortured mutilated and killed for kicks. Jesus Christ it’s something unbelievable that people can behave in this sick manner. The senate has evidently voted to ban them. Action Alert had 100000 signatures on their petition. If I had known about it they certainly would have had one more but innocents like myself simply don’t know about these things until brought to our attention because we never imagine it. Evidently they were banned once before and a man was charged with this cruelty but got away with it because some stupid judge muttered something about freedom of speech. What the fuck has that got to do with it?
I am thinking of starting my own petition regarding the dolphins in Denmark.