Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It is really amazing how easily my name is continuously misspelt. You would think that Glyn is a pretty easy moniker to write or remember but no, it comes in all shapes. My nephew Tony’s wife, Leigh still spells it with a double n as does Douglas’s sister in law, Susan, and the other day a friend in England e-mailed us with the news that she had got “one of Glen’s books.” Surely on the cover of the book the name Glyn is printed quite clearly for all to see. This has happened all my life and I probably make a big deal of it in the autobiography. I have also recently used it elsewhere, that is in Thornton King number five where the character of Ernest J. Bloomberg, budding script writer and film director is incensed by people constantly calling him Bloomfield. He is not the first and shan’t be the last to have his name misspelt. The Jones bit is pretty easy as well but that too has been misspelt and it is most annoying if it hinges on some aspect of one’s profession. For example on a record sleeve my songs are attributed to one Glyn Johns. Great! At least it’s not Glynn Johns pr Glen Johns.

Mister Ratty and family are still inhabiting roof space and I do believe there must be a mouse or mice who come out in the kitchen at night as a piece of bread I left in Merrill’s dish on the butcher’s block was found nibbled on the floor in the morning. But our problem is as nothing compared to the rat infestation in a part of India. The local farmers call it a flood, an inundation that happens every fifty years. Others believe it is an act of God, an inevitability. (Of course it is an act of God – everything is an act of God whether you believe in Him/Her/It or not)). A gigantic plague of rats that ruins crops and leaves people starving, a rat army so big, so mythical, that until now scientist refused to believe it and evidently it is all down to bamboo dying and seeding before it goes, leaving eighty tons of seed per hectare on the ground to feed the rats. It is an event that only occurs every half century. The rats can produce a litter every three weeks and the babies reach sexual maturity in just 50 to 60 days. There are people who weren’t alive when the last explosion took place and some farmers evidently, accepting what they consider to be inevitable, don’t even bother to plant their rice as it is bound to be eaten. Evidently all the methods of pest control have failed. More than two million six hundred rats were collected in 2009. Female rats can mate again as soon as they have given birth so a female can be nursing one litter while pregnant with the next. Rats need to eat 10% to 15% of their body weight each day just to maintain that weight. The old world rat and mouse family has more species in it than any other mammal family and a new species of giant rat was discovered last year in the jungle of Papua New Guinea.

So there you are, all you need to know about rats. Brrr!

1 comment:

Lewis said...

Talking about rodents: In the Middle Ages, cats were killed by the thousands, owing to a belief that they were witches’ familiars. This evil practice quite possibly contributed to the propagation of the great plague, the Black Death, which was presumably spread by the fleas on infected rats. We broke the contract and we paid for it.