So if you’ve read any of my previous posts, you will be aware we live on a farm (I suppose the name of my blog gives it away).
Many people think this is some kind of idyll existence and, on many levels, it is.
However there are drawbacks to rural, country living and one of these are unwanted guests.
I don’t mean the farmer from the neighbouring farm coming for a gossip-farmers are worse than women for gossiping.
I mean rodents and insects.
Now if someone were to offer me the choice of insects or rodents, I would go for the fur every time. Some people (my husband included) disagree but that is my choice.
At the beginning of this year when Christmas was all over and I boxed up all the decorations, my husband took them off to wherever they ‘go’ and I didn’t really think much of it.
Then in the summer when I was mooching around the farm buildings, I found all the Christmas things in an old barn.
It is very cobwebby in there and some feed is kept in there (chicken I think) along with wrapping for bales of straw and twine, you know one of those places where you can find anything.
I noticed that one of the decoration boxes had fallen over and a few baubles were strewn across the dirty, cobwebby floor.
The sun was shining though so I quickly got what I went in for and continued applying suntan lotion to Boo or helping her trampoline, I’m not sure.
Then at the beginning of November, I had a lightening bolt moment and remembered the box with the hole on the floor.
I went and rescued the box and brought it into the kitchen (why, I do not know) and Rosie the dog began a frenzied sniffing marathon with a strange tail-wagging which I have only ever seen when she has smelt/caught something mouse-like.
I donned a pair of attractive rubber gloves, acquired a stick, put the dog out and began my exploratory mission to Christmases of years gone by, all in that one box.
My initial fears were confirmed when low and behold, droppings were found in the bottom of the box.
Salt dough decorations had been gnawed-despite them being varnished. There were shredded pieces of felt and fluff and then I found the route of what had attracted the rodents in the first place.
You know the little stockings you often win at Christmas a tombola that contain sweets and chocolates to hang on your tree?
Well some of the sweets had not been eaten and I just packed them way with my tree with little thought of where said decorations would be stored.
I was distraught.
Christmas decoration collections can take years to build up. Some of the items were from Boo’s first Christmas. The items that hadn’t been chewed, I grouped into foil and felt. Placed the felt ones inside a stocking and put them in the washing machine on cool.
I then but all the foil baubles in the sink.
Second lesson of the day-foil baubles do not wash.
When I returned to the sink after giving them a little soak, all the foil had disappeared and I spent a good ten minutes fishing it out of my plug hole.
All is not lost however, I managed to pick some replacement baubles up quite cheaply but I have cleared out my husband’s side of the wardrobes and the Christmas decorations will be going in there after Christmas this year.
So when you think of us frolicking in fields with lambs and having a flock of chickens chirping around our feet, think too of the horseflies that we have to dodge in the warmer months and our other unwanted guests that seem to want to share our festive cheer.