Dear Nature

Writing 101, day 8 – write a letter

I thought I’d drop a line to see how you are.  To be honest, I’ve been a bit worried about you lately. You seem to have been, well, let’s say, a bit of a drama queen lately.  What with all the whipping up the wind, and lashing down with the rain, and frankly, no-one likes the fog and the drizzle. Also you seem to have lost your blue paintbrush, preferring to use that nasty gun-metal grey to wash the sky.  Of course, that means there’s not a lot of green either.  Ok, the red and golds are quite nice, but really, they do look better under a sunny sky.

And while we’re on the subject… those leaves.  Look, I know there’s this arrangement with the trees, that you give their branches a rest from time to time, but please could you organise it so that you don’t get into a huff just as the leaves have fallen.  It gets so darn messy. Leaves bloomin’ everywhere.  Couldn’t you just blow them into a neat pile, instead of trying to see how much of a blanket you can cover my garden with?

Oh, and the acorns.  Look, I know trees have to procreate, but do they actually need to produce a gazillion acorns? Surely half a dozen would be enough. Let’s face it, there’s not much to be done with umpteen bins worth of acorns. Even the squirrels are quite overwhelmed.

Now, you know how much I love the animals in my garden don’t you? It’s lovely to see the birds feeding, find hedgehogs wandering about, see the squirrels running along the fence, or find tiny mouse holes here and there.  But there are just a few teeny tiny adjustments that I’d be really grateful if you could make.

Firstly, the birds.

Please ask them not to poop on my patio table. It’s really not nice.  They’ve got their own bird table to poop on if they must.

The Hedgehogs

When will they learn to keep out of the way of my dog? They wander about in the middle of the garden at night, and the dog makes a beeline for them and won’t leave them alone.  I have to go out there with a flashlight, in my jimmyjams and slippers, and physically drag her away.  Could they stay in the far corners please?  There is after all, plenty of piles of leaves for them to hide under.

The Squirrels

Oh they’re so cute.  They gallop along the top of the fence, their fluffy tails bobbing and swooshing.  They tussle entertainingly with the birds as they hurtle along branches.  They’re great.  But…. Would you see to it that they stop burying acorns in the middle of the lawn please?  I’m going to have an oak forest there this time next year I think.

The Mice

I love the mice. Their cute little hands. They’re so teeny tiny. Who’d a thunk that they could do so much damage? They’ve chewed the garden cushions that live in the shed y’know? And they find their way into my house sometimes.  If they’d just stay where they are supposed to be and eat what they’re supposed to eat we’d get along just fine.  Errmm… that goes for the spiders too.

I should elaborate.  You know I have this thing about spiders.  A phobia.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t not like them, they just give me the heebie jeebies. They can’t help being spiders and I know they don’t really mean to scare the living daylights out of me. Why oh why oh why do they have to come into my house though? I’ve got nothing for them to eat.  Those mega granddaddy spiders who run across my carpet when I’m sitting minding my own business, they are asking for trouble (not from me, I just scream, but my husband insists on squishing the poor things).  They can live a long and quiet life if they just spin a pretty web, away from where I’m likely to walk into it (ewww…) maybe decorate the trees with their lace, and we can cohabit without incident for either of us.

Oh sorry, I seem to have gone on a bit and it’s all about my problems, but as usual, you are causing havoc across the globe one way or another – droughts here, floods there, hurricanes, earthquakes.  What the hell is that all about? It would be nice if you could take a few breaths and just calm yourself.  It would be so much easier if everywhere was temperate.  No one place too hot or too cold.  No one without water, and no-one with ruined properties.

It’s got to rain now and again, so let’s have a proper downpour that leaves proper puddles, not this general weepy dampness.  If we’ve got to have clouds, let’s have a few breaks in them so we can look up and say ‘I can see blue’ now and again. I’m sure you’d feel better for it too.

Anyhoo, I’m sorry to nag, but as I said, I’ve been a bit worried about you. However, I have to say that red sky this morning was mesmerising.  Good job!

Best wishes

K

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eeeekkk…

It’s easy to write about my greatest fear.  Everyone knows what it is. I’ve written about it in great detail on my blog before.  It’s much harder though to write in a different style as per the writing 101 challenge suggests today. I’ll give it a go.

Spiders, their creepy crawliness, and legginess, and scuttering. Their black, still, gaze as they spread their legs, clinging, against the laws of physics, to the ceiling.  I can’t deal with them like a normal person does, I go too clammy and heartbeaty. I couldn’t squish one. Apart from being too frozen with fear, I can’t squish anything.  I don’t like killing things, even things I don’t like.  Occasionally, if it’s the right sort and not too big, I can save one, using a spider catcher at arms length.  I tip them out at the end of the garden so that they can’t run straight back in.  Sometimes, I’ve been known to spin them round in the contraption so they lose their bearings, just to make sure they don’t head back to make their home in my home again.

I hear that those ruddy great ones that catch your eye as they run across the living room floor in the evenings are always males looking for a partner. It doesn’t make me love them more.

Writing this is freaking me out.  I keep looking around, quite sure I’m being observed by a many eyed monster hiding in a corner, waiting to jump out at me when I’m least expecting it.  So I’m going to stop.  You’ve got the gist. I don’t like ‘em.  Big or small. Long legged or fat bodied.

I’m Kaye and I fear spiders.

Where do flies go in Winter?

Happy New Year everybody!  Hope you had a happy and cosy Christmas.

Sorry, I’ve been away for a while, not literally, just, you know, away from my blog.  Not making any excuses, sometimes there are more important things in life than writing on here ya’know.  I’ve been busy having a good time with my lovely family – eating, drinking and being merry.  Piling on the pounds.  But now I’m back on the 5:2 wagon to try and lose said pounds, and am going to get down to my blog again to focus my jellified mind…

This last couple of weeks have been somewhat dominated by errmmm… small critters. I was going to say insects, but that’s not technically correct (Ha! I’m not giving any smartiepantsies the opportunity to lecture me if I can help it!).  Doesn’t seem right at this time of year though does it? One would think they’d all be hibernating somewhere out of sight in January.  Where do fly’s go in Winter? I’ll tell you later, but first the Cave debacle.

Creswell CragsWe are lucky to have a wonderful prehistoric site quite local to us called Creswell Crags its a pretty limestone gorge dotted with caves where archeologists have found artefacts dating back 80,000 years.  It is also the home of some Ice Age wall art – the oldest in Britain.  There is proof that Bears, Lions, Tigers, Hyenas and Mammoths have all walked through the gorge at some time in the past.  Its fascinating.  We thought we’d do a tour of the caves.

We were provided with hard hats with lamps on the front (very fetching) and followed a very nice chap into the cave where he was telling us about all the exciting finds, and letting us hold flint arrowheads and stone tools etc.  We were in a very low part of the cave, and had had to keep our knees bent to stand up (all eleven in the group, including me, banged their heads on the ceiling at some point) when the nice chap grinned, looked at the group, and said ‘and how are you all with spiders?’

Well, those of you who know me know that I suffer from quite extreme arachnophobia and despite my best efforts I started to panic at even the mention of the darn things.  It got worse as he shone his torch to the ceiling to show us the large shiny brown Boris’s (and Boris’esses it turns out…. he told us how to tell the difference…ewww…who cares…) that were dangling from webs that were attached to said low ceiling.  Yes, that one. The one where my head had been.  Where probably the hood of my coat had been, which was probably now full of ’em.  I was sure my back was covered in them, Indiana Jones style. (incidentally, somewhat pleasingly one of the children, an eight year old boy, who was busy pointing and saying ‘oohh..there’s another one, and there…’ was called Harrison. It didn’t make me feel any better at the time though.)

‘Are you alright’  asked nice blokey, shining his torch into my pink sweaty face.  He’d heard my rapid breathing. ‘Er no…’

‘Its’ all right they’re slow moving’ Bless, he was trying to cheer me up. Ewww…

He took my arm. ‘I’ll show you something really wonderful, you’ll really like it. It is spider related, but really lovely, you’ll like it’ he coaxed.

I was practically curled up in a ball trying not to touch any surface, I was struggling with tears (it was really enclosed and dark, and I am a wuss) so with great, really really great, reluctance I let him lead me to a dark corner. He shone the torch up in to a gap in the rocks

‘get your head up here’ he said yanking me forward (‘noooooooo’ I thought) ‘Isn’t it beautiful, like a christmas decoration?’

‘Noooooooooo’ I thought again. It was a bloody nest. A bloody Spider’s nest.

‘There’s thousands of little one’s in one of them’ He said, grinning. Not sure if he wasn’t just being mean now.

Frankly, I couldn’t get out quickly enough. Palpitations and sweaty palms, brushing myself down and ewwwwwwing went on for about half an hour after we’d got out into the fresh air. The trauma of it is still affecting me. It’s why I had to write it down.

It’s silly. Phobia’s are silly. Irrational. Daft.  A grown woman should be able to get over herself.

I can’t. It’s both a mental and physical revulsion/fear and I’ve been trying since childhood to control it.  I’m a bit better these days, and can catch small blighters in my catcher contraption.  I would never kill them, and I hate it when someone squishes them on my behalf.  I just wish they would be as fearful of me as I was of them, as people keep telling me they are.  (they are not. They would not come into my house if they were.  And those ones in the cave didn’t run away and hide when they saw us coming, they just stared haughtily at us.)

Anyhoo, I promised to tell you where flies go in Winter.  In my loft it seems.

We have suffered an infestation of Cluster Flies.  Never heard of ’em? No, neither had we until a couple of weeks ago.  Apparently, they like to sunbathe on white, southfacing walls like ours, and when the sun goes in they crawl up under the eaves and snuggle down for winter.  If it’s nice and cosy, they invite all their friends round.  Gazillions of their friends.  I gather that if you leave them they will go away in the Spring.  We chose to use special smoke bombs on them.  They’re all gone now.  Sorry flies.