This has probably been an odd Christmas for lots of you, so I just wanted to send you all some good feelings of peace and warmth, like a hot toddy in front of a well contained fire. xx (for anyone not from UK, these are kisses, not just random ‘xx’s. It’s actually perfectly normal to put ‘xx’s at the bottom of a message, and I think you should all start doing it 🙂 )
Say goodbye to the foxes
The foxes aren’t actually leaving, they’re way too happy, but the situation with has got silly and a bit unpleasant, so after this I’m going to leave off writing about them for a while.
We already had some residents demanding that we dispose of the foxes because they are a health risk, even though we kept insisting that we absolutely fucking wouldn’t. We also knew we had residents sneaking around feeding the foxes even though we repeatedly explained it was a bad idea – they have become totally tame and dependent on people.
But now we have one particularly enraged resident saying that she’ll report us to the police because somehow she’s come to the conclusion that we absolutely fucking do intend to kill the foxes and it’s disgusting and we’re all evil. She called up one manager and screamed ‘How dare you kill the foxes.’ The manager explained that we have no intention of doing so. Then she called up my boss and screamed at her for her terrible murderous ways, while my boss explained that no killing will be happening. Then she cornered Mike and lectured him on how she’s started a petition to stop us killing the foxes. I don’t know what it will take to convince her, I mean the foxes are still there, hanging out, looking healthy and happy.
Anyway, Reynard and Talbot will be staying out of the blog for a while. Which is good, because I think it may have gone to their heads.
We are not trying to kill the foxes. We’ve given up even shouting at them because they aren’t even slightly bothered and assume we’re playing. But I figure it’s wise to shut up about the foxes for a bit.
Is this normal?
I have been sorting my room. Picking through drawers of junk – junk to throw away when I work out how; junk to re use when I think of how; junk I’d forgotten about. Anyway, I came across this, the old lithium battery for my phone that I can’t put in the bin and couldn’t work out where to dispose of it. I hope you can see from the way it’s no longer lying flat that it’s swollen up, like it’s been pumped up with a football pump.
The instructions say don’t put it in a ‘mostness or corrode environment’, but I’ve never done that! I’m not even sure what a mostness environment is.
Is it going to explode? Is it leaking toxins? Should I throw it out the window and duck down? Is it going to make me radioactive so I have superpowers? Do I already have superpowers but haven’t got to use them so haven’t noticed? You all seem smart, help me out!
Rife incompetence and Scavenger Halloween
Just a mish mash of events today.
First event is ridiculous. I was in a bit of a daze as I made my way across the station to catch my second train this morning. At London Bridge they have huge escalators and there’s no particular logic which ones go up and which go down. Sometimes they all go down and you see tragic figures walking their way up a hundred stairs to catch their train. Anyway, I reached the bottom of the escalator and looked up at the board to see that my train was late. I was trying to work out if the next one was too, as I put a foot on the escalator. I heard someone shout ‘Careful!’ and then I shot backwarsd, grabbing onto the handrail as my feet were taken from underneath me. Turned out I was trying to go up on the down escalator. Dignity lost!
However, I did find Halloween while doing the mowing. A few days late, granted. The first find was an eyeball peeking up at me, that luckily turned out to be a bouncy ball. You can see that and the other two in the picture. I’ve given them to Dan who likes to learn tricks with frisbees and footballs and whatever else we find for him to play with.
Dan was also joined by one of the foxes today. He tried to scare it away by hitting the ground with the rake, clapping the leaf grabbers together and generally making aggressive noises. Reynard fox sat down and watched him, curious to see such a silly display of not-scary behaviour. It then climbed into the bag he was using and sat watching him from the comfort of leaves.
The Tube in Covid Times
I wanted to share a few photos showing what the tube looks like right now, because it is WEIRD. There have been a few cries from Transport for London saying that they are hugely in debt and need money from the government to carry on. However, I don’t think this is just due to the lack of passengers, but also the lack of advertising, because there is very little.
Instead there are posters telling us to be kind or mind the gap. I think they’re just putting up whatever they can find.
Maybe this is what a post-capitalist world would look like. Instead of every step we take being filled with BUY THIS! maybe we could get rid of these posters all together and have murals, or large photos of the sky.
With this and the talk about changing statues, it feels like London is getting a whole makeover this Covid season. I get why people find it frightening, but I think it’s exciting, like moving to a new city.
Note: sorry I’ve been kind of absent recently. I don’t have a good reason, I just don’t have anything to say 🙂
Nature’s cute terrors
Sorry I’ve not blogged for a little while, sometimes I need to hide for a bit.
Anyway, our beloved foxes are still around. My boss put up a notice warning people not to feed the foxes. She put it in a non-scary, family-friendly way, because apparently my suggestion of ‘KILLER FOXES ON RAMPAGE! IF YOU SEE A FOX, RUN!’ was considered ‘inappropriate’.
Unfortunately she over-did the non scary, because we now we have children asking where the foxes are and if they can stroke them. I guess kids in Central London don’t get to see much nature.
Also, did anyone else have a ladybird swarm yesterday? To be fair, the swarm only consisted of about thirty scattered around our front and back door, but I don’t think I’ve seen more than a couple together before. And they were all different species too. This was a horror film possibility even Hitchcock didn’t imagine.
Deterring those foxes!
Just a quick update for anyone worried about Reynard and Talbot. Our boss got some fox deterrent powder to be added to water and sprinkled around the garden. Mateo trundled out with his watering can, putting the most solution in the sandpit since they clearly like it there. On his way back from sprinkling around the rest of the garden, he passed the sandpit. One of the foxes was sitting happily in the sand, happy as Larry.
We suspect the deterrent is not effective.
For those of you getting attached to these foxes, don’t read on. Instead have a look at this fox from my garden during lockdown and then move on.
So, nature can be quite grim. And inexplicable. Don’t worry, Reynard and Talbot are still alive and harassing children, but one fox isn’t. Mateo found the head, but only the head, of a fox this morning, in the bushes. Did one of the children exact revenge on another fox? Perhaps the children were the aggressors all along?
Some of you might remember the cat’s head that Jessica found a few years ago. I think the police said that that foxes did it, but we were never satisfied with that explanation. It’s all very strange. Where did the body go?
Gangster foxes turn nasty
Some of you might remember the gangster foxes, Talbot and Reynard, at one of the large gardens where I work. Their cheeky faces won over our hearts and their tendency to creep up on children in a sinister way fired up some panic. Seems they’ve gone one step further now.
Previous blogs: Fantastic Mr Fox
Gangster foxes: Talbot and Reynard
Today my boss got a call from a parent. We have a small playground for children with a sand pit. Turns out the foxes have been jumping into the sand pit where children are playing, stealing their toys and leaping out again. They then rip up the toys in front of the children before running off.
I did suspect that the foxes were setting up a protection racket, but it looks like some of the children have refused to take part and it’s led to rivalry and the start of territory war.
‘Nice dolly you have here. Be a shame if something happened to it,’ sneers Talbot while Reynard sniggers nearby. ‘Oops!’ says Reynard as the dolly’s head is snapped off.
This is not the Beatrix Potter style story I was hoping for when I posted their photos.
Was walking to the station early on Friday morning and saw this sparkling fizzy pop of a car. In case the picture doesn’t make it clear, it has the texture of glitter ball deely boppers, in the colour of an orangeade-cherryade mix.
I have no idea what I think of it. Is it a daring and dashing fashion choice? A practical joke? The car of a disco champion reliving their glitterball hey-day? Did someone end up with too much glittery wrapping paper and became inspired?
Help me out!
Attack of the vapours
Today’s ridiculous drama: I had just driven back to base and had gracefully leapt from the van barely stumbling at all, when Mike appeared from the shadows and said earnestly, ‘I’ve got vapers’ tongue!’
‘What?’ I asked politely, pressing all the wrong buttons on the key to lock the van.
‘It’s when you lose your sense of taste because you’ve been vaping too much. See?’ he went on proudly. ‘People thinking vaping is simple, like smoking, but actually there’s a lot to know.’
Finally I stopped faffing about and started listening. ‘Wait, you’ve lost your sense of taste? Isn’t that a sign of the virus?’
‘No, it’s vapers’ tongue,’ said Mike.
‘And you said you were coughing earlier. You’ve got the plague! Stay away from me infiltrated one!’ I tried to ward him off with the van key, holding my sleeve in front of my mouth.
‘It’s vapers’ tongue!’ said Mike insistently. ‘I’ll get my sense of taste back once I have some chewing gum. It’s all fine. My vape dealer explained it all, it’s vapers’ tongue. Have you got any chewing gum, I need mint!’
I watched him carefully for the rest of the afternoon. No more signs, but I’m ready with a net, a cross and a plastic bag. We’ve already made plans for how we can survive in the gardens if the plague takes over London, but if one of us get it, then we’re screwed.