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.

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.

I didn’t even know you could do this!

I got carried away playing with the picture I took of the spider’s web. Sorry. You can sort of see it.

I know it’s tacky virtue signaling to put heroic acts online, but some discoveries must be shared.

This morning I discovered something terrible: A spider had built a web from the fire escape leading from my flat and across the garden gate, meaning I couldn’t get out my gate to the shed. It was an impressive web too, with many circles of silver thread and many flies caught – including a number of mosquitoes, who are, quite frankly, bastards. I didn’t want to ruin this spider’s good work.

However, I needed to get my spade from the shed, so I tried to see if there was another way – leapfrog over the fence? No, will end in broken nose. Limbo under the web? No, I have no limbo skills and will only end up destroying it anyway. How about just moving one end of the web to the other side of the gate? A crazy idea, but it might just work!

So I moved my arm into the threads so that they caught on my hoody, lifted them and wrapped them around the other post of the gate. And they stayed! And they’re still there now! I didn’t even know that was possible! I’m practically a spider myself.

UPDATE…

Turns out it’s not possible.

When I went back later, the had web broken.

There’s still enough of it up that the spider should be able to salvage the flies that he’d caught, but he’ll have to build a whole new web.

I am no hero.

😔

A baby woodpecker!

So I was trundling along the path with my wheel barrow, when I saw some jays flapping around with a tufty looking bird nearby. I thought he might be a young jay, but he had a long beak, and after he turned around a few times, I saw there was a red tinge to his head and green to his body. He wasn’t fully colourful because he still had his young fluffy brown feathers, but I could see his shape was distinctively a woodpecker.

Woodpeckers are ace!

By now he had hopped a bit further on and was standing with his chest puffed out. I crept closer and took a photo. He didn’t fly away so I kept on creeping. My phone is shitty, so I knew the photos wouldn’t be great, but I kept on creeping up to see how close I could get. At one point Mike walked up from the opposite direction and saw me. He stopped where he was so he would scare my new fluffy friend away. Woody Woodpecker gave me a few more poses, hopping around before flying off.

Then I realised unfortunately that my new manager (my boss’s boss) was standing watching all this. Fortunately he thought it was hysterical to watch me sneaking up slow footstep by slow footstep, especially since from his point of view the bird was obscured and he thought I was creeping up on a tree.

‘I’m actually working very hard!’ I shouted over to him and he seemed to accept it.

Here is what the woodpecker will look like as an adult, you can see that proud pose already forming in the photo I took:

From Garden Bird

Dagnamnit!

I was doing a lot of watering today. Apparently it dissolved the glue holding my boot together. All of a sudden, my boot was flapping. I was at a garden in the middle of nowhere and had no shoes to change into. Fortunately, a colleague had a spare hairband I could wrap around it. And then I had to limp home on the train, trying to not lose the sole on my shoe altogether.

Other news, I was on an escalator with some teenagers this morning and one of them pressed the emergency stop button. It wasn’t much of an emergency stop, more of a carry on for thirty seconds then trundle to a halt button. The teenagers ran off, and the five staff who all came out running a moment later paid no attention to me, but started shouting into their radios about where the kids had gone. So if you want to get away with pressing the red button, make sure there are some teenagers around who’ll get the blame.

And those are the most interesting things about my day! How about you?

Trod in a bees’ nest!

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This is not as melodramatic as it may sound.

I was dead heading roses (does any gardener actually like roses? They’re shitty, fussy, spiky plants) and I stepped back and felt my foot slip into a slight hole. I walked back and looked down to see twenty or so bees come tumbling out of the hole. I was ready to run, ready for the stings, but nothing.

None of them stung me. Not a one!

They were a bit smaller than usual honey bees. At first I thought they might be hover flies, which mimic wasps, but have no sting, but they were too fluffy. My boss reckoned they might be leaf-cutter bees, which are awesome fellas.

In fact I have a theory that now many of the usual bee species are becoming extinct, leaf cutter bees (and other less common ones) are increasing in numbers to fill the space. Look out for small , neat semi-circular holes missing in leaves – that’s the leaf cutter bee.

OR alternatively, I am now Queen of the bees and none shall sting me. It is true I once stood in a swarm of killer bees (I think) and didn’t get stung. Unfortunately everything else is still attacking me and a colleague asked if I’d been bitten by a wolf because of the huge red and purple bruise that came up on my leg after getting stung by something that wasn’t a bee.

And these are the kind of rambling thoughts that gardeners have.

In other news: no sign of evil pea seedlings yet.

Have you been stung much this year?

Finding weaponry

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Not a wildly exciting day today, but I found this cannon in the office garden. Maybe someone is preparing for that Covid Apocalypse. I will keep a close eye out for tanks and fighter planes, and keep you posted,

In more important news, I had a dream last night that one of our gardens was filled with hundreds of tiny sloths (you could fit a few in your hand). They were definitely sloths and had little sloth faces, but they were also a bit slimy and could run about very fast, so they weren’t your average sloth. I told my boss about the dream and suggested we should work out where you can buy them and she reluctantly agreed. So hopefully I’ll be working with slimy sloths soon.

Now I’m watching Tiger King (a few months late as always) and wondering if you’d have the same fuss over sloths as pets. To be clear, I think keeping tigers OR sloths as pets is wrong, but I still imagine sloth breeders being a bit more chill. I guess it’s difficult to be macho over a sloth.

Fight! Punched the wall! Woke up.

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Today was one of those days when I wonder if I’m out to get me.

First I dreamed about a fight. I’m not sure why I was having it, but definitely it was something heroic and Matrix-like in its cool. There were (probably) spinning kicks and majestic dodges against my huge male foe who was almost certainly evil. And then I punched him, and woke just as my fist hit the wall next to my bed. It hurt, but apparently even majestic fights are quite puny when they leave the dream world, so no damage. A definite sense of Oh you fucking idiot, though.

Then I went to work, and I had to cut back some large Euphorbia. Euphorbia can be nasty because it has poisonous sap that oozes out all over you when you cut it, but I’m lucky and don’t react to it, it’s just sticky and annoying.  What I was more bothered about was the insects living in the bed that didn’t like my invasion of their space. They started biting me, not unreasonably. But I noticed that they bit less the more sap I got on me. Aha! I thought. Nature’s insect repellent. Because of course that is why Euphorbia has toxic sap – to keep away biting insects. So I smeared some on my arms and legs and the insects left me alone. I felt so clever.

Then in the afternoon I got quite dusty and wiped my arm over my face, then carried on chopping – Mahonia this time. My eye started to sting, but I assumed it was the dust and blinked it away. But the pain wouldn’t go and was getting quite nasty. I staggered out of the bed and poured some water on my eye. A friendly builder working nearby asked I was ok. ‘I think so, I just got something in my eye,’ I said. ‘It’s not Euphorbia sap is it? Because that’s really dangerous if you get it in your eyes.’

And I realised that of course it fucking was, so I went back to base and spent the next ten minutes trying to wash the toxic sap out of my damn eye. And for anyone following this blog, yes it was the same eye that landed me in Urgent Care a few weeks ago.

That afternoon I was working in the same bed, trying to not be a self-sabotaging fool, and I looked up and saw this face looking down at me from a nearby statue. Pitying, exasperated, unimpressed, I have a feeling this statue has seen many idiots before.

But more importantly, is she holding a kitten?

statue with a weary unimpressed expression

 

 

 

 

 

Quick update on my mutant status

set-smile-emoji-coronavirus-infection-face-with-medical-mask-cartoon-virus-emoticons-social-media-chat-comment-illustration_87543-3223After another trip to Urgent Care, more panic that the infection was spreading to my brain and then it turned out it wasn’t, things calmed down. I have new antibiotics that seem to be working, I still look weird, but that may  just be me. I’m now mostly too tired and tetchy to do anything but watch Community and sleep, but I wanted to share a story of a man at the hosiptal.

He was sitting just the other side of a curtain, talking to a nurse. I couldn’t hear everything, I guessed he was a patient because I heard him mention dizzy spells. But there was something un-patient-like about how he spoke. He was too talkative and his voice too strong, most patients are weak and scared. This man did not shut up, just a monologue. I thought he had a mental illness, but his voice was clear and confident and a bit patronising.

So I listened closely. Here is some of what I heard:

‘I mean, I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced anxiety or a panic attack, but it’s just the worst’ (goes on to explain a panic attack to a doctor.)

Doctor: And you can’t go back to work, is that right?

‘No! Because every time I go there and I switch the phone on and there’s like this surge of energy. I know some people will say this sounds weird, but this technology has never been tested. 5G isn’t like 4G. And even the wireless is causing changes in our brains.’

‘I’ve done a lot of research on this, they brought this technology in without doing the proper testing…’ (he starts to talk about brain chemistry in fairly technical terms that managed to still not sound convincing at all.)

‘It’s like a tendril that’s going to burst in my head. Sometimes it’s hot and sometimes cold. You can’t possibly imagine what’s that’s like. The most intense and terrifying experience.’

Doctor: Well your ECG and blood tests are normal, but you’ve spoken about anxiety, so I’m going to get you to speak to a psychiatrist.

‘Yes, but anxiety isn’t the problem, it’s caused by the 5G. Now this is what a lot of people don’t understand…’

I’ve seen a lot of rumours about 5G on the Internet. I can’t see well enough to go looking up now, but I know some think it caused the virus. Not sure how this fitted in with this guy’s panic attacks and tendrils. Or why he sounded more like a pub bore than a seriously ill person who goes to the hospital during a plague. Maybe he thinks the plague isn’t real. Maybe you clever readers can figure this one out – I’m always throwing these little mysteries out to you, I know!

Anyway when I saw him finally, he looked totally normal, he was wearing a clean shirt, khaki trousers, smartly cut grey hair. He could have been a bank manager on his day off. He could have been David Icke.

 

Not quite panicking, I’m a pirate without a patch!

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Although it is a bad idea to end up in hospital during a plague, it’s probably a more efficient experience than when not during a plague.

Note: this blog may be more badly spelt and incoherent than usual, but I have a reason this time.

On Monday I got a stye on my eye, you know, one those little painful lumps on your eyelid that go away in a few days? I got one of them. By Tuesday it was really hurting, with stabbing pains shooting into my head. Wednesday I got a weird lump on my cheekbone, like a painful pea. Thursday my eye swelled up so much I couldn’t open it and I kept walking into things. By Friday, another red lump, like someone had punched me, had appeared on my eyebrow. I had an am-I-being-silly?-or-am-I-in-trouble? phase. I went to the pharmacist, managed to lose my wallet on the way and then couldn’t see to find it. Had melt down. Called a friend who lives nearby and he came out and found the wallet perfectly safe in my bag, then kindly waited while I went in the pharmacist.

I said to the pharmacist, ‘It was just a stye,’ and he said something to reply, but he had a mask on and I couldn’t hear him. So I launched into symptoms, then when I finished, I realised he’d said the same thing a few times and I was too panicked to listen.

‘See a doctor. You need to see a doctor.’

I went to the doctors, they were shut and told me no one would come out to see me and they said I had to go to the hospital for Urgency Care.

(Is this Accident and Emergency now? They’ve rebranded?)

I didn’t want to go to the hospital so I called 111. The very calm, helpful doctor I eventually spoke to told me I needed to see a hospital. That I needed someone with me in case I had a siezure on the way and I might need to be put on an IV drip.

Erk!

Anyway, Urgency Care in a crisis, runs very smoothly and was half empty because everyone is too scared to go in (I suspect the ward where the virus patients are is not so calm). We could all sit at a distance from each other and I got seen in about twenty minutes.

I have an infection that has spread over half my face. It could have damaged my eye, but didn’t. I got given the strongest antibiotics they have and told by a very reassuring doctor, the not very reassuring comment ‘You’re strong, these will probably work. If not, you have to come in and be put on a drip.’ He squirted some orange stuff into my eye which dribbled all down my face and meant no beggars bothered me on the way back (scared for how they’re doing right now, but this was not the time).

I seem to have survived the night. My face has swelled up a bit more, but I don’t feel too bad. So if I disappear, I’ve either got nothing to say because I’m boring, or I’m in the hospital.

Note: wearing a face mask when you can’t see out of one eye is like peering out of a small hole in a box.