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.

A Big Tidy Up

Hello fellow piglets (and those who identify as human)! I’m off work this week, and since we’re in lockdown I haven’t got a lot to do but play around in my garden and with the Internet. I might clean the flat at some point, but I don’t want to rush into anything drastic.

Anyway, to fill the time I’ve been organising my blog by creating proper categories for it, instead of listing almost everything under ‘blogging’ out of laziness. This means that I can find things here when I want to, and more importantly, so can you! All those brain-searing posts from the past you might have missed. Like when I found a penguin! Or spent days watching foxes play football and piss in a shoe. Not to mention loads of weirdy and short tales, dragged up from the days when I still wrote proper stories. (Note: I don’t understand the phrase ‘not to mention’, because it is always followed by mentioning). You can find them all with the squeak of a mouse, just to the right of the page there >>>>

Today I’m sharing with you the delightful journey of the Inspirational Quotes category. Including both Inspirobot wisdom (which, now I’m looking back, is quite harsh!) and my own take own motivation. Honestly, these snippets of insight might change your view of the world. Nay! Even your whole life!

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.

This is a video that keeps playing, basically saying ‘Chill out! Have a walk and a think! Or go for a cycle!’

Note: sorry I’ve been kind of absent recently. I don’t have a good reason, I just don’t have anything to say 🙂

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.

Classy cars

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.

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

Gangster Foxes: Talbot and Reynard

When adorable foxes go bad…

After I posted about the cheeky fox at my work, Darnell and Calmgrove came up with the excellent fox names Talbot and Reynard. However it turns out that Shaily guessed where the story would go. Because the foxes (I found out there are two, conveniently since I have two names) have chosen a twisted path.

I was walking back from lunch and was surprised to see one of the foxes, Talbot I would guess, walking down the main path. Normally in daytime, when there are a fair few people about, the foxes are nowhere to be seen. Certainly not out in the sun. Then I saw that he was walking towards a toddler. Not quite stalking, but Talbot would stop every few steps and stare at the kid waddling about in a white jacket, then walk closer. This did not look right to me. Foxes don’t do that. It also didn’t look right to Jess and Mateo, who I saw were walking fast towards them.

Fox Talbot saw the two gardeners heading for him and did a few steps at a half-run, then stopped and stared at them. Then a couple more steps and then stood waiting. He didn’t seem afraid at all. When he did wander off, he sat a few metres away under a bush and had a bit of a roll around in the grass.

By now I’d made it over to the group and heard the child’s guardian explain what had been happening.

‘The foxes do come up to the kids sometimes. They’re not scared. Yesterday, one of them stole William’s ball. William chased after the fox to get it back, so the fox ran off. But then he came back with another fox, like he got reinforcements.’

I refuse to believe that Reynard and Talbot are bad foxes, they’re just misguided. But it does look like they might have set up an extortion business intimidating small children in order to take their toys.

What do we do now?

Fantastic Mr Fox

This little guy was hanging about at my work today. Excuse the crappy photos, hopefully you can still see he’s a character from an unwritten children’s illustrated book. Unfortunately Fantastic Mr Fox is already taken, so I’ll need a new title – if you’ve got any ideas??

Erk! Having looked it up to check, I’ve discovered that Fantastic Mr Fox got made into a film where the fox looks like a chewed slipper. My fox would do a way better job. Look at that quizzical smile, those bright eyes.

And here:

He’s winking!

Presumably at some point me and the fox will have a tea party together along with a cranky elf. We’ll go through a magic door, and then work out how to fly a rusty car abandoned in a field.