This Black Magic Just Needs A Little Refining.

Hi All

I thought I had it sussed this week. I thought I had found an inroad to wealth. And this is how and why.

I received a letter from my bank kindly informing me that they were dropping the interest rate on my ISA to .25% from July. Effing .25%. That’s a quarter of a percent. A frigging quarter of a percent! How kind.  Anyway, it suited me to pop into the bank to pay in an enormous cheque of £25.00 from the Premium Bonds so I thought I’d sort out the ISA at the same time.

The bank was just opening as I got there and so I was first to the ‘Customer Services’ desk. I pounced on the assistant, explaining that I wanted to close the account because it was crap and open another. She said I couldn’t do that. I opened my mouth, preparatory to blasting her out and telling her exactly where she could stick the Black Horse, when she said, ‘But I’ll put it up to .75%.’

I blinked – and closed my mouth. ‘Can you do that?’

‘Yes,’ she said.

‘Just like that?’

‘Yes,’ she said.

‘Are you sure?’

‘Yes,’ she said.

‘So … if I slipped you some money you could put it up to 10%?’

‘No,’ she said.

‘Are you sure?’

‘Yes,’ she said.


‘Are you trying to bribe me,’ she said.

‘Yes, I am,’ I said. ‘Is it working?’

‘No’ she said.

And that was that. We had a jolly good laugh about it and I took my leave. I’ve been with this bank for longer than my memory allows me to remember, but mainly because I like horses. Ditch the horse logo and I’m outta there! Seriously, they are good. I give them silly shit from time to time but they simple shovel it into the general pile of silly shit that they receive daily, and we all move on. Better the devil you know.

Talking of which … devils, and things of the supernatural ilk, I think I need to brush-up on my channelling.

I have a voodoo doll. Not a ‘real’ voodoo doll. Not one that resembles anyone living or known to me, just a little voodoo doll that I found somewhere, as you do. He/she was found recently in the back of the ‘icing’ drawer. This is the drawer where all things to do with er …icing are kept. I decided, one day, to have a major clear out of the kitchen drawers and cupboards and came across the voodoo thing.

As a joke I hung it on a hook on the ‘kitchen implements’ rail and when Richard came home I said, ‘Look what I’ve found in the drawer.’

He took a step backward and blinked a bit. ‘Oh God, who’s for it now? Not me I hope?’

Now, I’ll let you into a secret. Not long ago someone really shit on me and so, as a joke (possibly), I said, ‘Horace!’ (The person who had done the poohing – name changed, obviously).  I’d just taken a freezer bag-tie off a bag and again, as a joke, I twisted it around the voodoo doll’s neck and rolled my eyes, whilst thinking of this Horace person. Within 6 hours, and whilst eBaying, Richard squeaked, ‘I’ve got a really sore throat. It’s just come on, just like that.’

I buried my head in True Blood. The series not the real stuff, I’m not quite that manic, and pretended not to hear.

Last Saturday, as my son and grandchildren left, I grabbed the voodoo doll from the hook and was just going to show it to Matt, when she fell from my fingers and landed in the electric toaster.

An hour later, as Richard and I sat eating our lunch, a dreadful noise like an elephant passing wind came from the hall where the electricity box is situated …and all the electrics blew.

Obviously I exited the house and scurried into the garden not wishing to be electrocuted, whilst Richard, following orders, set about trotting off down the road to where he said he could see neighbours standing on the pavement with mobiles strapped to their ears. I did a bit of deadheading of the petunias while I waited and then …the elephant wind-passing noise again. I moved further up the garden.

Richard said, on his return, that the electricity guy had shaken his head, stared at the blackened out junction box thingy and said, ‘Shit. This doesn’t look good.’

I was pretty sodding annoyed because Morrison’s had recently had salmon at half price and I’d done my hunter-gatherer thing and filled the bloody freezer with the stuff.

The electric came back on after 3 hours. Pretty good by all accounts. And no soggy salmon.

Richard said if I’m going to practice the art of voodoo I should refine my channelling.

If I was Richard I wouldn’t be so cocky about everything because I have the doll, I have skewers and I can soon find a few implements of torture.

Thinking about it …maybe the voodoo doll should have accompanied me to the bank and my ISA would now be earning 50% interest and not .75%? Might not be too late…

Take care my lovelies x



Less Puss In Boots – More Mouse In Crocs!

Hi All

I have been reluctant to report on how well Chea, the ‘nest raiding’ puss, is behaving these days because I firmly believe that once I shout it out to the world she will instantly prove me wrong . So, I’m going to whisper this …she hasn’t, to my knowledge, raided a robin’s nest this year and returned home with her cache of fledglings. However…

This week she has changed her prey of preference – or is it just availability? – to the humble field mouse.

I ventured to look up from the laptop on Monday morning and there, before my eyes was Chea, on the other side of the patio doors, scuttling round the shoe rack and Richard’s Crocs that he had left on the floor. I know her movements and actions now. Scuttling doesn’t mean a bird. Scuttling means a rodent of some description.

Now, call me pathetic but I have a real ‘hang-up’ about approaching mice and all members of that genus. I think it’s some weird ingrained thing. I think it has something to do with the fact that I could make matters worse. If I approach, and the mouse makes a break for it, and Chea takes advantage of that and catches it and kills it, then the poor creature’s demise is down to me. Also, it might run across my toes!

Like the worst person on the planet I watched from the safety of the kitchen and saw the mouse break cover. Chea pounced – and the mouse ran into one of Richard’s Crocs. Chea ran ten circles around the shoe before coming to a halt at the toe. I could see the mouse’s little nose pushing forward through one of the Crocs holes at the front as it tried to squeeze its body through it. Chea sat waiting licking her lips and flexing her claws. This obviously wasn’t the most intelligent mouse. Forward, through the toe of the shoe into Chea’s waiting clutches was not the way to go.

Like old Butch Cassidy and Sundance, racing out only to be gunned down, I left the security of the kitchen and blundered out on tiptoe and grabbed Chea. She was most unimpressed and continued to strut back and forth, back and forth, across the patio doors for a good ten minutes.

After an hour the mouse was still pressed into the Croc, its little nose shoved hard into the hole at the toe, still considering that as a means of escape. Richard would be home soon and I had this awful vision of me being in the loo, him coming in, going straight out the back door, slipping his feet into the Crocs to go up the garden to look for me (thinking I was out there) and squashing the poor mouse, so I locked the back doors and kept the key on my person.

Five minutes before Richard walked in the mouse was still there. As he entered the house I yelled, ‘There’s a mouse in your Croc.’ He looked slightly confused but that’s nothing new and frankly, the day he stops looking confused is the day I’ll worry. We scurried to the door and he, like the Great White Hunter set about freeing the mouse. However, in those few minutes, Mr Mouse had made his own escape and there was no sign of him. Richard banged the old Crocs a bit and looked behind the shoe rack but the mouse had gone.

The following day Chea returned with a baby mouse. Dead.

The following day Chea returned with a baby mouse. Dead.

No I didn’t type that twice. Well, I did, but not by mistake.

The following day I was merrily removing the tips from the broad beans, as a swarm of blackfly were attempting to move in, when Chea came trotting down the path. Again, I knew that movement. That proud, ‘Look what I’ve got. Am I not clever? Am I not a great hunter?’

‘No Chea, you are a little shit!’

Hanging from her jaws was another baby mouse – wriggling. To be honest many of the things she brings back are still alive and live to fly, or scuttle, off to tell their loved ones about their near death experience. I was instantly pissed off. First, she’d brought back what I considered to be mummy mouse, and then, one by one – baby mouse, baby mouse and baby mouse. I threw the broad bean tips at her and she ran off, dropping the mouse who raced into the shrubbery. I caught her and put her in the house.

So …Chea 2. Gail 2.

I still can’t get the idea out of my head of slipping my foot into a gardening shoe with a mouse in it. If I ever did that I would die. Seriously. I would die. Needless to say I now upend everything and bang them hard on the floor before daring to access.

Mind you, if the mouse in Richard’s Croc had passed away, and not escaped back into the wild, I just might not have bothered telling him.

Other than mice everything else in the garden is flourishing. So much so that I have lost the garden paths beneath courgette and rhubarb leaves. Mother spiders have had bumper crops of babies and they, the baby spiders, are hatching by the thousands and floating throughout the greenhouse on tiny strands. Removing baby spiders from my hair is the daily ‘thing.’

The chucks are reasonably well and enjoy dust bathing with the sun on their feathers. In fact, everything in the garden is rosy – as long as you don’t include mice in the equation.


Take care my lovelies x