A peanut butter spring board into a watery oblivion

Following on from yesterday’s beginning, today I started my first kefir and sauerkraut. While the sauerkraut will not be even close to ready for a fortnight, the kefir will be ready to drink tomorrow.

Funnily enough the postman (who Mirinda calls Stewart) handed me a small padded envelope, not wanting to force it through the letterbox. Of course that meant great celebrations from the puppies and probably some sort of delight for the package.

Once back inside I opened the envelope to find a small plastic ziplock bag inside containing watery white stuff with tiny lumps. There was also a page of instructions. The lumpy bits are the bacteria that eat the lactose and sugar in milk and make, basically, a probiotic. I wonder how the postman would have felt had he known.

I instantly started making my first kefir. Then, after my new Mason jars arrived, I shredded some cabbage for my first sauerkraut.

Today however was more greatly taken up with building a diving board over a big pool of water. It’s something I wanted to do last week but the lurgy intervened, rendering me incapable of anything. Then, this week, it’s been the rain that has stopped me working outside. This morning, however, the weather was at least dry-ish.

I say that because quite a while after lunch I took the girls up to the park as the rain started a bit of a drizzle. I thought it was just a passing fancy. By the time I reached the Avenue of Trees, the wind was blowing a gale and the rain was a horizontal lashing. Ghastly best describes it.

Back at home, I washed the dogs’ legs then dried them off. I started on some housework but began shivering. I was clearly somewhat chilled. My fingers and toes were basically without feeling and my flesh was icy. I decided to have a bath in the vague hope that it would prevent a second descent into the realms of sickness.

I’m not one for baths but I do understand that there are times that they can have curative properties. This was one of those times. Whether it formed some sort of barrier against possible illness reintroduction is anyone’s guess but it certainly warmed me up and stopped the shivering.

Shivering maybe what will happen to our unwelcome guests soon as they stand at the end of the diving board and consider their options. I’m talking about the rats who live under Neighbour Dave’s shed and who regularly plunder the bird food that Mirinda quite generously leaves out for them.

There’s a strong belief in this country that you’re never much further than three feet from a rat. Well, I can vouch for that.

We hate the rats, it would be fair to say, and want them dead. The trouble is, we can’t use traps (because the last time we tried that Mirinda caught a robin) and we can’t use poison because of, again the birds and the dogs. And the fox that sometime’s visits. And the various non-rat catching cats that also visit.

No, we need something that will only target the rats who, unfortunately are smarter than anything else in the garden.

We’ve been trying to work out what to do (short of applying for and getting American citizenship then buying a gun) until Mirinda discovered this wonderful, supposedly successful device that resembles a small diving board attached to a wooden support.

The board is held horizontal with a magnet but, with the tread of a rodent foot, this releases and sends the rat into a watery grave. The idea is to create a sort of cave entrance into a big black bucket with the plank enticing them in with the prospect of lashings of peanut butter luringly dotted along it.

So that’s how I spent most of my morning. I drilled and cut and created then attached and planted and filled the whole contraption. For this first little while, the diving board has been locked in a fixed state but, as the rats get used to it as a food delivery system, I shall set the trap and, hopefully, drown the rotten bastards.

The blurry bits are smooshy lumps of peanut butter

To cap off the day I watched what has to be the worst film I’ve watched for a very long time. It’s a Netflix monstrosity called The Cloverleaf Paradox. If anyone thinks film making is easy, they should watch this movie. Everyone else should steer well clear. It really is bad.

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