Saturday, February 20, 2010

Of Mice (not of men)

The Island has mice. I have no idea if they're introduced mice (seems likely) or natives, but they're a bloody nuisance. Miss my cats! Anyway, we've had a couple of invaders, and dismal failure so far at getting the little beggars out, bar the one I caught in the bath (cleanliness is a way of getting closer to the God of rodents anyway). In theory the house is mouse proof, in practice not so. I was standing at the fridge gazing vacantly into it as I often do when I have got up to put the kettle on or fetch myself pair of socks, when Mister Mouse hurtled around the corner. I did a good Slartibartfast imitation, and sadly did not land on the mouse which ran behind the fridge. In my defence I just saw something coming along the floor out of the corner of my eye and assumed 'snake' - and they'll be next if we have mice. In the absence of cats I have set some very inferior moustraps and, as little as I like the stuff opened some boxes of mouse-poison. The mice have so far ignored the poison, and eaten the bait off the traps without setting them off. Today saw the effects of nibbling on the bottom of a cornflour, bag drat the gibbering ferligt. A mighty shower of cornflour ensued. A hasty putting into rat-proof containers of edibles followed. This included the important life-lesson - do not squeeze the bottom of the bag of flour to see how full it is ;-).

Today has been our hottest day yet in Australia - about 27 according to the site (an asset, that site) and airless and perfect for swimming and very little else... except B and I are still a bit shaky and miz. I caught on to the hotness a bit late to do the Eastern Cape thing - houses open windows and doors for the cool of night and close everything for the daytime. It really works - counter-intuitive though it may seem at first. It's now blowing up a storm out there if I am any judge (which as yet I am not of local weather. Back in South Africa I was nearly as good as the local weather forecast - not wildly wrong more than 90% of the time).

We're getting the first bits out of the veggie garden - spring onion, Silverbeet, thyme, and a little parsley. And we nearly have a zucchini (corgette) and to make my dear family laugh, chillies.

Update: I caught the next mouse in the bath this morning.


  1. All I can say is...just hope the little buggers don't take a liking to your veggie garden! This year we seem to have fed half (at least) of our crop to the local rodents. Luckily we don't get them in the house, though.

  2. I did catch one in there yesterday. But we have a few predators outside I hope - the positive side of country life. Do those big blue-tongues eat mice? (something ate a bird in the compost pile)

  3. I've been using proper timing of window open/closing to regulate temperature for years. With a little help from fan's it's possible to follow the outside temperature closely even on calm days. I'd be surprised if anyone except the eternally air conditioned would be ignorant of the trick; and even then a few minutes/day of fiddling can save you a lot on your electric bill.

  4. Dan - you'd be surprised at how little people in South Africa, anyway, use the natural day/night temperature cycle or build for the weather or even think about it. I'd agree they could save a fortune AND be more comfortable, but they don't. The truth I suppose is that it's not actually that extreme in a lot of the country a lot of the time, so I don't suppose there is a need.