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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cassa Shrinky




Why do I need one of these, when I have..




One of these?

Jessie, cat-with-attitude, the best mouser in town, she who takes from the wild to release into captivity.  Don't let her fool you, she's virtually toothless, she just refuses to give up the game.  By the time she wraps her gums around any mouse and lugs it indoors, she's either too knackered to chase it, or her Alzheimer's has kicked in.

Add into the mix..


One of these

Beccy, girl-with-slave-boyfriend, bearing MacDonalds/Indian Take-Away/Chinese Carry-Out deliveries to her room on her whim.  

Is it any wonder The Meeces have taken to frolicking wild with their all-night parties, tap-dancing across her floor to feast off those generously overflowing bins of hers? 

Which is why, these past few mornings, I've found myself..


Here

Tossing the fat, noisy squatters reluctantly out of their cozy, warm, cheese-carpeted den traps, to go forth and multiply, as they say.
______________________

Island life is throwing out it's usual challenges as the weather turns. The faster Sea-Cat ferry to the mainland is made mostly redundant, unable as it is to navigate the increasingly choppy waters of the Irish Sea.  So it's over to our old sloth, the lumbering "Ben-my-chree" (pronounced Ben McRee), which almost always appears to have one or the other of her engines out - not that it necessarily stops her making the crossing, but it does tend to make it so much more of a labour, adding as it does the odd extra hour (or two or three) on to the journey.

So it was, when Sweet Sam, hubby and I took the car over to Liverpool, last week, what should have been a two-and-a-half hour ride on the Sea-Cat, stretched out to a long five hours on the Ben-my-chree.  We were headed for Newcastle, to visit our eldest in his University town (a further five hour drive on from Liverpool), and to drop him off a few "care-packages" for this new house-share of his.

In truth, we were lucky it sailed at all, we've recently had days where every crossing has been cancelled altogether.  Only this morning I received a call from my beloved Tesco supermarket, telling me there are to be no groceries delivered to my door this week.  My heart is in my boots, as I'll now have to battle the aisles in person tomorrow.  When the ferries don't get in, neither do the food supplies; there'll be lean pickings on the shelves come the morn.  I also hear there are more storms predicted for the morrow, and we are to be cut off for another day yet. 

But I digress.

 
As luck would have it, Sam was well amused on both the journey out and on the crossing back - a bunch of his special-needs pals were on the ferry with us. All twelve, plus carers, were headed off overnight to watch the Liverpool v Wolves football match.  Sam had also been invited along to this jaunt, but as it sadly clashed with our trip, he'd had to decline, so it was a pleasant coincidence he was still able to meet up with his friends, all the same.  Actually, I hardly saw anything at all of him throughout the entire sailing!

Matt, our eldest, did us proud, giving us the grand tour of his new home town, and introducing us round to all nine of his house-mates. (They all met last year, in halls -  now they and ten more others have elected to rent two houses next door to each other, this year - and yes, I would certainly hate to be one of those poor residents currently living on their street.. imagine having 20 students for neighbours - eeek!)

The lad appears to be thriving, he certainly seems happy enough.  I had to laugh at the end of the meal we had, he doesn't eat out much these-days, and when the waiter came to clear off, he asked him to bag up our left-overs to take home.  Waste not, want not - the sound motto of a starving student!

It's the first time we've ever left the girls home alone, and they truly lived to my expectations (sigh).  Seems in our absence, they threw the bestest party in town.

Naturally, their allowances are frozen until the damages are paid.. soooooooooo, that'll probably be somewhere around mid, umm, lets see..  2014?  Och, don't worry, I'm only yanking their chain - truth be told, I actually expected to come home to a heck of a lot worse (but please don't go out and tell them that, okay?)! 

_________________________________


I'm embarrassed to have three Christmas trees up before December - our main one is still to go up on the first.  Don't blame me, you know what our Sweet Sam is like - I simply caved, I had to for a bit of peace. Wouldn't be so bad if we didn't also have the decorators in right now -  as if they didn't already think this was a nut-house from the last time round. 

Oh, and yeah, well when I say "we", that's the Royal "WE", of course - seeing as how hubby's craftily timed himself to be in London throughout their entire occupation - he's conveniently not coming back until they're all finished up and long gone.

Awwwwww, as I type, both Sweet Sam and Jake are sporting stripes of matching white gloss paint between them - how sweet is that, eh?

('Scuse me, just whizzing off to dig out my camera, a cloth, and a very large bottle of white spirit..)        

65 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

love your 'catch and release' program for the meeses. thanks for the laughs, as always!

mythopolis said...

I really enjoyed this glimpse into your family and life, I didn't realize it was two hours or better to mainland! Ok, so you have a nice mix of genders in the offspring, so tell us how the boys are different from the girls? Who has the messiest room? Who gets away with stuff all the time? Which seem more expensive to maintain? and so on.

I love the bridge over the brook shot. Personally I am quite the humane person, however I make exception to mice. The way I figure it, if I catch and release a mouse he is going to tell his friends that the worst that can happen is I will catch them, and say,"aren't you cute?" and let them off easy. Soon they will all be hanging around my place. Therefore, if a mouse is so foolish as to venture in, in my case, his friends will never see him again. I dispatch them as humanely as I can however. : )

Bathwater said...

As winter hit here I have loaded the traps in the garage also. If I don't they mice will start to gain a foothold in the deserted home of mine.

I am less kind though, they don't live through the experience.

Barbara said...

Those meesies have it pretty good either way - what a gorgeous spot you release them into! I'm so glad Sweet Sam got to spend time with his friends after all and you had such a good visit with your son (and the girls didn't destroy the house!) What more could you ask for?

Tabor said...

Kids...cannot live with them and cannot live without them. HOld firm and make them regret their independence.

bill lisleman said...

So the old cat and old ferry are very similar then?
Our family crossed the Irish Sea (Ireland - Wales) twice. The second return trip went down in family history as the barf-a-rama boat.

Li said...

Ummm, the cat obviously read your post as he/she looks pretty disgruntled. Or maybe that's just constipation.

What you need is a pet owl!

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

Dexter just brings them and then lets them dance in his mouth.

Robyn said...

You are very very brave... I don't think I would survive a day in your household and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Lovely to have you back posting again. Enjoy all your trees.

best wishes
Robyn

Ms. A said...

I'd love to be released to that beautiful area!!! That looks like something from a fairytale!

Anthony Duce said...

Enjoy all your words, and a bit of the life. Thank you

Dave said...

Shrinky, your blog was amusing as usual and I enjoyed the read. Also laughed at your comments about your toothless cat - Ha! - Dave

Akelamalu said...

The meeces would totally freak me out!

So what was the damage after the 'party'?

Shrinky said...

Hi there TexWisGirl, I've caught two more since posting this - I think the colder weather is herding them indoors!

Shrinky said...

Hi there Dan, oh yes, we are quite seperate from the mainland UK, we are a "Crown Dependancy", not UK citizens, in fact we have no power to vote in any UK elections, as we have our own Manx Government and our own printed currency (which is a pain in the bum, since it isn't accepted as valid in the UK mainland).

Oddly enough, regards to your question, I have two neat freaks and another two disgustingly squalid kids, but they are not grouped by gender! Both my eldest daughter and eldest son are shamelessly untidy, whereas Sweet Sam can't bear to have anything out of it's place. My youngest, Abby, takes pride in room and even makes her bed every morning before school!

Oh and the mice I catch always take a car trip with me before I release them, they never have a hope of finding their way back here (grin).

Shrinky said...

Hi Bathwater, I suspect every house gets invaded, full or empty, when winter taps on the door.

Shrinky said...

What indeed, Barbara? I guess I'm pretty blessed all round (why do I always cross my fingers and knock on wood whenever I say that?)!

Shrinky said...

Ha, Tabor, I can't WAIT for them to get their (financial) independence!!

Shrinky said...

Oh dearie me, Bill, that sounds painful! The ferries were cancelled again today - we've had 70mph winds for the past 24hrs..

Shrinky said...

Hi Li, I'm glad you noticed, I do have several much more flattering poses of her, but this one made me laugh - she looks quite sinister up there sporting that Hitler-like moustache.

Shrinky said...

Ugh JackieSue, what a picture (cringe)..

Shrinky said...

Hi there Robyn, och you are just as bad as my kids, whenever I catch one I always offer to show them, but they never take me up on it. Should hear them moaning when I load the traps onto the backseat of the car with them, when I do the school-run.. (evil snicker)!

Shrinky said...

It's always deserted there, Ms A, it's a lovely spot to clear my head. The entire island is beautiful, but oftentimes I can find it just a little TOO quiet,if not a little isolating. I always think this as winter draws close, but when the summer rolls round I fall back in love with this place all over again!

Shrinky said...

Hello Anthony, I am always delighted to find you in here, thank you for the kind words, it means a lot.

Shrinky said...

Hi there Dave, oh Jessie has bourne us a huge grudge ever since we deemed to invade her home (9yrs back) with this monster Golden Retriever of ours. Poor Jake, the hound, has no idea why she hates him so much, he's terrified of her.

Shrinky said...

Hi Ake, oh t'was nothing that couldn't be fixed or easily replaced - it was the sticky floorboards that felt like I was walking on glue that really upset me!

Joanna Jenkins said...

You have been BUSY!!! I'm not sure I could keep up with you. Glad your guys are doing well and the girls-- Well, you know what they say... "When the cat's away, the mouse's at play :-)
Hang in there and high five on having 3 trees up already.
xo jj

mrsnesbitt said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh we would have met up had we have known xxx

#1Nana said...

I have this romantic notion of what it's like living on your island...and then you write about unreliable sea crossings and supermarkets without food!

Shrinky said...

Hi jj, yeah it's just as well I rarely go away (eyes skywards), next time I'm wrapping the girls in gaffer tape and storing them in the garage..!

Shrinky said...

Oh Denise, we were only briefly over, most of our time we spent travelling there and back - but Al and Sam will be back in the new year, maybe then, eh?

Shrinky said...

Hi #1 Nana, oh there are equal plus' and minus' living on a sleepy isle. It is easier (but very expensive) to fly, except then you can't take very much with you, of course. Another drawback is as most everything needs to be imported over here, the cost of goods tend to be higher than on the mainland, too.

Furtheron said...

I've always fancied the fantasy of island life - the isolation, the security of it, the bonhomie approach etc. but Tesco's not doing home deliveries... maybe not ;-)

Shrinky said...

I tell you Furtheron, when I got to do my shop, the Tesco pickers and drivers there got a stern dressing down from me, as I said to them, what's the world coming to, eh? (S'alright, they know me well.)

Suldog said...

Love that you are a catch-and-release person, which I suspected but did not have proof of until now. You may recall that I am the same, and I give them a cookie (sweet biscuit) as a going away present, which puts me in another bizarre category altogether, I suppose.

I don't suppose they make dentures for cats? If not, maybe we have found out way to make a million!

Kittie Howard said...

What a great post! I love coming here, always leave with a smile. First, your header is gorgeous, as is the stream at the end of the post. Can see you releasing the messes into paradise. Our cats were great hunters until one day - they retired. Couldn't believe it. Aren't cats supposed to be eternally grateful that we humans allow them to torment us???

~Babs said...

Makes me ashamed I complain about traffic around here!

Did you notice any 'for sale' signs going up around where the Boys will live? I'm sure they will keep the neighborhood well entertained.

That Beccy just gets more beautifuller by the day!

I've been so surprised not to have any meeces trying to get in this old house we bought,,,knocking wood, fingers crossed. I don't think, no,,, I'm sure they wouldn't be catch and release critters here. This old lady is too cranky!

Stickup Artist said...

Judging by your gorgeous header photo, any hardships caused by bad weather are well worth the trade-off to live in such a beautiful place! I applaud your "catch and release" policy.

Rock Chef said...

I see that the girls have inherited the party spirit from their mum :-)

I really miss that obsessive excitement about Christmas. Our daughter would start making lists and lists of food and presents months in advance. Even when she was 15 she was awake most of the night, ending up in our bed opening stocking presents at 3am.

Canterbury has 3 universites and there are streets where half or more of the houses are full of students...

Shrinky said...

Hi RC, you may be right about the girls, but at least I waited to have my OWN place before throwing these parties (wry grin). Blimey, I had no idea you had 3 Uni's in your town. When the kids were young, our next door neighbours rented their place out for a bit - to students - I swear I came close to murdering the little sods, it was the most miserable year of our lives!

You know EXACTLY what I am talking about with Sam (right now I've been picking bits of tinsel out of the wet paint), all his pocket money goes on extra baubles and decorations.. he's made me promise to take him to B&Q tomorrow for yet another tasteful outdoor light-up Santa (which I've told Sam to keep quiet about, we'll "surprise" his dad again - teehee)!

From what I hear, your daughter's too short life was filled with much love and joy, that picture of her on Christmas Eve/morning is priceless.

Shrinky said...

Oh, that's right Sully, I forgot about that post of yours (grin) - I'm daft enough to leave the lump of cheese it was after, too, so we're in good company!

I'll bet Ebay already has cat-dentures..?

Shrinky said...

Hi there Kitty, aww, you always wrap a huge smile round my heart when you comment! So your cats have gone on strike too, huh? Little ingrates, don't they know they are meant to be earning their cat-food?

Shrinky said...

Hey there Stick-Up, good to see ya' again! Old habits tend to stick with me, I was raised in a house (with the exception of my dad) of wishy-washy, bleeding-heart vegetarians, I even release spiders into the wild!

Shrinky said...

ps., I've rebelled into a complete carnivore.

Fen said...

ha ha my cat brings mice in and lets them go! Thankfully it hasn't happened for quite a while. She's currently outside hiding from me, who wants her in coz it's dark & cold. Rascal.

THREE trees!! I put mine up today, I'm hoping the bengal doesn't take to climbing it!

Shrinky said...

Fen, fourth and main one went up today! Kids are all complaining 'cos I've gione for a fake one this year. I told them "tough", our eldest ain't around to lug one home with their dad, and I'll be buggered if I am about to put my back out over Christmas!

mythopolis said...

I discovered that if you put up a fake tree and buy a bottle of Pine-Sol cleaning detergent and sprinkle it liberally about, you would swear it was the real thing!

Grayquill said...

You do know those mice know their way back don’t you? If the groceries are not re-stocked soon, I suppose you can always have grilled mouse. I have heard if you put them on a stick and hold them over an open fire it will burn all the hair right off of them. I also want to know what a 5 hour…I mean 2.5 hour ferry ride costs? I am guessing that fee would easily cover the damage done by your girls – I guess that fact is not all that useful...

Shrinky said...

Dan, Sam's gardening centre make real fir wreaths, so I've bought the two he insisted I take, and have put one by the tree!

Shrinky said...

Hi there GQ, grilled meeces? Oooh, yum, yum (heave)! I think we spent more on the food and snacks on the ferry ride over, than we did for the actual ticket - when you are trapped in boredom for five hours solid, you tend to graze just for the hell of it..

mrsnesbitt said...

Aye the New Year - we are on with the downstairs right now - DIY big time then it's upstairs and the room we are preparing for Sam & Al. Dxx

Fragrant Liar said...

Wow, everybody's got mice problems!

I like the catch and release of your mouse trap. Much more humane. But do they run back inside after you release them?

How fun to sail across the water from your island and hang with the boys.

Skunkfeathers said...

meeces, toothless meecers, ferriesnamed Ben and three tree holidays...you've got it all workin', Shrinkster ;-)

Merry Christmas. Add a few more trees, and you can have a forest ;-)

Shrinky said...

Hi there Fragrant, yeah, those little meeces never take offence, and are always happy to run straight back inside again after their eviction, which is why I DRIVE them (much to the horror of my shrieking kids, who share the back seat on the ride, since I tend to do it whilst on the school run) a good few miles away, before finally setting 'em lose!

Shrinky said...

I put our main (fourth) tree up, on Saturday, Skunk - it's like Blackpool Illuminations inside our house!

CiCi said...

Do you get snow there? You mention the weather is turning and being near water, does it freeze?

Shrinky said...

Hi CiCi, how lovely to meet you (smile). I actually posted a video last year of our family walk on the beach, where all the sand was covered in several inches of snow - it defied all logic! This week we are forecast snow, but it's the storms that are creating the most concern, our food supplies are now at an all time low, and with no sign of the weather abating..

Cricket said...

Heh, heh.

On the very rare occasion my parents would leave my sister and I alone, I kid you not, as soon as they were gone, we'd clean.

Seriously, you can ask her.

Y'see, my sister and I are rather the neat-freaks, and quite fond of light and air. My parents, not so much. And with Dad a teacher and Mom a social worker, it seemed every flat surface in the house became a repository for stacks and stacks of books, folders, and papers.

Of course, we couldn't put away the papers, but we could at least square up and consolidate the piles. Free up some flat surfaces. Open the shades and the windows &c. &c.

They never seemed to notice.

In fact, Dad, when they'd return, would seem genuinely puzzled, wondering aloud as he methodically closed windows and shades, returning the house to its cave-like state.

I've been a bad blogger but I'm glad to see you back. Great pics in the previous as well. You've really got the spirit of that market in there.

Bijoux said...

Is it more embarrassing that we have 6 trees up in our house?

Shrinky said...

Hey there Cricket, how lovely to see you again, I always love it when you stop by. Hahaha, your comment really made me smile, what a funny turn-around to have the KIDS nagging the parents to pick up after themselves! Mind you, with that said, I'd far rather have a lived-in, comfy house, than a show-home, anyday (grin).

And of course you're not a "bad" blogger - we are here for pleasure, it's not as though we get paid for posting - and when you do post, it is always worth visiting!

Shrinky said...

Hi Bijoux, well now, let's see - nope, I think you can hold your head up high - I feel MUCH better knowing my house is far from the most over-the-top on the Christmas dec front..(wink)!

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

We put down live traps for meeces that MR Scooter brings in. Akchewly Mr Scooter always got the blame but we hav had a lot fewer this yeer that we havent had Fluffy wiv us. Enyway, we bait the traps wiv choklit Hobnobs. Meeces like these.

Wun morning at abowt 6am Mummy herd the trap shut so she woke us all up an we all had to get in the car an she put the trap in a shoe box an balanced it on her lap wile we drove to the woods.

On the way she talkd gently to the poor traumatised meecey.

Wen we got to the woods we chose our spot carefully an tiptoed over an gently lent down the trap to let free......... a nibbled choklit Hobnob.

oH MY BEADS! NO MEECEY!!!!

So Daddy sed to the biskit, 'RUn free, littol Hobnob, run free an multiply!'

Hehheheee.

THANK YOU for the ace Crismoss card, Shrinky!!!

Shrinky said...

Haaaaaaaa, oh Bob, that was so funny! All that fuss and midnight mercy-run for a chocolate hobnob (giggle) - bet your mummy will always remember to peek inside the trap first now, before setting off on a dash again, eh?

And thank you sooooooooooo much for the gorgerific, super-duper, speshal card, B.T., I've given it pride of place on my mantelpiece for all to see and enjoy! (x)

sage said...

Wow, there are times I think living on an island and at the dependance of a ferry would be ideal, and then I read this... still, it sounds good and that stream which you make your get-aways to looks lovely.

Shrinky said...

Hiya Sage, ah, there are always two sides to a coin, but I guess in an ideal world I would probably opt to spend my summers here, but the winters elsewhere! Tonight, my eldest daughter is directing the Christmas play - the school has just emailed this:-

"We have received a severe weather warning from the Met Office and the forecast for this evening is bad: high winds and rain - especially between 6 and 8pm.
We have decided that we will continue with House Drama this evening.

If you intend joining us for drinks at 6.30 pm followed by the performances at 7.00 pm we would ask that you take great care when parking your car, opening and closing your car doors and when collecting your children later in the evening. Many thanks"

The show must go on (wink)!