Thanks for still dropping by!

Until a few weeks ago I was fairly regularly posting  and optimistically hoping that whatever I wrote would get at least a couple of ticks from the reader for fulfilling their three I’s. 

By that I mean: Insightful, Informative, Inspirational or perhaps as an alternative I, at least….. Interesting. 

Life has got in the way for the last few weeks and my Late to the party blog has been more of, ‘just didn’t make it to the party at all that evening’. 

I had assumed that without posting anything new, nobody would drop by,  but actually that seems not to be the case  and for whatever reason people keep finding this blog somewhere and are dropping in, sometimes with a friendly comment deposited in my virtual letterbox.

And for anybody concerned that I have lost my ‘writing for fun’  mojo, that is really just not the case, it’s really just a matter of a temporary interruption in service with much to follow in the future. We live in a world where despite the bad stuff (and no need to document that here)  there is thankfully at least in my life, always things that amuse or entertain me and I want to share.

Even if it is just the First World problem of how I stop the Harry Houdini skilled squirrel that lives in our garden from stealing all the birds peanuts!

Happy Wednesday!

Brian – a very intelligent squirrel

We have a resident squirrel or two in our garden. One of them in particular is remarkably intelligent.

I can’t really give too much provenance to his early education although I am told he played on 2012 University Challenge Cambridge University team some years ago (but possibly as mascot) and more recently has been a successful contestant in some TV quizzes. His skills are however not confined to the subjects of biochemistry, early English literature and nano physics, but also to how to open a bird feeder that has a spring clip and then to be able to remove nuts out of reach of his legs by swinging said feeder vigorously.

We have actually become very fond of Brian, and although the natural next step might be to just leave the peanuts in a more accessible place, there are downsides to this. Firstly the mental challenges are probably good for him – current restrictions will be limiting his social interaction and there are of course no pub quizzes for him to enter at the moment and a local gymnastics competition that I know he has been considering training for and participating in has just been deferred for some months. The other reason of course is that Brian has a wide circle of friends and providing dinner party facilities for such a group would probably require stocks of peanuts that we just don’t have readily to hand at the moment.

Squirrels are relatively new to our garden….our resident garden guardian Geoffrey also felt it his duty to ‘see them off the premises’ but alas Geoffrey is not with us anymore, but probably looking down from doggy heaven with slight bemusement at the new residents.

Our kindly vet who looked after Geoffrey in his later years would often comment, ‘if Geoffrey could talk, I am sure he would be a very polite dog’ , I think based on the dogs stoicism and acceptance of prods, examinations and the odd injection. Praise indeed , and proof that we always have had only the best in our garden.

May contain nuts..

We are all familiar with the mountains of form filling that accompanies any request for credit. The guardian’s of these funds will ask searching questions about the state of our bank accounts, how spendthrift our lifestyle is ..do we burn money? or save money?

…and do we have dependants that we need to support.

After some recent form filling I realised that I have in all innocence been not 100% truthful and failed to declare a dependant.

A dependant squirrel..that by stealth has been becoming part of our household.

At first it was just social calls, a little run around the garden, a bit of jumping tree to tree and that was it.

Well nice to have use made of the garden in the winter. So not a problem.

Along comes spring and then he began calling round for meals..very particular to bird seed and peanuts…oh and also the container that they were in as well. Plastic mesh on a bird feeder was no match for him.

And so to summer, my strawberry plants were of great interest. Individual strawberries were picked and consumed sitting on the garden gate staring in at me intently.

Now I am no expert lip reader but at least once I saw him mouth the words..’any sugar or cream to hand?’. The strawberries lasted about two weeks and now it’s the gooseberries. There is a slightly different technique for these. In case you didn’t know it, squirrels love gooseberries but only the inside. So each skin has to be peeled off and discarded in disgust.

Next on the calendar will be the raspberries, plums and possibly apples. This squirrel may not have learnt much from his parents about ‘ask, don’t just take ‘ but he certainly paid attention to the 5 fruit and veg a day message.

So we seem stuck with our new dependant and soon need to have a difficult conversation with him about making his own way in the world and becoming a net contributor to our household.

In readiness for that conversation I did research and found there are jobs that squirrels can do. However it seems that these new additions to the workforce are not always well received… let’s just hope he has more success than his American squirrel cousin and doesn’t get fired on his first day…

…even squirrels have a tough time in the workplace it seems.

Why this blog? Click to find out more……