Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Best intentions, sliding


The dog has eaten a fat ball. That's the whole trouble with January, isn't it. You start off with all of the best intentions, then you see a fat ball that someone's left lying around for the birds and in five big gulps it is all over and you are left trying to digest a mixture of seeds, dried insects and half a pound of lard. As I write he is lying on his back with his legs in the air dreaming of finding another one. Honestly, the stuff he finds when we're out on a walk astonishes me. There is someone who puts out a mountain of food for cats or foxes. He dines well if he can escape me at that point and head up their garden path. Then there are the elastic bands and balloons, he has rather a taste for rubber I'm afraid to say. There are the leftover sandwiches that the school children half eat then throw away. Similarly most of a hot cross bun. The unmentionable things. A whole week of finding raw sprouts all along the path (I later found out from the littlest boy that some boys in his year had been throwing sprouts at each other after school finished for Christmas). And now fat balls. To his credit, he didn't bother with either the dead pigeon or the dead sparrowhawk. I am grateful for small mercies. He is clearly taking the 'Eat Local; Recycle' message very seriously.

On the subject of things green, I always enjoy reading about the things people are doing to tread more lightly on the earth. No-one can do everything, but all the little things do count so much. I particularly enjoyed Mel's post this week at Three Ravens. And Amanda's Instagram feed at Small Sustainable Steps for those of you who like Instagram. Both beautifully encouraging.


Around the house the geraniums are getting a bit leggy and waiting for spring and the staghorn fern is enjoying the humidity in the bathroom. It's an odd thing with its antler-shaped leaves, covered in down and its circular fronds at the base protecting its limited root system. In the tropics it gets much of its water and nutrients from the humid air. I'm not sure it will like the blazing sun in the south-facing bathroom in summer, so it might need to relocate, perhaps to a hanging spot somewhere. That will leave me with a plant-shaped space in the bathroom...

I fitted a new toilet seat earlier. I know, I know, the glamour of it all. It made me VERY sweary. Why can they not all fit perfectly in some sort of nicely arranged standard fashion? And of course once you have unpackaged it there is no taking it back. It's all a bit dicey to be honest, I am absolutely certain there will be complaints, but I reached the point where I ceased to care. I may wrestle with it another day when I am in a more amiable mood. Which may be in the far, far distant future. I hope you are all far calmer than me and enjoying the January energy.

20 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your adventures in nature and the bathroom. Your dog must have an iron stomach, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Writing, photography, boy and dog wrangling and now toilet seat fitting - is there no end to your talents? I love your staghorn fern. Plants do seem to like bathrooms don't they. Ours is looking a bit Kew Gardenish with all the greenery and it's only a matter of time before R starts to complain. You're very good bringing your geraniums indoors to overwinter. You put me to shame - mine are all dead in pots on the patio. Good luck with Bertie's digestive system and mind how you go with that toilet seat! xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had never heard the term "fat ball" so when I first read that Bertie had eaten one I thought it might be a big red rubber ball. Perhaps he's part bird? :-D I do love reading your blog as you are so humorous! We're just floating through January, staying home by the fire instead of adventuring and I'm crocheting away on a fire colored blanket. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Toilet seats are a total pain, they never fit properly! Oh that fat ball will have had very unpleasant consequences. My firt spaniel was a scavenger too and never forgot where he had found a tasty treat- sandwich from a workman rebuilding a stone wall, oh yes, bird food, yum yum... boys dinky cars/ toy soldiers oh dee-licious!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You really are living the high life this January lol! Bertie is a scamp with all his foraging, hopefully he doesn’t eat anything dangerous. The perils of dog walking. Love the plants. I’m never good with bathroom ones. Always hope it’s damp enough for the different ferns I try but they always seem to fizzle up in the end. Enjoy the sunshine. B x

    ReplyDelete
  6. A great post once again. Your dear dog is a scream , whatever did you do before he arrived? x

    ReplyDelete
  7. My Alsatian-cross used to eat everything he could find as well. Conkers, chicken food, horse poo, decaying rabbit corpses, the works. Stomach like cast iron, that dog had. He once broke open the fridge to get at the ham inside, the daftie (not the word I used to describe him at the time...).

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bertie's antics had me laughing. Your indoor plants are looking well, I've new growth on my pelargonium. I've fitted a couple of toilet seats over the years and both were troublesome to say the least. xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. Toilet seats are my all-time nemesis, well, one of them, (there are so many). The loo I have at the moment is one of those that have their cisterns boxed in, (close coupled ?), designed for, and I quote, 'tight awkward places'. It seemed ok at first, although rather compact, for a woman sporting a more generous derriere than most, perhaps, fitting neatly into a corner. It was only when the seat needed replacing that I realised that 'tight and awkward' also applied to the siting of the attaching screws. You were required to take off the lid of the cistern, and feed your arms down each side of it, to a depth that would have left your average orang utan feeling the strain, and then start unscrewing the plastic nuts down a screw that was almost your own height. Why do they have screws that long - just why do you need enough time to forget what life was like pre-screwing before you can finally get them off ? And then there was the sizing of the new seat - apparently not your usual regulation common or garden job.

    In the end, I went to Homebase clutching a template made out of floral wallpaper, and went through the rigmarole of trying it on for size against just about every model they had, which were, of course, mainly boxed, so had to be removed, replaced etc, etc. Several assistants watched me cautiously from the safety of the kitchen department, brandishing my wallpaper cutout and growling when yet another one didn't quite do, without approaching me directly, or offering me anything in the way of assistance. Grateful that the tills were downstairs, no doubt.
    And then there was the circus performance if trying to get the new one on, when I got home, with only the wrong length arms to achieve it.

    This one is now attempting to spin you 360' when in use, but I am ignoring it, and soldiering on. At least being in a tight, awkward space means progress is halted by a wall. Its fine. Years of life in it yet. It'll see me out. Unless my arms grow, or I develop a deep and meaningful relationship with an orang utan.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my! It shouldn't be this hard, should it?! But how I love the idea of a floral wallpaper template. CJ xx

      Delete
  10. Great post! The opening line set the tone ..... "The dog ate a fat ball". Hahahaha! But not hahaha. I know exactly what you mean; thanks for the laughter.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Now I know why I have always insisted on boring accessible bathroom fitments. Bad enough that the bathroom fitter had to do a wangle to replace a cracked bath while not destroying the surrounding tiling! He was amazing. Loo seats are a pain = I never seem to get the screws tight enough!
    Hope Bertie continues to survive his weird dietary choices!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm rather intrigued (and glad it's not me dealing with it) by the digestive product of having eaten a fat ball. The cat licked clean a bowl of melted butter (some people and their popcorn habits) over the holidays and the litter box was not delightful.

    Thank you for the mention....I'm rather enjoying my comment section...so many good ideas from folk.

    I am in need of replacing a toilet seat but I'm torn between the perpetual mobility of the current one and the potential for exasperation in trying to fit a new one so am dithering in indecision. Possibly I'm hoping it'll stay tight this time. xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  13. Like the idea of January energy!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I hope poor old Bertie did not have an upset stomach after his fat ball feast.... Jack was violently sick after eating a lump of frying pan fat that someone thoughtfully left out in a back lane.

    I should have taken my pelargonium in, yours looks lovely and ready to go back out in the garden soon. Mine were trampled on my hungry pigeons and may never recover. I do love plants in the bathroom, it makes it cheerful. The humidity is god for some plants. Ferns and orchids do well. My little bathroom orchid flowered soon after I moved it from the hallway window sill. Before that it was more or less dead for six years.

    On toilet seats, I'll tell you a secret: toilet seats that do not fit properly are uniquely British, I never encountered one before I moved here. It is one of my pet hates actually, having to tighten up the screws all the time and the seat not being quite right even though it came with the bowl. Let me know when you find a solution. In the meantime, have a lovely weekend xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ah toilet seats..... I can never seem to get the screws on tight enough to hold the seat in place. I hate a seat that moves, and as you know with little boys once they can feel that seat moving they will wiggle and jiggle it until it is really loose. S for you fur baby, well you know mine are into everything. I found a wire with the sharp end out in the middle of my family room yesterday. It was wet so someone had it in their mouth but I have no idea where it came from, like no idea. Am I going to turn on something and realize the wire has been eaten? Where is the rest of the wire in someones stomach? Did they cut their mouth on the sharp part? These questions and many others might never be answered with these two.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I do sympathise as I too have a dog that eats anything and everything given half a chance, the more disgusting the better. His current favourite delicacy is string or yarn. Don’t get me started on toilet seats... or flush handles now I come to think of it!

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a lovely, well-written and interesting blog, thank you for a good read. It seems many of us have our own problems with toilet seats. Our new one is definitely ovoid-shaped whereas the loo is round. It's also a bit smaller, so the roundness of the bowl protrudes half to an inch. Most aesthetically annoying, but I will live with it, there are worse things to worry about.... like a sinking utility room floor, wooden, which is causing the new washing machine to shake like an electrified jelly. The last one did it, that's why we got a new one. Now it seems it might be a whole floor that's needed. And how am I to do laundry.. lead me to the nearest river!
    If it's all right with you, I'll be back to read again. Hope your weekend is good for you.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Ah Bertie! He does make me smile ... and I hope the toilet seat stays put for the foreseeable future.

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a lovely light moment you always offer! Thanks for the comic relief! I love your writing!!

    ReplyDelete