Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Perils Of Inviting Your Husband's Younger Colleague To Dinner, Moth Post & Grass Snake Update

A work colleague of M's came to dinner the other night. I'd had one of those days- you know, where you're outside all day and you just don't stop? They were due at 6.30 so at 6 I went in and turfed L out of the sitting room, extracting several pairs of rather disgusting and unnervingly damp black socks from various strategic positions (mostly stuffed down the side of the sofa and hidden under cushions- he is dreadful for peeling them off and  dropping them). I poofed up cushions, gathered up the chewed and fraying dog toys that were littering the floor and put them in the big dog bed in the sitting room. I kicked some rubbish under the sofa and prayed no-one would see it, then I scrubbed at the coffee table in a vain attempt to remove the water marks that have been appearing with the hot weather (this is due to L's love of ice pops made in the freezer and transported in a plastic jug which is plonked on said table and left there).

I stood back and surveyed my handiwork.

The sofas are decent, but they are hidden beneath throws in an attempt to prevent the dogs turning them black. The throws are therefore black instead; each one bears a tide mark at exactly the same height off the floor, which is where the dogs run along the sofas rubbing themselves on them. I considered turning the throws round, then realised they look exactly the same on the other side. I must have already done this once before :-(

I looked at the carpet. It's cream. Honestly, who puts a cream carpet down in a living area? It was doomed the second we moved in. Three dogs and three kids later and it isn't cream any more. Now it has various dark circles of dubious origin dotted all the way across it and I despair every time I look at it.

Oh well. I glanced at my watch. 6.15. That left a quarter of an hour to tidy me up, and I was probably more in need of it than the house. I was just about to scamper up the stairs to wash, stick on some make-up, drag a brush through my hair (which had been scrunched up in a ball since I'd washed it that morning and had therefore dried crumpled and wild), and pull on a dress and maybe even paint my nails when both dogs suddenly erupted at the door as a car pulled into the drive.

Oh no! They were early.

Two minutes later I opened the door to a vision of loveliness: perfect hair, perfect nails, perfect skin, perfect make-up, elegant cream blouse tucked in to a swirly peachy silky skirt that really belonged in an advert for hair shampoo (the ones where the models leave the salon and swing their hair about and everything else flows out around them in a perfect arc). Beneath all of this were the highest pair of heels I'd ever seen (which made me acutely aware of my knackered dirty old flipflops). There was not a hair out of place, or a smudge, a sweat-stain or a shiny bit of skin to be seen.

My jeans, by comparison, although clean on that morning, by that point in the afternoon were bearing the all-too-obvious evidence of Poppy's joyful excitement at finding a muddy puddle on our walk that morning and her wish to tell me all about it, along with Ted's desire to sit on my lap so he could lick my nose and tell me how much he loved me. As a result, my face was shiny- I know that for certain because I checked the mirror when I ran into the kitchen to get drinks. As for my t-shirt, well, it definitely had the kind of small stains on it whose origins had long since passed into the mists of time (where it is better to leave them).

In short, I felt like a bag lady. A twelve-years-older-than-the-vision-of-loveliness bag lady.


I have seen the look she gave me on another female face in recent weeks- it was uncannily like the expression on the face of the nymphomaniac consultant who set M's broken wrist back in the spring when I accompanied him to the final check-up after a long day working out on a hill. I had failed to change or brush my hair then too. 

M brushes up well, and always looks elegant and debonair for work. I, on the other hand, look fine first thing in the morning, and would have passed muster had I had time to do some necessary repair work, but as it was I would say I definite gave Farmer Giles a run for his money. She probably thought I was some kind of gone-to-seed-and-hired-out-of-pity scruffy inept house keeper.

After she'd gone I apologised to M for giving the impression to his new colleague that he was married to someone desperately in need of a bath and clean clothes.

Don't be ridiculous (he said), you'd look beautiful with a cow-pat on your head.

All things considered that might be an improvement....



Sad news on the Grass Snake front- she died last night. I can't say I'm surprised. As many of you said yesterday, the damage to her tail was so severe. I suspect an infection would have taken hold eventually. Hopefully those eggs in the compost heap will hatch.

Moth-wise, I've had a Small Rebellion Today. Usually, I record each and every moth with painstaking attention to detail, but today when I lifted the lid on the two hundred or so who were in there, half the buggers flew out, and then another quarter followed every time I lifted an egg box (not sure the maths works, but you know what I mean).

So, I have decided, from now on I am going to only record the new ones. I feel surveyed-out at the moment and just want to enjoy my moths without exhausting myself over them. Enjoying wildlife for wildlife's sake is a Nice Thing To Do.

Here are a selection of today's Mothy Folk.....


Buff Arches

Buff Ermine

Slender Brindle

Dot Moth

Early Thorn

Elephant Hawk




Early Thorn

Peppered Moth

Poplar Hawk

Rosy Footman

Ruby Tiger

Ruby Tiger

Sallow Kitten

Small Scallop (new one for me)

Yellow Tail
I feel a Bit Naughty not recording them properly, like I've smuggled a bottle of gin into school and have been taking surreptitious swigs through all my lessons. It's Quite Liberating to do things differently sometimes, and to realise that just because you've always done something a certain way it doesn't mean you have to carry on doing it that way if you no longer want to.

And there I shall say goodnight, having accidentally left you with a Thought For The Day :-)

Have a great evening,

CT x


16 comments:

  1. I really enjoy your moth posts, I'm learning so much and seeing creatures i didn't know existed.

    Jean x

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    1. Thanks Jean :-) I'm glad they're helpful xx

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  2. Sounds like a TV Comedy with the meeting of the younger colleague - a Lucy or Carol Burnett type laughable situation - it does happen in real life. Sorry to hear about your snake, but the damage was quite bad - perhaps the eggs will make it. Interesting, knowledgeable and extremely funny post. You got the best of it all in this one dearie :)

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    1. Thanks my friend :-) I'm keeping an eye out for small snakes at the top of the garden- fingers crossed x

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  3. I love your posts, they are beautifully written and funny as well as informative. I don't know if you live in the catchment area for New Writing South, based in Brighton, but they award a quality mark for well-written blogs (mine has one) and feature the blogs on their website. It might be worth you contacting them.

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    1. Thank you Stephanie. I would love to be able to comment on yours which I also love reading but can't find a way to do it without using google plus- any thoughts?

      Thanks re New Writing South, we're in Hampshire so not sure if they stretch that far West but I will check it out x

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  4. Don't worry yourself about the moths, the moths won't! When the box is so full it would take you ages to catalogue them all. So funny about the sorting out the house and yourself, if I am home alone during the day I go round looking like a right scruff and then have to do a major tidy up job before hubby gets home, I always dread the doorbell going during the day as I can easily look like a scarecrow. I am sure that you looked better than I do, and the colleague probably spent hours getting ready to try and impress you in any case! So sad about the snake, I hope that there is some luck with the eggs though. xx

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    1. You're so right about the moths not being bothered- it's very easy to put unnecessary pressure on yourself sometimes, isn't it?
      I'm sure you look lovely during the day and besides, husbands are supposed to love us come hell or high water (I think those were my vows) :-)
      Fingers crossed for the baby snakes...I'll let you know if I see them. Hope the quilt is coming on well x

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  5. Ha ha ha, I am giggling so much, was it a wurzel gummage moment? Poor snake but it was to be expected I suppose.

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    1. It was a moment that would have done WG proud (incidentally, the prog was shot just down the road from here on a friend's farm!).
      Yes, I think the writing was on the wall for that poor snake. Lovely to see her though x

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  6. Ha ha - such a humorous post. No doubt I would get caught out in a similar fashion if OH other brought a similarly glamorous office person home with him!

    Such a shame about the grass snake but at least you did all you could to try and help. I do hope the eggs hatch.

    Some lovely moths as always. I have to admit I often don't worry about worn ones and a lot of micros and every time I open the trap I lose as many as I pot!! Sadly, its always the interesting looking ones that get away as well never the worn noctuids :(

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    1. This time of the year the Robinson pulls so many moths in that at least a quarter zoom out the second you open the box. The new ones are more important record-wise for me now I think. Still no emeralds here.... :-)

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  7. Oh dear how sad about the grass snake. Your dinner party escapade made me chuckle. I have always pictured you wafting on the chalk downs like a modern day Snow White; butterflies eating from your hand and everything. I'm sure that's how you get them to stay still long enough to photograph....
    You must do a tutorial. Tips for photos and stuff. I'd read it.
    Leanne xx

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    1. I like the wafting image. That is one I shall have to cultivate :-)

      Good idea about a tutorial for photographs post. I shall mull that one over while I am traipsing across water meadows under the moon tonight listening for bats....and missing my bed because there's been Rather A Lot of night-time traipsing recently and not enough sleeping xx

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  8. Lovely funny post.
    The moths won't mind if you miss a few, Love the Rosy footman, I disturbed a Swallowtail moth in the garden, simply beautiful, kept it safe till evening, the big kids were able to look at it closely as it sat on my finger, even they were a little impressed. Placed it on the Ivy , then we played spot the moth, just looks like a Ivy leaf.

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    1. I haven't seen a swallowtail yet this year. You often find them sitting on windows. Beautiful, delicate moths :-)

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x