Monday, 23 February 2015

A £96 Rat, The Most Terrifying Car Journey Ever And Here Is My New Quilt

You will record, dear friends, that I spend much of my time here being kind to wildlife, including the garden rats.


On Saturday my car (aged only one and half) exhibited a total inability to drive at more than half a mile an hour.

L and I first blamed it on Agriculturalness (in the form of M driving in his wellies), but then it did the same thing to me and I am a good deal less agricultural than M so it had to be Something Else.

The garage said: under no circumstances drive it- get it recovered to us.

M said: Pah to that! It'll cost a fortune. Let's tow it.

OK (I said), I've done that before and I am Pretty Brave and not All That Pink, Fluffy Or Girly. So Let's Go!

We borrowed M's dad's pickup. 

It poured with rain.

The light was going.

The tow rope was very short.

I couldn't see much.

I had forgotten how terrifying being towed is. Over the course of the 20 minute drive we seemed to be going 70mph instead of 30. I became ever so slightly hysterical, and by the time we reached our destination I had the rictus grin of a mad creature glued to my face as well as the sense that I was embracing danger like a person who only has seconds to live.

We went past a police car on the way.

They ignored us.

I couldn't decide if I was more cross that they hadn't bothered to check we were OK or relieved that they didn't pull us over.

I had a missed call from the garage while listening to an interesting talk on Bird Survey techniques this afternoon. I also missed three calls from L. When I eventually managed to get hold of him the conversation ran thusly:
L: Mum, I have left my keys at home.
Me: Are you at home?
L: Yes. I'm waiting on the step and it's bloody freezing 
Me: So that bit this morning when I said "have you got your keys?" and you said "yes"...?
L: When will you be home?
Me (sighing): I'm leaving now, I'll be home in 20.

The garage (when I eventually managed to make my mobile work and get through to the voice mail) said: A RAT has chewed through your cable. We've fixed it but I'm afraid it's an hour's labour which is £80 plus VAT making a total of £96. It may also have chewed through the loom, in which case I'm afraid you're looking at a bill of hundreds, but we won't know that unless it breaks down again.


It is perhaps a mark of how awful the towing experience had been that all I could think of at that point was: OH NO! NOT MORE TOWING! I barely registered the 'several hundreds of pounds' part.  

I am relieved it wasn't Chilli's fault as she is a dear girl who has never let me down and I love her. On the other hand, I consider that mightily ungrateful of the sodding rats.

In lieu of an enormous gin (with which to calm down) I got Phyllis out of her new cupboard (made by my clever husband)  and set-to on the roses and swallows quilt, which I have now finished. It is Balm For The Soul Indeed :o)


 



And here is Phyllis' new cupboard, which Poppy has managed to photo bomb :o)


I am off now to make supper and unwind in front of Mr Selfridge (not quite in the way that sounds) and prepare for the rest of my horrendously busy week ;o)

Here are some daffs for you all. I have been enjoying their yellowyness (that's not even a word is it but who cares?)



And some pics of the Hounds, who were busy Pigeon Staring earlier...



Have a peaceful evening all,

CT x

44 comments:

  1. that's a flipping expensive rat bill, are they sure it was a rat? Love your quilt, so pretty and girly.

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    1. They're pretty sure. It's an ongoing thing, the rats in our garden. I hadn't thought how the quilt belies my lack of girliness- it is very pink and lovely!

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  2. Oh CT!!!!! So totally unfair, you are the nicest person to animals and for a little r.a.t. to do something like that to you - not on!!! On the upside I am sure that Phyllis is very happy in her new cupboard, far away from any creatures and doggies! Love your quilt too - just right for snuggling under after the grim weather again today! xx

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    1. I have moved the bird seed away from the front drive area - hopefully no more nibbling small creatures mixing with the cars! xx

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  3. I'm laughing at the pigeon staring, hours of entertainment right there. Sorry about the car, as you say, very ungrateful of the rats. I saw loads at the wildfowl and wetlands place yesterday, it's a good year for them I think. Do all cars have looms? Who knew. I do hope yours is untouched. It's all such a nightmare when it goes wrong. The quilt is gorgeous though. I'm off to work on mine a little now. I hope your week isn't too stressful. CJ xx

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    1. They do do it for hours CJ- it is the sweetest thing to watch. I think the mild winter here has meant lots of things have survived that may not have in colder temps. Looks of rooks and jackdaws about as well. Glad you like the quilt, it is lovely when one works out well xx

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  4. I think there must be something in the oil/grease/plastic in vehicles that rats are addicted to - seems a bit off though, after they're fed so nicely at the bird station. I have had the same trouble with my forklift, I was going to scrap it, so angry that nothing worked, then I notices some funny red shavings, and they had just chewn through the cables. Mice chewed off the red handles of my trolley too. Daffs are happy delight.

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    1. Little buggers! Still, it goes hand in glove with life in the country x

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  5. ... and mustn't forget to add, the quilt is gorgeous, I love the colours, and actually would love to borrow it, we seem to be cast back into the freeze here.

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  6. I'm glad that rodents pick on someone else too. New air filters, new air conditioning thingy in the car...strip down of the tractor engine twice.
    I'm not a sewer,so the sewing would fill me with more dread than being towed.
    Ooooh, thanks for the yellow..I'm done in with white.
    Jane x

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    1. Oh dear, not good :o( I'm sending you some virtual yellow to combat the snow! x

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  7. What on earth could rats find tasty on car cables (not sure I know what a loom is either) - I am always amazed at their ability to chew anything that doesn't move. Hope that is all the bad things over and done with. Lovely daffs they always bring a smile.

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    1. I don't know what a loom is either so will have to look it up :o) Lord knows re the rodents and plastic, perhaps they just get an overwhelming urge to gnaw?

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  8. Jennifer is right. Remember how the mice chewed through the petrol pipe on Mike's chainsaw AND the mower?

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    1. Exasperating indeed, but part of living in the countryside :o)

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  9. They are getting their own back for moving the bird table !!!! Joking a side you might have to think this through as you don't want to be driving the car and something going wrong...
    I love this quilt you've made..great colours.
    Amanda xxx

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    1. They'll be furious this morning then because I've moved it again, away from the cars! x

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  10. We've had car troubles, but never because of a RAT!!! So sorry! Hope the loom is okay!! Love the quilt!...once a year people from all over the world come to Paducah for Quilter's Show..it's quite the event. Love the Daffodils, hope they brightened your otherwise not so bright day! Have a good week! As always, love to see Poppy and Teddy :)

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    1. The Quilter's Show sounds an amazing event- do you go along? :o)

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    2. I have and the quilts are amazing!! You would love it. The event begins in the spring, around the time of the Dogwood Trail. I'll take some photos come spring :)

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    3. Ooh, yes please do take some pics- would love to see them x

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  11. Adorable hounds you have! You are a lot braver than i with your car. I might have done number 2 in my pants i'd have been so afraid. (I, unlike you, AM quite girly, especially when it comes to car stuff.) I love the fabric in your project! Very pretty!

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    1. It was pretty dicey at times Mary and I will be glad not to do it again! :o)

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  12. Beautiful quilt! Sorry about your car. Seems like with cars, there's always something......(but nothing a bunch of money can't fix!)

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    1. Too true. If we relied on our feet we wouldn't have all these problems :o)

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  13. Rats cause millions pounds of damage CT. We haven't seen any this winter, thankfully. A good cat is worth it's weight in gold.

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    1. As do certain species of moth and other insects, but I wouldn't want to eradicate them either :o) Can't have a puss cat because of the doggy folk.

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  14. well written account of the 'car/rat problem. Don't think I would be encouraging rats around my property if this is what they were doing, Your quilt is gorgeous as are the daffs, Have a 'better' week now.

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    1. The rats aren't actively encouraged, I just don't feel poison is the right thing to do both for them and all the other wildlife in our garden. Glad you like the quilt- I'm v pleased with it x

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  15. Beautiful quilt and surely you could have managed the gin as well as rather than instead of?

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  16. Oh my dear what an interesting life you lead! I've not seen a rat for ages but I'm sure they are about, perhaps Rocky dog is scaring them away. Gorgeous quilt, love the material & a great cupboard too! I must give Mike a dig so he can make me one too xx

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    1. I haven't seen one in ages either. T spends ages digging holes and sniffing about in the garden but I suspect they are wise to this and just come out at night when he's asleep! Am really pleased with the new quilt and cupboard xx

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  17. perhaps the rad was thinking of storing all that food under your car for wet days when he didn't want to go out. ha,ha. I dunno - you are the only person I've met that feeds rats in her yard - I was always taught that rats and mice carry disease, so they were not welcome anywhere near the house or garden. I do love your quilt and looks quite snuggly. Love the pooches - Jack would be watching too. Have a nice day.

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    1. In my defence I don't feed them- I just don't put poison down to kill them :o). The quilt is working very well as the nights are still cold here, although nothing like with you! Have a great day too :o)

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  18. That's one expensive rat! I'm feeding the birds again this year but had to stop last year as the rats from under my neighbours decking came to visit - I really hate decking...
    The quilt is beautiful, the daffidills glorious in their yellowyness, but the dogs steal the show! xxx

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    1. I wonder if it knows just how expensive it is....? I don't like decking either, it gobbles up perfectly good wildlife habitat :o(
      The dogs send a woof to their pal Floss and a lick and a snuggle to you xx

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  19. Even when you've had a bad day you still manage to make me laugh, I know that will be such a comfort to you :)
    The quilt looks sublime btw.

    Jean
    x

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    1. It is a tremendous comfort, Jean. I generally fail to take things too seriously, a condition fortunately shared by my husband :o) Hope all's well my dear xx

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  20. Eek - about the car :( I had a similar problem with mine a month or so back but husband ran the engine for ages and it eventually sorted itself out so presumably no cables had been chewed. Hope you don't have any more problems with it. The new quilt is just lovely :)

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    1. Extremely Naughty Rats, is all I can say :o) Seems to be running ok.... x

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  21. Ahh poor you -I hope those pesky critters stay well away from your car now. I completely agree with your stance on the poison issue CT, although I bet even you were feeling quite murderous after that nightmarish tow. Anyway, your quilt is gorgeous and I just love the name of Roses and Swallows -so summery. Have you ever read the Green Knowe children's books? Lucy M Boston, the author was an amazing quilter and her quilts -I think- can be viewed at her home of The Manor, Hemingford Grey. xx

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    1. I was a tad grumpy :o) And worried about it happening again, but we've been here eight years and so have the rats and it's never happened before so finger's crossed it was a one off!

      Thanks so much for the info re Lucy Boston, have just looked it up and have fallen in love with the house and gardens- definitely on our list of places to visit. There's a great line on the website for the house about the upstairs hall echoing with 900 years of family conversations xx

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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