When we are at home, away from the boat – we worry about the boat. When we are on the boat, away from home – we worry about home. Not a lot, but a little.
One of the ideas is to fit a device to the boat to remotely control the heating. This can be controlled from home – or from anywhere. The EZTEXT unit is particularly attractive as it provides both control of systems on the boat, and can be set to send information back from the boat (such as the temperature). I will no doubt post more on this if I fit one - and at about a hundred quid, it is very tempting.
Home is a little simpler, we already have moderately sophisticated systems and good neighbours so the worry is less. But one of the regular jobs is to keep check on the mice that frequent the loft space. This is a job that cannot be done when we are away.
At the moment I have 4 traps down in the loft, and provide fresh cheese at least every fortnight. Sometimes the cunning little mice get the cheese without the trap going off, sometimes they don’t. The mice are most prevalent in the autumn when they come looking for warmth. Yesterday it was time to check the traps and as I put my head into the loft, I could see that I had company.
One dead mouse, one trap missing, but another mouse was sat quite still, looking at me!
‘Hello you,’ I said. ‘Don’t you want to run away?’
He didn’t run away, seemingly relaxed with my company, he just carried on chewing up a BHS carrier bag.
‘Suit yourself,’ I said.
‘I can’t move,’ the mouse piped up.
‘Why not?’ I asked.
‘Because my arse is caught in your bloody trap. It only just missed my bits.’
‘There’s no need to use potty language,’ I said. ‘Anyway have you seen the fourth trap anywhere? It’s gone.’
‘Maurice ran off with it. It was stuck on his arse, sorry bottom. Marvin wasn’t so lucky. That’s him there.’
He nodded in the direction of the dead mouse.
‘Oh, sorry about Marvin,’ I said. ‘It looks like he died happy.’ I was looking at the squashed nose all mixed up with cheese and blood.
The trapped mouse, I never did ask his name, gave me a sideways look, although most of his looks had been fairly sideways.
‘I’ll get you free in a minute,’ I said, dropping the late Marvin into my Tesco bag.
‘Do you remember our agreement?’ the trapped mouse asked.
I didn’t answer. I knew the conversation was going to get awkward.
‘I will remind you,’ he continued. ‘You agreed to provide us with seed in that old bird feeder on the outside wall, and we, in return would keep out of your house.’
‘Yes I know,’ I replied, ‘but one day there was a great big rat on the feeder, and I thought maybe it had to go.’
‘It’s your choice,’ the trapped mouse replied.
‘Hey don’t get arsey with me,’ I said.
‘I can’t feel my arse actually,’
‘I’ll have a think. OK? Now, will you be alright if I throw you out of the bedroom window? It’s fairly soft down there.’
‘It'll be fine,’ the mouse said.
He looked back at me from the ground, and I thought I was in for another dressing down, but it was short.
‘So long, and thanks for all the cheese.’