A long chain of events


It is apparently going to rain in the South East tonight:


This is very exciting because my carnivorous plants (have to be watered with rainwater) are turning into hay. My water butt was emptied a couple of weeks ago, so they have had a bit of boiled kettle water, but as our water is really limey they won’t survive long on that.

I thought I had better mow the lawn before it rained, because otherwise it will be days before I do, and the grass will shoot up and it will be a pain. So I did. And I had to mow some of the longer bits that are currently being used as a trial composting loo by the local cats and foxes (or one cat with a very odd diet). So the grass clippings were immensely stinky. So for once I raked them up and bagged them to take to the tip.

Now I have been dodging the prunings from the lilac and the privet for a good three weeks, I had to prune them but was too lazy to go to the tip. There were also a couple of bags of just general crap that needed to go as well. And I thought that if I leave it all till it rains then it will all weigh twice as much and be massively annoyingly. So (watching myself in amazement at my efficiency) I piled it all into the back of Madame C.

Some of the bags were quite elderly, in terms of lying around (one at least a year) outside. I had done a slow-worm check (you never know) but all I saw were some of those little jumpy things that aren’t prawns. But as I sat down to do some dissertation typing ( I feel ‘writing’ is too firm a term for what I am doing) I thought about the many giant spiders that could be leaving the bags and nestling in the nutrition-filled nooks and crannies in Madame C. Bearing in mind that she hasn’t been cleaned out since I cleared the allotment last year, and was thus carrying a substrate of mixed grit and compost, with an upper layer of nicely decaying leaf-mould, some woodlice and various things like safety pins, lost crumbs and cat fluff.  I don’t mind little spiders in the car, they are quite sweet, but a big spider could be the end of both me and Madame C on the motorway.

So I put on some proper shoes and went to the tip (all of a mile and a half away).

<Just in case you’re waiting for some running, there isn’t any.>

I waiting in the crawly tip queue while one man inspected everyone’s bags to make sure they were using the right section; and eventually got to discard my prunings and clippings (or dispose of my arisings as they say in horticultural textbooks). And as I pulled the last bag out I saw a frog in the boot. Not a big one, but a half-size one, I would guess one of this years tadpoles. All I could think of to do was mutter ‘Bollocks’  to myself, and get rid of the last bag.

I drove home, realising that I would have to clean out Madame C and find the frog. No matter how deep into the crevices it had descended. There was probably enough in there for it to live through the winter, but it would be a bit dry. And what if it got into the hot bits? or the moving bits? or under my foot when I needed to brake?

My neighbour, astonished to see me approaching my car with a dustpan and brush, asked me if I was cleaning my car. I said cagily ‘Sort of’, which luckily he didn’t respond to; he was too busy lining up the ‘well you can do mine as well’ rejoinder that is traditional in this situation.

So I gingerly (as they do like to jump out at you, frogs) set about cleaning out the boot. Which consisted of taking out the carrier bags, spare wellies, more carrier bags, spare oil, spare washer liquid, airplant brochure, index cards, business cards, mudguard for Claud AND THE TRACK PUMP (I have been turning the place upside down for the track pump for weeks). No frog. I looked at the spare tyre (which I can just lift out, but clumsily) and thought if I try to lift it out and there’s a frog and it slips…..so I bottled it.

Eventually I declared the boot to be frog free. Pulled back the seats, which had been folded down. And there it was on the back seat, just waiting for me to fasten its seat-belt so we could go for a drive.  I scooped it up in a not-tupperware box and took it back to the garden. Where doubtless Mr B will catch and eat it within the next hour.



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