We live in a quiet place so a whole caravan of cars going up the lane after dark (or, to be frank at any time) is usually indicative of an emergency. When it happens at midnight and is accompanied by screams, horns tooting and the distant but distinct 'duf, duf, duf' of music - the sort where you can't hear the tune or melody, only the dull thud of base that gets inside your skull in a way that could drive you to insanity very quickly- it means no sleep and the sort of anger whose embers are still glowing several days later.
I do not cope with broken nights. L (bless him) woke me on the hour, every hour, from the minute he was born until he turned four. You do not catch up on that kind of lost sleep, and as a result I am extremely tetchy if I get woken in the night now.
By one am, it had got louder. By 1.02 I was out of bed, dressed and grim-faced and heading for the car with the intention of discovering where the bloody noise was coming from. M, knowing I am not at my most sane or reasonable when wrenched from sleep by Other People's Noise, and perhaps therefore fearing what I would do to the person who was responsible if I found them, beat me to it and rushed off down the lane on foot with torch in hand. By the time I caught up with him he was standing beside the aforementioned neighbour who was calmly seeing cars into their field with his torch as if it was a Perfectly Normal Thing To Be Doing At Midnight. It was probably a good thing M was standing next to him because if he hadn't been I would have been tempted to run him over.
Standing in the lane was his second mistake (the first being allowing the party in the first place). His third was to start the conversation thusly: 'and who are we?'
'We,' said M grimly, 'are two of your extremely pissed off neighbours. It's a Thursday night, it's 1am, you have woken our entire household, some of whom have to go to work and school tomorrow. IT IS JUST NOT ACCEPTABLE!!!!!!!'
He feigned a look of surprise (mistake number four) because, apparently it is Quite Acceptable in his world to blast loud music and the screams of inebriated teenagers for several miles out across the fields at 1am.
'Oh,' he shouted over the sound of the music, 'I didn't realise it was that loud.'
It was probably a good thing I was still in the car and not standing within swinging distance of him. Also that the music was so loud he couldn't hear what I saying in reply. M, who knows me well, cast me a Worried Look.
'Oh well,' he said, in a hurt and not-understanding-at-all-voice, 'if you give me ten minutes I'll ask them to turn it down. It's my son's birthday,' he added, as if that made it alright.
They didn't turn it down and I lay in bed being forced to listen to duf, duf, duf, duf for the next two hours before anger finally gave way to sleep. I drifted off dreaming of the sort of revenge that entailed getting up at 7am and driving round the field blasting the horn of the car wherever there were sleeping bodies. Unfortunately, I was so knackered the next morning (having had four hours sleep, which is about half what I need if I'm not going to turn into a pumpkin) that it was 7.30 before I struggled out of bed, and by the time I got down to the field all the buggers had gone.
The other thing that annoyed me this week was receiving a string of texts asking 'how much for a full body massage?x' from a complete stranger who never bothered to leave his name. I don't do massage, for exactly this reason. Idiots see it as a euphemism. I replied politely that I didn't do massage and then had a text saying 'can you see me tomorrow?' I felt like writing back 'exactly which bit of 'I don't do massage' did you not understand? I repeated that I didn't do massage and then the next morning I had another text from the same number again asking 'how much for a full body massage?x' I ignored it.
So my equilibrium has been sorely tested this week and I have been struggling to get it back ever since. That sense of being out of sorts was compounded today by the pitched battle I fought with the several thousand feet of bindweed which is threatening to take over the top of our garden. It has strangled my buddleia and when I tried to free it it severed several of the branches in half so now there aren't as many buds for the flutters as there would otherwise have been :-(
Never has the image of a flame thrower been more appealing..... I would get good value for money out of it too, because I could also use it on inconsiderate neighbours and idiots who think healing is a smoke-screen for something less wholesome.
|It looks like a jungle at the bottom of the garden :-(|
I tore as much of the bindweed away as I could and set about tidying up the rest of the beds which have also become festooned with things growing where I would rather they didn't. The recent torrential rain has flattened my cornflowers and the cosmos, with the result that sections of the garden look like someone who's been sleeping rough for several weeks with no access to a hairbrush or a fresh change of clothes.
This morning I discovered that my voles have been at work at the corn poppies which I have been assiduously nurturing these past few weeks. All that remains of them is a pile of neatly incised tidily stacked stalks cut at tell-tale 45 degree angles....
By way of an apology from nature, we did get two new species of flutter in the garden today: Meadow Brown (I didn't get a pic) and this Ringlet.
I've moved the Nasturtiums into the back veg patch where they look colourful and cheerful....
And in so-doing managed to upset an entire colony of ants whose pre-children fell out the bottom of the pot, prompting much frantic scurrying about and furious waving of tiny fists in my direction as the ants attempted to relocate the eggs.... They look more papery than I'd realised close up.
While this was going on I also found a Cellar Snail. I am Becoming Very Interested In Snails. Cellar Snails are flatter and smaller than Common Snails, and as such are probably food for Glow Worms, which M and I went out hunting for the other night (but more on that in a later post).... I am Getting Very Interested In Glow Worms too....
|Cellar Snail Cutey Pie|
Some areas of the garden are looking better than others. The Calendula sown from seed this year are beginning to flower....
And the Spirea is looking Pink and Fluffy (unlike me)....
The Poached Egg plants are cheerful and the Star Jasmine smells divine....
And a new kind of Dragon flew over for a chat as well- I think this is a Common Darter, but feel free to offer corrections if I'm wrong...
M has been out since 5am (so less sleep for me again. It is Just As Well we have next week off and are planning on visiting some Nice National Trust Properties, which is confirmation of my having reached Middle Age in a way nothing else is). He and his friend Tall Paul (whose thirteen year-old daughter changed his username on some cycling-related website to Baldy Gonzalez quite a long time before he noticed) are cycling 140 miles round the South. They have various strategic cream-tea stops booked in along the way (very hard-core) and are not due back till 6pm, which doubtless means M will manage to stay awake just long enough to consume supper and a pint of home brew before he's snoring through the final episode of Game Of Thrones....Which I suppose will balance last night, when I fell asleep after a particularly large gin and had to be woken up for supper at 8, and then had no idea where I was, who I was, what time it was and what generally was going on..... :-)
The mouse (in case you were wondering) went back into the Longworth again on Fri night and has been set free in the Vineyard, a reasonable distance away from the house. I was careful to blindfold him, spin round a few times and talk in a foreign language while we walked up to the vineyard to make Absolutely Certain he was thoroughly confused about where he was. And I kept all sleeves tucked well out of the way too when I opened the trap so we didn't suffer any mouse tickles upon release. We are now waiting to see whether he finds his way back (I won't be surprised if he does).
I'll leave you with a pic of Pop who has been helping me garden, which translated means she has been chewing up the various sticks I've chucked on the ground in a small fit of fury over the bindweed problem....
Until next time, I hope you all have Equilibrium-Filled Weeks....