Sometimes I forget that I’m an ancient being with teenage daughters and rediscover ‘the child within’. That or I’m becoming addled but, either way, I sometimes become fascinated with things which, of themselves, aren’t particularly fascinating really but, to me, for a while, they are. The sort of things I mean are the things that make me want to keep them, even though they are useless, and put them in a little treasure box or at the back of a drawer.
My youngest daughter is still like this at 14 – she has never yet grown out of picking up stones, pieces of wood, scraps of fabric, wine corks (of which she has a huge collection – can’t think why) and depositing them in various places around her bedroom for me to find and marvel at whenever I go in there, which I try not to do too often to be honest. It’s a health hazard. I can’t understand her collections. If she chose pretty stones and pebbles with different markings on them or little fossils embedded in them I could understand it but some of them look as if they’ve been picked out of a gravel drive. Pieces of rough pine or chipboard left over from my husband’s projects find their way into her room even though, as far as I can see, they have no aesthetic value or possible use. I suppose everybody has their own fascinations and obsessions and she must see something in these bits and pieces that nobody else can. Either that or she is part squirrel and has an incredibly strong hoarding instinct.
Anyway, two things have appealed to my ‘inner child” recently so, before I am forced to throw them away by somebody far more sensible (almost anybody), I thought I’d record them here.
We live in an old, wooden beamed house and occasionally we come across some of these old nails – or spikes really – which are rusty and bent and huge. I don’t know what it is about them but I love them and I can’t throw them away.
We are in a very rural area, near lots of fields and forest and there are quite a few old barns in the vicinity. Apart from the edible dormouse (which I have mentioned in another post) I guess there must be quite few rats and mice around. Recently my husband was taking down some old insulation in the wine cellar in order to spray for woodworm, put up nice clean insulation and board the ceiling. In the old insulation were channels and tunnels – well, rat runs really – where generations of rats and mice had raised their families and charged up and down with food supplies. Fortunately, all the droppings and nests were very old (phew!) but he also found some remains and, here is my second ‘can’t throw it away’ item.
Well, I see plenty of dead rodents around the place as we have 4 cats but, there is something about bones, especially skulls, which is fascinating. Not that I ever want to find anything bigger than a rat skull in the insulation, but I keep looking at its teeth and the eye sockets and the bit of the spine that remains. Am I weird? I mean, I haven’t actually put it on show in the house or anything but I find that I don’t want to throw it away either so it’s on a shelf in the shed.
I hope we never get invaded by rats in the future as, although we have four cats and, although I see the aftermath of plenty of murderous cat activity, I can’t help wondering whether, if a really cool, hard-man type rat came along, he would be intimidated by this sight