May 30th, 2013


Rabbit Run

Matthew cobbled together a run for the rabbits. My mother, who pays him £12 an hour, got fractious about how long it was taking. We had a conversation that went a bit like this...

My mother (peevishly): Are you going to see what Matthew is doing?

Me (standing my ground)): No, I'm cooking lunch.

My Mother: But he's spending all this time making a run for your rabbits when he should be cutting my grass. Don't you think you should check?

Me (angry now but trying not to show it):  No.  I'm not going to go and harass him. I don't do that sort of thing. Besides it's raining. He won't be cutting the grass anyway.

At which point- before things could get really unpleasant- we heard the lawn-mower starting up.

The completed run is a splendid piece of improvisation, assembled from oddments of wood and wire and corrugated iron. It'll stop the rabbits from wandering and give them access to a large area of grass, but we won't be able to let them use it unless we're standing guard against predators. Yesterday we saw a fox on the front lawn exiting through the shrubbery with a  baby wild rabbit in its jaws. Also, Matthew tells us, West Kent has a growing population of buzzards.

Against The Grain

We went into Tonbridge this afternoon. Like most British towns that aren't Georgian spas Tonbridge has filled up with charity shops. At this point in the proceedings it's customary to say, "What a pity", but I like charity shops. Besides, I suspect the good old days of apple-cheeked greengrocers, jolly family butchers and ducking and dipping haberdashers never really existed. H.G. Wells (writing somewhere in the middle of the golden age of the British high street) is very good on small shop-keepers and what shits they mostly are.

One of the shops we went into was an Oxfam book shop.  I bought a collection of short stories by Walter de la Mare (a first edition- no less)  and a paperback edition of J,B. Priestley's Saturn Over The Water, which- if I remember rightly- is an occult thriller.