Monday, February 17, 2014

If it's not one thing, it's another.

My husband and I were sitting peacefully over the remains of Sunday lunch yesterday, reading each our separate sections of the Sunday Times, when a mouse skittered across the kitchen floor. I saw it again (or one of its friends and relations) at bedtime.

We live in a tenement. There are bound to be mice. Some years ago we were rather troubled by their skittering. Then Greek Helen gave us one of those things you plug in which is said to make a noise inaudible to humans but distressing to mice. We haven't seen any mice for a long time. She gave us two or maybe even four mouse-repellers, but somewhere in the intervening years Rachel had mouse trouble in London and I passed the others on to her.

Do the electrical things wear out? Do mice get used to them?

Edinburgh mice have never done anything to us except skitter – no mess or damage. But I hate it. Kirkmichael mice, on the other hand, Timmy Willie rather than Johnny Town Mouse (literary reference), don't skitter at all but can do quite a bit of damage and make quite a bit of mess when they have the house to themselves. Everything in the kitchen must be well secured against them. They like eating the insulation off water pipes.

We leave little plastic trays of poison down for them (sorry, mouse lovers) and are always pleased when we get back if we discover that they haven't eaten it – meaning that they weren't there. The reserve supply of poison used to be under the sink in a heavy plastic drum, until the time we found they had gnawed through the lid and helped themselves. We can't have that sort of thing, so now even mouse poison is kept in an old biscuit tin.


I now lack only one row of finishing the sixth repeat of the centre of the Unst Bridal Shawl.

Somebody's blog on Zite took me just now to this page on the V&A website, about regional knitting in the British Isles. I must have seen it before. But this time I was struck by the remark that “knitting probably came to Shetland from England, as English words were used for the earliest knitting terms”. I'd like to see the evidence for that in detail.


  1. I've found the only cure for mice is an active cat.

    Failing that, they do seem to enjoy spicy yeast bun, like a hot cross bun. Luckily your supermarkets probably already have these on their shelves, as they have had since Boxing Day. Grr!

    The other reliable bait for traps is the highly flavored jelly beans.

    Good luck/hunting ;-)

  2. Anonymous2:05 PM

    Peanut butter is an excellent trap bait. They love it, they want it, but they can't just spring the trap and steal the bait. Very effective!

  3. I once heard that if you have a cat you won't have mice...not true. Our basement happens to have a relatively ample supply of malted barley for my husband's homebrewing hobby which of course attracts mice. Our tabby regularly catches them and enjoys playing with them, our Siamese enjoys watching her with them but stays away from them (as in "eek a mouse"!). We have woken up during the night to the sound of cat chasing/playing with mouse in our living room and even in our bedroom...of course she has to bring them upstairs to share with us all! She thinks it very unfair when they get taken away from her and tossed outside!!