Friday, April 15, 2011

On mice warfare, stopping to smell the roses, and tell me what to do in Paris

"I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value." - Hermann Hesse

The mice are still a problem. No solutions (that I have the stomach for) are working--the mice don't enter the catch-and-release traps and they aren't touching the poison, either, no matter what goodies I mix in with it. And even though I've long since mouse-proofed every item of food in the kitchen (for all intents and purposes, you may imagine it locked into safes suspended from the ceiling), they still insist on holding squeaky family reunions behind the fridge and using the countertops as one long, joyous chamberpot. I don't know why they're still here. I suspect it's just for the pleasure of witnessing my descent into madness at their capable paws. My hands permanently smell of bleach these days, as does every surface I think they may have touched. I wield my cleaning products like heavy artillery and have a box of matches the size of a bread bin that I'm fully prepared to use to set the kitchen on fire. They appear oblivious to the wild glint in my eye, the desperate hoovering, and the frantic disinfecting, as they cavalierly chatter on, throw parties, and wreak general havoc. But I refuse to give in, to give them the satisfaction of pushing me over the edge. I'm now pulling out the big guns in this war: professional pest control, my own personal mercenaries. At the very least, I'd be thrilled if these experts can plug up all the openings that are allowing the mice in, although I do hope they have some success in mouse-extraction, as well.

I hope they come with a terrifying cat.

In other news, last weekend in Pretty Little Seaside Hastings was chock full of one of my favorite things: Old People Looking in Windows.

I love the way they just get right IN there. Like a shop front is actually an exhibit that calls for full attention and study and conversation. (And really, isn't it?) I can't remember the last time I stopped at a window front and had a nice, long perusal of the wares on display. And yet there's an entire generation that goes nose-against-the-glass, examining the contents. I love it.

I actually went into this shop and got a tea plate and a handful of rusty forks, just because I could. All for a pound! Oh, man. It was great.

Okay, so this one wasn't * technically * taken in Hastings last weekend, but I can't resist putting  it up because it totally fits. 

Now back to my spring break research...if you have any tips about what Aya and I should do/see in Paris, Luxembourg, or Brussels, please let me know! We're totally winging it here. And anything awesome you recommend I promise to photo to death and then post on here, giving you all the blame. I mean, thanks.

Big hugs and love,


  1. Ah - normally my favourite shop window exhibits involve cakes, pastries, chocolates, pies... I could stand in front of afternoon tea places for hours...mmm...although then again, I've just read the comments below and realised you don't like chocolate!?!?! ("Not even 70%?" squeeks that little voice of disbelief!) And the couples looking in - so cute ^_^ Man - I hope when I'm old and grey and full of sleep, someone will want to come window shopping with me, looking at antiques that are our current modern fare and say things like "Do you remember when..." or "I can't believe that's an antique!!!". Of course, this is assuming I live to a ripe old age...

    I totally sympathise with the mouse problem. My first flat in London housed about five families of them (from what I could figure!!!). In fact, I don't think I have ever lived in a mouse free flat since coming to London! I have MANY mouse stories!!! And London mice are real cheeky and practically fearless. The problem is that they may not be getting food from you - it may be your neighbours that are feeding them up (with nice food that is preferable to poison) and they just like your flat as a playground. I hope the pest controllers manage to sort it out. A good tip is to block any holes in your flat with those wire scourers you use to scrub dishes with as they can't knaw through that esp around water pipes etc. Unfortunately if your flat is anything like mine, there are like one million holes because the place is so old, it's practically falling apart!!! I think the only good thing that was a result of my mouse days, is I'm much more tidy than I ever have been!!!

  2. These pest control companies are charging an arm and a leg! At these prices, they'd better be hand-catching them and then teaching them to jump through flaming hoops in a mouse circus!

    As for the lack of chocolate-lovin', that is reserved for chocolate-chocolates! There is always room for a brownie or cake. ;) And I have also dog-eared an embarrassing number of patisseries to try...I'm going to gain ten pounds in Paris alone!

  3. A shopfront IS a real exhibit. Love old people. Love window shopping. The two together is a match made indeed.

  4. For your stop in Brussels, a tour of the chocolatiers. You can get started at the Grand Place, go to the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate, visit Chocopolis, Galler and take a tour at Planete Chocolat. Then there is always the hands-on children's science museum, Technopolis. Don't forget the "Eiffel Tower" of Brussels - The Atomium!

  5. You know so much!! I love it!! What if I don't like chocolate?? I should still do at least one of these, though, because it just wouldn't be right to be in Belgium and not at least chow my way through a couple pounds of it! Our hostel is right by the Grand Place, too, so even better. Now to go look up Technopolis and the're the best!!

  6. That's right, I forget that you don't like chocolate, just seems very unnatural coming from a child of mine! Oh where did I go wrong? ;)

  7. I absolutely have a cat you can borrow. He's fat and lazy and probably would demand first class travel accommodations, but he's very good at cuddling.

  8. Don't like chocolate??? Did I know that?
    Shopping in Paris: Check out Naf Naf on the champs elysees... cute inexpensive stuff (for the location) and don't forget to buy some french lingerie!

  9. Oooooh, I could use a good kitty cuddler. Let me know how he feels about the whole 'mouse-catching' business, as well. Tell him he'll be paid in all the tuna he can eat. Or mice. Whichever he prefers.

  10. YESSSSSS! * adding to list * Thanks, mon amie!