Bitch on the Blog

July 24, 2013

Missing in action

Filed under: Earth — bitchontheblog @ 14:21
Tags: , , , , ,

At heart I am a gardener. My grandfather gave me my first sunflower seed. My father dug over a bed for me (underneath an apple tree) and showed me how to make a drill and how deep. Weeks later I sold parsley to my mother.

Gardening is not a straight path to happiness. In fact, it’s the path to downright misery. You start with hope. Then you battle with elements. May they be of weather or wildlife. Like something out of a Wilkie Collins novel, and a fully grown woman (years later), I’d stand in my English (first rather vast, later diminishing) gardens collecting snails off their breakfast. In my nightdress. Five o’clock in the morning. My neighbours not being curtain twitchers and asleep. Since I am not American, neither do I live in America, I didn’t have a shot gun. Otherwise I’d have seen those squirrels off. Squirrels are selfish. They won’t give one measly thought to why you plonked a bulb here or a seed there. They think your garden is a free for them. Don’t talk to me about Karma or  “you’ll reap what you sow”. You won’t. Any accountant will tell you that a farmer’s bottom line does not tally. Still, battle was done. And many a war lost.

Yes, I know you can tell: I currently live inner city with not a garden to weed. No lawn to mow. No courgettes to pickle. No mint to take over the plot. No cat to curse. No snail in sight. No nothing. For my sins I will walk our city’s parks of which there are plenty, squirrels keeping me company. If ever there was an irony.

There is a short crime novel in the above reflection. Think Edgar Wallace or Cluedo: Someone in the shed is hanging from a rope.

And YOU thought YOU had problems.




  1. Even in America we can’t discharge firearms in the city limits – squirrels, rodents, or otherwise. Out here in the country, it’s a different story. But the squirrel population is so enormous that the cost would be prohibitive. A good dog is the best deterrent – but another garden killer with the digging and the racing through without thought to what they’re trampling. If you solve this case, please share. Squirrels are winning – one to nothing.

    Comment by reneejohnsonwrites — July 24, 2013 @ 21:12 | Reply

    • I suppose I could have used an air rifle, Renee. Those which don’t kill, just make a noise. Though bet my bottom pound sterling that squirrels are deaf. Or wear ear plugs. Odd thing is that our cats never did battle with them. At least as far as I know. Anyway, I’d hardly been delighted to be presented with a half dead squirrel courtesy of a cat wishing to share her bounty with me.

      I have no idea how much filters through from outside your continent, across the pond, though you having lived in France obviously got a glimpse: Fact is that Europeans do perceive Americans as gunslingers. And not just in Spaghetti Westerns. I can’t remember the statistics now of guns per American head but it’s astonishing.. Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with having a gun or even many. Most my uncles hunted (mostly deer). My father taught me how to shoot. Correction: He taught me how to aim. Sportsmanship more than anything else. As I said: It is a perception of the US – and as such maybe distorted. However, can’t help feeling that gun law is lax in the States. To keep it in perspective: You mentioned Hemingway the other day. Just shows you: Even a licence doesn’t stop you from unlocking your weapon cupboard and shooting yourself. But that’s your call.

      Maybe of interest to you: In the UK there is more concern about men carrying knives. So much so that a cashier in a supermarket has to verify someone’s age (if not sure whether a youngster over 18) to sell a simple kitchen knife. Yes, I know it’s ludicrous. For many reasons.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — July 25, 2013 @ 05:58 | Reply

  2. Very few squirrels round here, and I’ve never seen one in the garden so our plants are safe from the pesky creatures. Not from whitefly though, getting their greedy mandibles on everything they can.

    I’ll take care not to venture into your shed. I might not come out again.

    Comment by nick — July 25, 2013 @ 13:33 | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: