Of mice and man. This man. But not for long..

There are a great many things I’ll miss about this house when I leave it for the last time on Friday.

But one of them won’t be the mice.

This morning I was woken up the sound of something’/s making a noise my bedroom. At 2am. The thing with it being all dark and everything is that whilst I could hear them, I couldn’t actually see them. That’s when an ancestral throwback kicked in, telling my brain that the source of a noise that I couldn’t see, but could hear scampering about, wasn’t good. And that’s the thing about the dark. It amplifies whatever noise there is.

Turning on the bedside light didn’t help either. As soon as I turned it on, they stopped. The fuckers. So I turned the light off, tucked my feet under the duvet so there were no gaps – I have a morbid fear of something getting under the duvet and nibbling my toe, or something more precious – and tried to go back to sleep. The chances of that happening were inversely proportionate to them returning. I lay awake, my ears primed to detect any sound, and sure enough, some time later, I don’t know when, they returned. Searching for whatever, doing whatever, but making a noise as they did it. Cue a repeat of before. Light on. Noise stops. Me encasing myself like a mummy in my duvet. And wait for the noise begin again.. A few times

Then when I did get up, I was greeted by the sight of mouse hairs in my toilet sink. Sadly, not the first time, but hopefully one of the last. Then I got dressed and went into the kitchen, made myself a cup of tea, and as I drank it, reflected on the irony that everyone knows we have mice, but because all their rooms are on the first floor, it doesn’t matter what state they leave the kitchen in.

Or left, because something has in the last few weeks awoken in Joe a hitherto dormant cleanliness gene. The kitchen floor, usually a recipient of crumbs and other rich pickings for mice, is now mopped seemingly every other day. He’s bought a handheld hoover thing to help him in his obsession. No surface in the house is safe. Part of me wonders if this is a wind up. At the time when the house is at its most dishevelled and most untidy, he decides now is the time to go all OCD?

As I sat drinking my tea, I was able to get a good look at the skirting board next to the kitchen. Furniture has been moved so it gave me a great view of the large gap, wide and long, from which the mice have been launching their foraging expeditions. It made me think of the time when Marge had for some inexplicable reason decided to leave food out – yes leave food out – for a mouse. Because something. Anyway, a few days later my mum was visiting, saw the mouse just calmly eating away, and did what any girl brought up on a farm in rural Ireland would do, and stomped on it.

So no, I won’t miss the mice.

Sorry to drag Brexit into proceedings, but did the news that the talks between Britain and the EU to sort out a deal have been extended, shock anybody? Is it just me, or does it seem that every set of talks to resolve a dispute, be it either between unions and management over pay etc, or between two sides in an armed conflict, or talks between the G7, the G20, or the Dave Clark 5, are always extended?