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Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

On nightmares and dreams.

Oh what a time we have been having. Sometimes I just can't write about it because it is too much, too hard to put into words.
Can you believe it? We have had rats and I say that in a past tense because I swear if I ever see or hear another one in this house (or any house I love in) again I will lose my mind, what's left of it anyway!
It all started so long ago, with that one tiny little grey creature that ran across my front room and oh how I hated that! How awful I thought that little fellow was. I still think it WAS awful because I now know he was the tiny little mouse that lost the draw. I now believe that the colony of festering vermin living under our home had a straw draw one night and that little lookout lost and was sent to reconoitre and go back with details of all the pickings that were to be had.
Since that night, oh so long ago, we have found, trapped, killed, disposed of, lived with maggots and flies, cleaned, scrubbed, cleaned, blocked off, trapped, killed, disposed of and shuddered at the nightmare that is our home.
10 days ago the council came, oh hoorah! Professionals! Such hope we put into the rat man as he cometh.
We made an extra effort at cleanliness and tidied and scrubbed and waited, sure that he wouldn't be able to walk and say " well, of COURSE you have rats, you filthy slummocks, look at the dirt in here" ( and let me say no-one could ever say my house is dirty is preety much always untidy, it always looks as though we never make any effort to be orderly whatsoever, one of these days I will leave it and then let everyone who visits unannounced see just how bad it could be.) we are untidy but we are very clean. So I wanted the rat man to be sympathatic and say something like "Oh you poor dears, look how clean you are, this is not your fault at ALL!"
What he did say was "where have you seen them?" he threw down poison and then said " There ya go, something is going to DIE and then, well then it was smell like bloddy hell"
Never a truer word said.
Oh my good heavens, what a smell.
You know how they say if you see one mouse / rat ..there are another 10 you don't see? And then you think of how bad that one dead mouse smelled that time when I threw it in the bin....multiply that by at least 30 ( because we trapped and killed 3 HUGE rats in 12 hours at the same time as he put the poison down, one of them had a body 8" long, not including the tail) well that's what it has smelled like in this house for the last week. Luckily at the party we had all the doors open and lots of glorious food cooking so no-one smelled anything, also friday wa sthe first day I started to smell anything sunday it was so awful that it was hard to believe the party was such a success.
They have chewed through floors, ripped carpets, eaten holes in walls and even eaten through the plastic storage containers in the pantry.
I feel as though I have been living in my worst nightmare. I abhor anything dirty, I can deal with most anything apart from bad smells and it is impossible to explain how terrible this smell has been. It has been so bad that today I was inpsired to write a blog and thought that title ought to be " things I never knew smelled as lovely" and I was innspired by my armpit. YES my ARMPIT! I was changing my shirt and as I lifted my arms up, I caught a whiff or soapy, cotton fresh deodoranty smell and I thought, oh that smells so GOOD, I love that smell. As fast as that thought flew through my brain was the folowing thought of ...actually Ihave thought that about some pretty bizarre things this week. Like H's face, but his face smells so grand, I bought him ' Farenheit aftershave when I was in Boston ( the place of heavenly smells, oh Boston how my nose adores you) there have been many times over this past week when I have shoved my nose right against his face and taken a good old sniff and said " oh you smell so lovely, can I stay right by your face because OH I CAN'T STAND THIS RAT SMELL..can you?"
H doesn't flinch at smells, I used to think he was like my dad and didn't have a sense of smell at all, but now I know he can smell things because this week even HE has said " Oh, that is so bad, I gag every time I come downstairs"
The first day or two, going upstairs was a treat, clean fresh air up the stairs, we have had the windows open this week, while others have been truning on the heating and getting cosy, we have had windows open and no heating on, oh no....heating warms the smell and it gives it extra power and we can't have that now can we?
So upstairs was fine, until on sunday, as I took a shower I was overwhelmed by the hot steamy stink of dead rat.
It seems they had a little holiday home behind the bathroom cupboard and as the shower ran, hot and steamy, so the dead vermin hidden behind walls began to cook and don't need to know just how traumatic that was.
My soul has been crumpled and beaten down this week. Dramatic, I know but true .
Slowly ( and how slowly) the dead smell has weakened, we are down to a medium musty, slightly rotten smell in most places, the bathroom smells of bathroom, all soap and freshness and my heart sings a happy tune.
Downstairs there is still a stench that makes me cry and H heave, right near the kitchen door, we couldn't put a name to it, it's not the dead smell but it is SO strong, when I go out and come home again, as soon as the front door is opened I can smell this odour and it makes me want to turn right around and leave again.
I have plug in fresheners, bottles of febreze, cans of febrese air freshener, we have used odour killing powders, I have pop socks filled with fragranced granules, the same granules are in burners and candles warm then and make the house smell beautiful but by the kitchen door.....hell awaits us.
We worked out today that this spot has been some kind of lavatory for rats with bladder issues.
There is no getting rid of this stink, other than ripping this carpet out and srubbing the floors underneath and when the wood is all clean and dry, putting new carpet down.
There is a faint glimmer of hope in that, I hope this means that the Landlord will replace the carpet, it is so old anyway and very worn in places ( and incredibly ugly to whit) I hope he can claim on his insurance and we shall be all fresh and also beautiful. I am also calling my insurance company and see if it is covered by my contents insurance.
H bought some sticky traps today, just to make sure that they are all gone...Seth, ever on the ball asked " So, what's the plan if you actually catch a rat in one of those? Are you planning to cream really loudly and stress it to death because I can't see any of you actually KILLING it"
On the nose again Seth-Meister, I leave it all to your father. Although I shall certainly help in the screaming department!



Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

Oh I can't imagine! How horrible. Why couldn't they have moved in with the Clampetts who truly deserve such vermin!

OF COURSE your house is clean and tidy and those nasty creatures should NEVER have presumed to visit. YUCK!

My poor Helen :((

1:40 am  
Anonymous Gemma said...

yuck yuck yuck..I'm the same as you I can't stand anything like that. I know exactly what you mean about it destroying your soul, it would me too. Lets hope this is the last of it :) x

2:48 pm  
Blogger Jenn said...

Oh Helen - I know this his been so awful for you. One little mouse for me, and I thought that was awful, and I know what you've been through has been 200 times worse. The smell is the worst. I think something died in our basement wall - because it has smelled like rotting sewer smell for about 4 weeks and only this week have I been able to go down and smell and realize that it is pretty much gone - one spray of Fabreeze and it's quite nice down there....but I digress....I hope you can get some new carpets and never have to deal with that awful rat problem again!! That's the stuff that nightmares are made of!

8:37 pm  
Blogger Cathy said...

I'm late cause I wanted to make sure the rats are gone! Are they? I sure hope.

I'm so sorry you had to endure such a horrible smell...

Hope they replace the carpets and hope they smell as fresh as your armpits!

Love you so

1:57 am  

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