Gorgeous, scorching day today — it must have been about 17°C, which is great for Ireland. (Mr Grumble's comment: it's probably the best day we will have all year.) Little Miss Sunshine started playing in her sun tent outside, while Mr Grumble took care of his garden and I tried to sunbathe. We even had lunch outside. It looked like nothing could dampen the mood — not even Mr G's comments or the neighbour starting to mow the lawn right the instant we sat down for lunch.
Later on Mr Grumble came back from the garden with a pale face. "Have you seen a dog around here? There is a dog turd in my vegetable patch." He was so shocked he didn't even start a rant.
Now, Mr G and I hate dogs. We are not moved in the slightest when a dog stares at us with wet, servile eyes, or rubs its groin adoringly against our leg, or pees on our bike, or barks at us, or leaves a turd on the beach where our little one like to gambol. We usually share bitter words rather than melting glances with their owners. Mr G was even bitten by a dog once, and trust me, he is one to bear a grudge. In short, we are not big fans of dogs in the first place, so this was like THE UNTHINKABLE had happened.
I went out to enquire and, sure enough, there was a big, soft turd in the middle of Mr G's dirt patch. The horror! Oddly, I suddenly imagined my mother saying, "Oh well, it's good fertilizer!" But that sort of fertilizer on our fragrant basil and fresh peas, and worst of all, on my little girl's future raspberries? That really gave me the shivers. I looked around. We are at the end of a row of terraced houses. Our next-door neighbours don't have a dog and, on the other side, a high wall separates us from the next development. There is no way a dog could climb something this high. A cat? "It would have to weigh 20 kg to produce this", retorted Mr G., ever the scientist.
Back inside, tried to forget the unpleasant incident while Mr G heroically removed the offensive thing from his vegetable patch. Miracle of miracles, Little Miss Sunshine went down for a nap without screaming the house down (or only for a few minutes, anyway). When she emerged all refreshed and in a delicious mood after her reluctant two-hour rest (luxury!), I realised that she had gotten her own back by wetting her bed. Or had she? Turned the mattress over: huge stain on the cover, the whole floor was dripping wet underneath and the floorboards had even started to lift up. Quite a pee. Actually the culprit was the heater. I had indeed noticed a little leak (and dutifully informed the property manager, who couldn't care less), but I had failed to realize it was that bad.
I am a rather patient person but this is about the SEVENTEENTH problem we have in this house (see previous post). Leaking washing machine, neurotic oven, unhealthy fridge, dud lights, stuck locks, draughty windows, dripping ceiling... I'm not even mentioning the assorted holes, cracks, missing tiles, dangerous nails sticking out of walls, peeling wallpaper and the altogether APPALLING work that has been done in this place. And I really don't like it when the appliances actually start attacking my daughter's bed. Will have to move said bed (a plain mattress laid directly on the sodden floor) to another corner of her postage stamp-sized bedroom until the agency sorts this out (around the same time next year probably).
Have you ever had the feeling that your house hates you? You know, when the problems pile up so high that you just want to give up? At first, when you have just moved in, you fanatically repair and repaint the tiniest scratch or stain, and you call the property manager as soon as the plumbing hiccups. After months or years of vain phone calls and ignored emails, you start thinking it's not the end of the world if it rains in the living room. (I did, anyway. In another lifetime.) But eventually, it gets so bad that you start feeling ready to endure the trauma of moving house... yet again.
We're not quite there yet — after all, we haven't been here six months and I want to enjoy some time in this house with NOTHING TO FIX. It's a matter of pride. It should work out eventually. I am an optimistic kind of girl.
Was writing that when Mr G called: "There's ANOTHER dog turd in the garden!"
Went to have a look. Nah, this is too small to be a dog's turd. (I am a specialist of faeces. After all, I translated two books on the subject: A Natural History of the Unmentionable and What's Your Poo Telling You? by an eminent MD!) It could be owl poo, I said, look, it's all hairy from all the rodents it had eaten... Mr G didn't agree. Insisted it was just from a dog with a hairy arse. Then came up with what is probably (alas) the right answer: "It could be a fox!"
I like foxes. Cute little red balls of fur. But I am not too fond of the idea of a fox coming that close to us, especially if it is to do its business right outside the kitchen window. Will keep an eye out...
I just need to know who's pooping in my garden.
(And for those of you who wondered: no, Mr Grumpy is not THAT ill-behaved.)