I hate housework! I do like my home to be clean and tidy, but the effort to get it that way is sometimes just too much. Plus you do it one day and then the next day it needs doing all over again. Though there is probably no excuse for the vase of what once were flowers sitting looking accusingly at me from the old fireplace in my office. I say ‘what once were flowers’ because I was given this bouquet at Christmas and they have long since passed away. There is actually a very good excuse for this…well I think it’s a good excuse anyway.


A few months ago in a rush of redecorating enthusiasm, I got a friendly neighbourhood builder to pull out an ancient gas fire from the office, revealing a long disused fireplace. Our home is a 400 year old former inn and there are all kinds of strange things going on behind the wallpaper in some of the rooms. I made a mental note to turn the old fireplace into a feature at some point and then thought no more about it.


A few days later I noticed the cat running around the house like a small furry version of Taz the Tasmanian devil. She is a strange little thing at the best of times so this didn’t even arouse my curiosity, until I saw her with something in her mouth – which turned out to be a small brown mouse. The cat obviously thought this was some fantastic new toy that she could catch, then let go, and then catch again. She had no intention of hurting or killing it and certainly didn’t regard it as something to eat.


I managed to shoo the poor little mouse out of the back door and again forgot about it.