3.3.06

Mouse in the house!

And the weather this week has been...

But with intervals of...

And freezing at night. Which may explain the presence of this little chap, found by Samson and Andy, behind the sofa last night. Andy felt the need to check for more...I had a vision of an exasperated little mouse-wife and a gaggle of eight children, whining and runny nosed, huddled beneath the sofa cover...

" I don't know 'Enry, you never get it right, I told you it were too good to be true! !"

"But Muvver, 'ow was I to know there were four cats 'ere?"

"I don't know why I married you, I really don't...take your tail out of yer nose, our Albert!"




But in the event, it was just poor 'Enry, and he was released into the shed, there to take his pick of the woodpile, my old piano or - more likely - the motorbike, where he could chew wires to his little heart's content.

I now have my first actual in-my-hands printed piece, the fairy baking poster painted at Christmas for the primary teachers resource magazine 5-7. It's a teaching aid for poetry and on the back are exercises to develop pupils language skills. They write a poem about it and answer suggested questions, such as 'what colour cake is being made, what do you think it tastes like?' And talking about the size of the fairies, to introduce the idea of similes, 'the fairy was as small as a flower'. (BTW, I had nothing to do with this part of the project, I just painted the picture). It's odd to think of all those little minds concentrating on my imaginings and coming up with their own takes on it.



This month is Big Decision time - again. Do we stay here or take the plunge and do as we have been planning to do for years - move to Devon. We have to decide soon, as the rent contract is up for renewal. If we stay here another year, it's just treading water. But moving is expensive and time consuming. A lot depends on whether Andy can get a job within his company, whether I get any more decent paying work, or get a good agent. We are coming round to the idea of 'just doing it'.
If only the marbles fall in the right places, and not skittering off the game board...


25 comments:

Chris.P said...

My plan to move to Cornwall was a useful escape strategy I had for years. My wife never thought we would actually go through with it.

The upheaval is soon forgotten...In fact some days, thoughts of experiencing upheaval seem positively attractive! :¬)
Chris

Gail said...

Strange Gretel I live in Devon and want to leave, not that there's much wrong with Devon, possibly just the part where we live - in Plymouth - it's small, but still has the problems of a city.

It's our dream to move to Yorkshire ...

But if you do make it down here, give us a shout ...
-Gail ;)

Roz said...

What an adorable mouse and it didn't bite you when you picked it up?
Good luck with the move if you decide to go for it.

Great poster,love your style.

PG said...

Roz, you don't think I picked it up, do you??!! Ha, that's what big strong partners are for!

Gail, for me Devon will be a 'going homeness' - I left when I was 12, against my will....but that's another story. We will, however, be avoiding Plymouth, for reasons stated. ;)

Gail said...

Whereabouts in Devon? ... I just can't stop being nosey ...;)

PG said...

Hi Gail, South or North - hopefully the Bovey Tracey/Newton Abbot area. (In a perfect world, Lustleigh, on Dartmoor, where I lived for 3 years. Paradise, but out of our league). If not, then up Barnstaple way, maybe Bideford. It all depends on Asda...our lives are ruled by the Mighty Wal-Mart. :/

Roz said...

oh! hhahahhaha! next time I need to pay more attention to the size of the hands! yes I thought it was you!!!
Yay for brawny partners then!

Stuntmother said...

Funny coincidence number two -- Ed and I are experiencing our own moments of transitional doubt and last night we thought about selling up here and moving back to England -- to Cornwall, actually. We thought we could sell this house, move our whole family over and find a little village somewhere where Daniel could go to the local school and be kooky and Ed could finish his dissertation and I could write and the children could escape encroaching Americanization a few years early. (This sounds like I dislike America more than I do considering I am one, but it is clear to me that my two beautifully quirky children fit in here as badly as I did. And I never felt at home until I moved to the UK.)

We probably won't move this year because moving four of us feels even more overwhelming than just two,

The poster is beautiful and is just what would have made my own childhood writer's heart happy happy imagining who the cake is for and what they were mixing into it.

I'm glad you're out there doing your thing. It makes doing my thing make more sense somehow.

Steph said...

"Leap and the net will appear"- who said that? Someone famous I think. I do think it's true though.

I've been mulling over the idea of a change of scene myself. I have decided that I either have to put a concerted effort into taking a new look a this place with fresh eyes sirt of a thing and make new conncetions here and step out of my little box that I have gotten so comfotable and predictlable and lazy in OR take the plunge and make a geographical move and have those things happen because of the novelty and excitement of the new digs. Years have flown by here and I'm struck by the fact that really, not much has changed for me. I need to light a fire under my butt.

It's a toughie though.

CAS said...

I liked your mouse - I'm glad you were nice to him!

I had a wood mouse in the garden last year (called Gerald) and I used to put extra food down from him where it wouldn't get eaten by the birds!

Cathy

PG said...

I feel a bit more motivated now, reading all your nice replies, and to know we're not alone in the 'shall we change our lives forever?' thing. I like the net idea, Steph.

Stuntmother, move to Cornwall, please! We can visit each other and have cream teas and cider. And so many of Goudges' books were set in the West country.

Oh I do thank heavens sometimes for my bloggy friends!

(slinks off feeling very un-English at outbrust of emotion...)

Donna said...

Oh how grown up and sensible you both are about your mouse. None of the hysterical behaviour I exhibited which resulted in the total redecoration of the pantry!!! (Mind you it was needed)

DEVON, Devon, I vote you move to North Devon. There is talk of Asda being built here in Bideford. Andy could run that and you could have lovely walks to the beautiful beaches and come visit me for tea. We can talk numptys and fabric :-)

ken said...

What an interesting and multi-faceted entry you posted, so 3 comments:

1) I love the snow and weather pics, Yorkshire weather's been the same this weekend.

2) Those are great photos of the mouse - source material for a mouse series I'd say!

3) 'Should I stay or stay or should I go now? If I go there will be trouble, An' if I stay it will be double.' That quote from The Clash says it all I think. Follow your instincts and good luck!

ken said...

Knew there was something else I meant to say (Nathan was trying to hammer the keyboard as I typed, so I lost my train of thought) - your poster:
-as one who daubs, I think your work is immensely skilful.
-as a parent, it's something I'd be happy to know my kids were looking at.
-as a teacher, I can see what a great resource it would be (it's even given me an idea for teaching secondary science).
There, finished now. Regards

Joanna said...

Enry, what good taste you have in little houses, its looks so cosy by that little log burner. I'm sorry it did not work out for you and you where evicted by the threat of four playfull cats. Hope you have settled into the shed with Muvver and Albert. I heard of a family that made a grand house out of an old piano and a pair of old velvet chusions. Its was a little fancy for my tastes but they had loads of room for the family. The mouse that ete the paenuts in the middle of the night.

Your poster looks great the children will have such fun looking at it.

Its really hard making a decision to move to another place. We can't decide to stay here or move home to suffolk. Good luck something will happen to show you the way.

tlc illustration said...

Hey PG - it is always lovely reading about your life and adventures. (And much nicer to have small, well-behaved house-mice, rather than way-too-familiar-with-your-person rats-in-the-shed!).

Moving is always a big decision - but adventures seem to abound where-ever one is. I'll be interested in hearing what you decide.

Also, how delightful to be able to produce posters-of-fun! :-) That looked like a really enjoyable project.

Donna said...

Gretel I got the gorgeous card and good wishes from you and the Numptys yesterday. Thank you sooooo much. I loved it :-) Have you ever made a Numpty? I think they would make beautiful toys. In vintage fabrics of course. I know I would be thrilled for my daughter to have one as would millions of other mothers. Just a thought.

PG said...

Hi Dons, it's a pleasure...I have mentioned in my letter to the publishers that a cuddly toy would make an excellent 'add on' novelty to the book (as novelty is the Big Thing at the moment, can't just publish a normal book...) who knows, one day in the future I might even be able to get to my sewing machine and knock up a few myself (in vintage dress material, of course, and I shall know where to come shopping for that!)

As far as Asda goes, we are having enough problems getting head office to admit there is one being built in Newton Abbot (even though it's half built!) and that's been years in the pipeline...Andy is very much taken with Bideford though despite only having driven through it, so we may be having tea and numptys yet. :)

Ken, if you're reading this, I'd be interested to read (on your blog of course) what your idea for secondary science is...I was a complete twit at O level, just scraped a double C to the amazement of my teachers. And a D at art. So you see, we all start somewhere, it's the persistence that counts.

Thank you everyone for your lovely, funny comments and support (Heavens, I sound like a charity or the Queen, God bless her...!)

andrea said...

Just do it! There's never a good enough time if you rely on plans. (What a cute wee mouse.)

Excellent Walker said...

'Enry is adorable; I can't believe the cats didn't get to him first.

Heartily agree that moving to Devon would be Hea-von. Of course, I'm only familiar with the south of England -- maybe Newcastle is really lovely after all -- but I'd move to Devon or Somerset in an instant if I could.

fin said...

That mouse is adorable! Maybe it will bring good luck.

Maggie said...

I just want to say that I love, love, love the pic of mouse footprints in the snow.

Maggie said...

Okay, cat paw prints - but I still love them! They are dainty.

PG said...

...the daintiness is odd, considering the size of the blighters (cats not mice). If there had been that many mouse prints in the yard, I maight not have been so sanguine. One is cute. Several would be worrying!

Soozcat said...

Ah, love little mousies. Do not love them cavorting across the kitchen floor, however.