Sunday, April 26, 2020


I can't tell you how many words I have written on my blog in the last ten years, but I copied and pasted 250,000 when I first decided to publish extracts from it.
I whittled this down to 110,000 so only the best would be on offer in my new book Days Are Where We Live, now available as a paperback as well as an ebook.

I know some of you have been reading the blog for years and years, but there are also a lot of new readers, so I thought I'd give you a sample entry from ten years ago, two entries which appear in the new book.

Here they are:

July 21st 2010
The Bunny Club – a late night posting
Do you remember I said we had a mouse in the kitchen and the cat wasn’t interested because she just wants to catch rabbits these days? Well…
… there I was in the dining room at 7.45 pm, eating a late tea of fish and chips and drinking a glass of Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc, trying to recover from some bad news I’d just received via a phone call, when Dave came in from the kitchen and said, “It’s not a mouse in the kitchen, it’s a rat. And it’s hiding under the dresser. I’m getting my boiler suit on and my wellies, and I’m going to deal with it.” Then he retreated.
Five minutes later he came back and said, “It’s not a rat, it’s a rabbit. Can you come and help?”
I finished my tea and went into the kitchen, to find him climbing behind the washing machine.
“I thought it was under the dresser,” I said.
“It ran out when I poked it. It was too quick to catch.”
We don’t have a big kitchen. We don’t have a fancy kitchen. Half an hour later we still had not found the dratted rabbit. Had it escaped through the open window while his back was turned? Who bloody knows? We’ve left the cat in there, and I’m telling you now, Dave can go in there first in the morning.
The phone caller with the bad news had left a message with Dave for me to call her back when I got in at 7. “I hope that doesn’t spoil your dinner plans,” she said.
Dinner plans? Fish and chips for one, while the only other person at home dismantles the kitchen in search of a fugitive rabbit?

July 22nd 2010
The Bunny Club episode 2: Outed
I wrote the last post late at night because I couldn’t sleep (on account of the bad news – of which more later). I sat here in my study writing. The house was silent, and I was just about to go and make some cocoa, when I heard a sudden skirmish behind the kitchen door. I froze. I didn’t want to stumble on a scene of carnage. So I went to bed, cocoa-less. When your kitchen -the ultimate altar to domesticity - becomes a place of creepiness and possible death, it’s deeply uncomfortable.
What was hiding in there behind the units? When four mousetraps had not caught it, but were contemptuously tossed across the kitchen by the quarry, you worry. When the demon is lurking out of sight, just sneaking out occasionally to snatch fragments of chocolate digestive lodged on said mousetraps (“Sorry, Ben,” (the painter), “the rabbit has finished the chocolate biscuits, you’ll have to have shortbread fingers”)  - somehow the intruder assumes the proportions of a monster. I mean – Dave said he saw a rabbit, but was it really a rabbit? It could have been a rat. He has been known to be wrong. He is a man. He just came in the bedroom saying he was freezing cold and had been waiting for me to wake up before coming in for clothes, and I pointed out that he has a heap of discarded jeans and jumpers in his study. If he can miss those, he could surely confuse a rabbit and a rat…
Thankfully, in the morning, the kitchen floor wasn’t strewn with bloody lapine entrails nor garnished with a headless corpse. We hadn’t really wanted the cat to kill the intruder, but we’d gone to bed fed up, and it seemed the natural thing to say to her - “You brought it home, you flush it out!”
When we opened the door, she bolted from the kitchen, as if desperate to get away from something. Was it a rat? Later she deposited a gutted bird on the doorstep, an apology for failing us.
“Right,” said Dave, after breakfast. “We can lure it out with lettuce, or consider force majeure.” He began to dismantle the kitchen again.
“I think it must be behind the fridge,” I said.
Dave pooh-poohed the idea: “There isn’t room.”
He pulled out the washer, the cooker and the dishwasher and cleaned their tops, their sides and the floor behind them. Then he took the kickboards off the units and swept out the droppings underneath. “Where the hell is it?” he said.
“I think it’s behind the fridge,” I said.
More pooh-poohing: “There isn’t room.”
He poked between the units and the wall with a long stick. Nothing.
“I think it’s behind the fridge,” I said.
Finally, he pulled out the fridge, and yes! It was a rabbit! Thank God! It wasn’t injured, and it didn’t have a stray mousetrap clipped to its ear. But then it rushed into the boxing around the pipes. So Dave unscrewed the boxing.
He put it on the back lawn and the harmless, cuddly bunny hopped jauntily away. 
Our kitchen hasn’t been this clean for years.
Dave is a star.

You can buy the book here.


marmee said...

Oh that was entertaining! Way before I came across your blog. A year or so ago we had a rat move in...I resisted traps and poison, instead I put down cottonballs soaked in peppermint oil. Yes I did! It stayed for months ate bites out apples and tomatoes so we hid every scrap of anything edible in our appliances at night. We had to remember that there were tomatoes in the tumbledrier( luckily almost never used) apples and potatoes in the washing machine drum. More stuff lurking in the oven. Oh my, eventually we had to get some pest removal people in when we were running into the rat every night in the passage!!

Sue Hepworth said...

I am so glad ours was not a rat!

Anonymous said...

I have bought the book - awaiting delivery, sometime next month - Estimated May 6th This last week I have made 5 sets of scrubs and as we are isolating are waiting for them to be collected. . Today I planted peas which I had sprouted experimentally from soup mix (so no idea what size they will grow.) They are vigorous seedlings causing me to spend more time than wise today sorting out their final growing place. Also today we Celebrated Grand-daughters 7th birthday via group watsap link. Thankfully last week we bought mobile modem for our elder daughter who lives alone and it arrived next day giving her unlimited internet on her PC , where hitherto she had to rely on her phone, which is now out of data. This enabled her to be part of the watsap chat (and catch up on Netflix which she usually watches when she visits us ) So it seems some things arrive sooner and some very much later - like your book sadly. I will let you know when it has arrived. Jenetta

Sue Hepworth said...

Hi Jenetta, the book takes a long time because it is print on demand, because, strangely, it is probably not regarded as ‘essential’ and it could even be printed on the continent. The last one was printed in Poland.
Well done, and thank you for making the scrubs.
And I am fascinated that dried less from a soul mix should sprout. Kudos to you for lateral thinking!
Last and not least, Happy birthday, to your grand daughter. X