The Mouse Man cometh.

Home cooking.

I must have done something good some time to have deserved my outstanding housekeeper, Karen.

She has been supporting me for over 21 years and grown into the role of being utterly indispensable.   I remember the old days when we would go to the (then) monthly Growers’ Market in Fareham centre.   There were all manner of delights with produce from the remains of Hampshire’s agricultural and horticulture heritage.   Proper smoked bacon rather than just flavoured, a fabulous range of tomatoes and garlic from the Isle of Wight, homemade pies and cakes.   She couldn’t bear to be seen out with my trolley (good, stable and strong for mass shopping) but insisted that her street cred could only be maintained with an increasingly heavy rucksack and balancing the tray of eggs as she guided me.   Nowadays, we spend a long morning each week in the kitchen together.   Batch cooking has always been my way of having enough time for work and still be able to put something on the table.   At the moment, still recovering, I’m limited to fruit and veg prep plus the odd bit of washing up.   Our tally this week: fish pies (6 portions), breakfast granola (about 28), stuffed peppers (6), baked fruit salad (about 20), homemade drinking chocolate (20+), dried fruit soaking in brandy for Easter Simnel cake.   Over the years, we have refined our recipes and perfected our methods to keep a varied stock of edibles in the pantry and freezer – no chance of starving.


 The mouse man

Hopefully, the fourth and last visit by Nat, the indomitable pest controller, to solve the mouse infestation.   It’s nearly impossible for someone without sight to even identify the problem, let alone solve it.   Thank goodness for Karen and the trusty team of great support who spotted droppings, found the odd dead body (before I stood on it), discovered the nibbled and pee-stained fabrics.   I had a similar problem decades ago but, this time, we got it in hand more quickly.

Every nook and cranny has to be checked and cleaned with the washing machine on over time.

But, not quite at the all’s well stage.   There’s been a problem with a security alarm and allegations of chewed wiring.   An intruder with bright eyes, sharp-pointed face was spotted.   The give-away was the large bushy tail.   Now action is underway with traps set to catch the varmints.   It never rains but it pours!



Forgive a touch of politics but I couldn’t avoid sharing this little joke as an ex-Prime Minister created her new bunch of followers:

PopCons: only need an r to become truly puffed up and unpalatable.

© 2024 - Penny Melville-Brown
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