Thursday, 10 October 2013

It can't be October already!!!!

De-mousing the Kitchen
We have a problem with mice in the Wendy house (my silly name for the garden shed!).   I’ve tried one of those electronic signal devices that is supposed to deter them but it doesn’t.  They haven’t actually chewed it yet but the droppings surrounding it suggest that they are treating it with a certain amount of derision.  Anything chewable in the Wendy House they chew.  They are a blooming nuisance, cute though they are when they’re climbing up to the bird table and parachuting off into the foliage like jumpers from the Golden Gate Bridge.

 And now we have a mouse nest in a porridge oat carton.  Not nice to wake up to!   I have cleaned out the food cupboard and whilst there are plenty of signs of mousy activity there is no mouse.  The problem is the cupboard is on an outside wall where all the pipes come and go and it’s possible it’s wandering in and out at will.  I’ve disinfected everything and, in the process, thrown out a few out-of-date products.  (White wine vinegar with 24.11.2008 on it is out of date isn’t it?)  The mouse deterring electronic beepy thingy is now in the kitchen and we shall see how things go. 

What exactly is a Doctorate? 
Matt Might, professor of Computer Science at the University of Utah, explains it in this graphic presentation that starts with a simple circle. 

(Though it might be safer to say ‘what exactly is a research doctorate?’).

A present from Canada / the Outer Hebrides
One of my blog readers from Canada recently visited the Outer Hebrides – a place she loves.  She was kind enough to send me a gift to help compensate for my not going to Lewis this year.  The contents were collected on Lewis and the marbled paper was made by her – one of her many skills!

Thank you Person-of-many-names

Partner-who-loves-tea bought an orchid last week.  I'm never sure how I feel about Orchids.  In one way they are beautiful but in another they always seem a bit false to me. 

The Bridewell
Partner-who-loves-tea moved her training rooms this week – a major, major, like MAJOR job.  Her new rooms are near one of the old Liverpool bridewells which is now a restaurant.

(Bridewell - noun  archaic - a prison for petty offenders and a temporary prison for prisoners awaiting trial.)   In Liverpool all Police stations with cells were called “Bridewells” and the Main Bridewell in Cheapside was the central lock up and was classified as a prison with its own Governor who was a Police Chief Inspector.  This prison was completely secure - once you were in that was it.  A plaque on the wall said:
"Please do not ask for bail because a refusal often offends"

This bridewell in Argyll Street opened in 1861 and was built in the Victorian tradition of striking fear into anyone who had the misfortune to have to spend some time there under lock and key. 

The warehouse behind, now flats (apartments), dates probably from the early C19th. The old hoist canopy survives at the top.

The term Bridewell has its origins in the 16th century. Cardinal Wolsey had built a Bishops Palace at St Brides Well in London. Near to the banks of the River Fleet which is near to the modern day Fleet Street. Henry VIII at the time was using the Palace of Westminster when it was destroyed by fire. Wolsey offered the King the use of St Brides Well Palace; which the king accepted.

Not long after Henry VIII broke away from the Roman Catholic Church the word Saint was dropped from the name and the words bride's and well had been corrupted into Bridewell. The premises themselves became a house of correction or prison. Within a matter of years the term Bridewell had become common place throughout Great Britain.  Merseyside Police no longer use the term Bridewell, the word Bridewell Sgt. has been replaced by custody officer and the old term Bridewell surgeon has been replaced by FME (force/forensic medical examiner).

 Some more about the garden
 I love Poppies, both in flower and in bud.

We bought a couple of cheap boxes of mixed bulbs and seeds from Aldi earlier in the year.  They have proved marvellous value.  There were quite a few Gladioli among them.

Our James Grieve apple tree always provides plenty of fruit. 

There is enough for us to share with the blackbirds.

Take no notice!


  1. Hope that you will get rid of your mice problem soon. Those apples look so good, we have picked our organic ones last weeked. So juicy. And I love those signes, especially the beware sign p. Made me laugh. Hope to read you on my blog soon too. Take care and all the best from Mostar.

  2. That mousy beepy thingamajiggy does not work CJ.....take it from me.
    Take care of the mouse/mice once and for all.. Set a good old time spring trap (with cheese/peanut butter) inside the cupboard (warn the other members of the household before hand), or even better use the extra sticky tacky traps.
    After said mouse/mice has/have been caught, seal all entry ways around the pipes in the cupboard, and enjoy your home again.
    They are taking a six for a nine because they can ......maybe Ms. Ivy will return to take care of the varmits.

  3. Not only is it's almost the middle of it! Your apples look wonderful and I'm assuming a lovely pie or sauce will be made from them? I hate mice and thankfully our cat keeps them at bay...I'm so sorry if that reminds you of dear Ivy..hopefully she will return one day and take care of that problem for you! I think it's so great that we both shop at Aldi! I love that place and usually find fun things along with my groceries! Your comments about a prison that's now a restaurant reminded me of a restaurant in a town near us that used to be a fact the name of the place is "The Old Jail" and you can eat in the cells in the basement if you want. It's a bit pricey but very tastey! Hope the rest of my favorite month is good to you and your family.

  4. Time for another Ivy -- Mr. Ivan. That was the only solution to our infestation I feel the same about orchids. They're just a little bit too perfect. My favorite is the humble daisy, with 20 to make a summer. As for the outer Hebrides, it's one thing on my bucket list that I'm afraid will be unfulfilled.

  5. We share a view of orchids CJ. As you know I love mice. However they have their place and my house and garden shed are my spaces and, unfortunately not for sharing. I used to hare the garden shed quite happily until one year I came back from NZ to find it totally, and I mean totally, overrun with them. Even my wellington boots had all been turned into nests complete with seed food stores. The compost bags were all beautifully warm homes. There were hundreds of the little darlings. I'm ashamed to say that now that the cold weather is about to drive them all indoors the traps will all come out and be baited and the problem will be nipped in the bud. Last year they had got the message and I think only a couple were caught.

  6. From what i gather, vinegar never goes bad. If it gets a bit cloudy, that's called the "mother" and is actually a good thing, which can be used to start more vinegar.

    Mice will get in anywhere, if they have even the tiniest entrance. The only way to keep them out is to block up, with metal they cannot chew, every tiny hole. It's a nuisance, that's for sure.

    It's a bit sad when old words get pushed aside, i'm glad you gave us the history of "bridewell" as a word.

    As for the weight, the reason it keeps finding you is that you lose it. When you lose something, usually inherent in that is the idea that you want to find it again. Instead of losing it, you must banish it from your kingdom, so it cannot come back!

  7. I've used the sticky traps but I'm not sure if they aren't crueler than the spring traps. So I used the spring traps. I use cheese but I have learned that mice can remove the cheese, so I tie it to the trap with string. I should probably just use peanut butter.

  8. An interesting post with all kinds of things in it. I never knew that about bridewells although I always wondered at the name. As for mice, I always though the smell of a cat would deter them. It's a horrid thought to have to get the exterminators in.

    What beautiful marbled paper! your friend is indeed talented.

  9. knock on wood! I haven't had mice problems since we moved back into the city in 2002. Traps with peanut butter worked best. Maybe it's time to get a cat? Sorry, Ivy.
    I enjoyed the history of bridewell; before I read it, I thought, "What a strange name for a jail!" Wherever that sign about weight is hanging, it's in the wrong place. It belongs in my home! Your gift from the Hebrides via Canada is gorgeous, I especially like the homemade paper!
    Are you feeling better? I hope so.

  10. Marble paper! That is a skill I once used to have, and I loved not only creating the (to my eyes) most wonderful patterns and colour combinations, but also to make something out of the sheets. Until you mentioned it here, I had forgotten about it.

  11. Mice ran a mock in our Birkenhead vehicle depot, they bit a load of the wires on the security equipment! We have read your posts for quite a while now thank you for sharing some really nice posts. Please drop by our website should anyone in Wirral need any extra help with security.

    Keep the posts coming!


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