I swear it all started on Monday when a colleague was admiring my nails. I work in a team of 5 women, and nails are something we take very seriously and in a slightly cliché manner our Monday morning status meetings often end with a ten minute show & tell of our weekend efforts. I had been away all weekend and not had time to jazz mine up into anything other than a basic one coat, but all the same she complimented the colour and said “what shade would you call that” and the only way I could think the describe it was mouse grey.
The next night I had been asleep for a few hours and was busily dreaming away when I awoke to a strange noise. It took me quite a while to place the sound but I knew it reminded me of childhood sleepovers at a friend who had gerbils… so I soon started to make a rodenty connection. There was MOUSE in the house! Well in the bedroom to be precise. I didn’t want to wake Nick up as he was so deeply asleep so I just lay there being tormented as the critter scuttered and scampered and chomped away having a party in the bin and the surrounding area for 3 HOURS. I was so exhausted and cranky when I eventually woke up, and walked to work in a complete daze (listening to Modest Mouse, of course!) That night I had my first Spanish class. Giving up caffeine + mouse tortured sleepless night + learning a new language = bad plan, but I still managed to enjoy myself and learn quite a few words too. Including ratón. After my night school I sloped to the tube and was stood patiently minding my own business when the other people stood around me starting screaming and scurrying away (from me at first I thought…) but actually from this little chap who I hadn’t realised was busily attempting to climb INTO my tote bag that was sat between my feet!
I guess living on the underground tracks is pretty risky so I can see why he was trying to hitch a ride home with me, and he certainly was a bold brutish mouse as not even the other peoples squealing and my shooing scared him away. Since then, I have seen 3 more mice. Seeing them at the tube stations is nothing too new, but I’ve seen them on the streets eating the grit (yuck) and just strutting around central London in the middle of the day. Am I the Pied Piper (without the sinister child capturing bit)? I’m starting to feel like it. Maybe the snow will scare them off for a while!
I have never been able to write ampersands the correct way round. It’s something I hadn’t ever actually realised until I met my best friend and she pointed it out. I guess up until that point people had just been politely switching them round in their brain. I have really tried to fix my backwards & but a lifelong habit is quite impossible to fix. Then I spotted this beautiful wooden brooch on my absolute favourite Etsy shop Ladybird Likes and now I can’t wait to use it to help me break my broken & once and for all. If you’ve never shopped on Etsy I really recommend you start with Ladybird Likes, the accessories are so unique and rare and well made, and receiving them in the post just blows all bills/bank statements/junk that might come too that day out of the water as each purchase it wrapped lovingly in little paper bags with hello luggage tags and parcel string. With my order this time I also got sent a bonus extra gift that I hadn’t even ordered. You wouldn’t get that extra love with a high street brand.
On another morning this week I creaked out of bed at 6.30am to attempt a 5k run before work (don’t worry, it is not some freakish dedication that drives me, it’s the fact I have to be in a bikini in a months time and ate the WORLD over Christmas!) and as I staggered down the street pining for my duvet, suddenly I saw a dazzling flapping of wings and noticed these two PARAKEETS circling me!
The first time I saw the north London parakeets I was in Golders Hill Park (on the Hampstead Heath extension) and it was a perfect cloudless summers day. I was laying with barefeet in the grass and snoozing under the sun when I saw the flash of green over my head and an exotic squawking filled the air. I thought I was definitely hallucinating, and panickedly looked around to check if anyone else had seen these birds or if I had fallen into some Alice in Wonderland style fantasy world (a genuine life fear of mine!) As soon as I got home I got googling and learnt all about the fact that Hampstead heath is home a flock of green rose-ringed Parakeets, normally native in to India. Apparently this breed of bird were popular pets in Victorian times but the explosion of population in north London is apparently attributed to their release from the set of “The African Queen” at Shepperton Studios in Surrey in 1950. You aren’t always guaranteed to spot these birds, but it’s definitely worth a trip to Hampstead Heath in the hope that you might. This is definitely the closest encounter I’ve ever had with them and it almost makes it worth getting up so early if they might pay me a visit again!
After the snowfall on Friday, I woke up to these perfect bird claws. It must have been quite a heavy bird to make such pristine prints, but I was relieved to see these over little mouse paws that’s for sure…