Thursday, October 29, 2009

A few weeks ago I was very busy watching something on television when someone knocked at my front door.
In the hope that it was someone bringing me something nice, I went to answer only to find a woman claiming to be from the local council standing on my doorstep.
She 'hello'ed' me, and then informed me that her office had had recent complaints from persons living near my house, of rats, frequently being seen coming and going from my garden and onto the road.
She then asked me if I'd ever seen any rats (or signs thereof) in my garden, and I honestly replied that no, I had not, although over the almost thirty years I'd been living here, I had seen plenty of rats on the other side of the embankment, especially after people had been fly-tipping rubbish over the railway track boundary fence.
Then she thanked me for my time, smiled, and bade her farewells.
Later that same evening I met up with the ex-partner-in-crime, told him about the visit, and asked him if he'd ever seen any rats in my garden.
He replied that no, he hadn't, and after a discussion we came to the conclusion that if any rats had ever tried to make a home for themselves out there, the resident foxes would have probably had them for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner and that although (and I do admit) my garden is getting very overgrown and looks rather a mess, there were no rats living in it.
Now, the reason my garden is in the state that it's in, is because I am simply unable to do the gardening on my own. I suffer from arthritis, and the garden is rather bigger than your average 'back yard' as it's about half an acre in size if you include the big bit of land for which I pay a peppercorn rent per annum to Railtrack.
Even without the rented land which accounts for about half the garden, I am still left with a helluva lot of garden to deal with, and honestly, I am not able to sort it out by myself.
Add to that fact I am also living below the poverty line and don't have any spare cash to fix things such as the fence which is falling down, or pay anyone to help me, it's now wonder the garden looks like the sort of place one might meet a Doctor Livingstone or discover a new breed of exotic creature.
But I most certainly do not have rats in it.
Today, I was extremely busy watching a slanging match discussion on Trisha, when I heard a knock at the door, and again, hoping it could be someone bearing ducks, I went to see who was there.
This time it was a man who showed me an ID card which backed up his claim that he worked for Ealing Council, and he was at my door as one (or more) of the neighbours had reported sightings of rats coming and going from my garden again.
He asked me if I'd mind if he went to have a look around my garden for any signs of anything ratty, and I said that of course he could.
After all, I don't have rats in my garden.
After about fifteen minutes, he knocked again and told me that he'd searched every part of my garden including in the garage, down the far side of the house, the whole of the embankment, (and part of the pond by mistake) and had found no traces of rats anywhere.
I replied that I could have told him and saved him the bother, but as he said, someone had been making lots of complaints and he had a duty to investigate as of course, rats are considered a serious health and safety problem.
I agreed, and asked if he'd met the foxes while doing his search to which he replied that if I had foxes, it would be very unlikely to have rats as well.
Anyway, he apologized for taking up my time and went off to fill in his report, which will no doubt in the due course of time, end up in the hands of whichever neighbour it was of mine who made the complaints and allegations in the first place.
Now, I doubt very much that that person is reading this, but if you are, why the f*ck couldn't you have simply knocked at my door and asked me about any rat sightings?
If you don't like the way my garden looks, then please note that neither do I, and if the shoe was on the other foot, I'd be the first person asking you if you were alright, and would you like a hand getting your garden sorted as I know how difficult a job like that can be for a single person, especially if they have arthritis.
But then again, it's a far easier thing to do to pick up a phone and make allegations instead of trying to get to know your neighbours nowadays, isn't it.
Just think, if everyone keeps up with the same attitude as yours, you'll probably end up on your own, with neighbours complaining about the smell, and rats running in and out of your house because no-one bothered to see if you were alright.
And by the time the council came round to check, you'd died.
Fox. Not in Socks.