Sunday, August 31, 2008

The rat files - Episode II

Adam, the Rentokill chap, returned this week to attend to 'Stage II' of our rodent elimination process. It sounds a lot more impressive than it was. It simply involved him checking his traps, saying there was some mouse activity, and putting a bunch of deodorising sachets down the hole which the rat inhabits. These sachets are quite effective - strong enough to disguise the smell of rotting rats and mice, according to Adam. He told me he regularly uses them in situations such as ours where there is a possibility that the rodents are unable to exit and return to their nests to die, and so do so while trapped within/beneath the confines of your abode.

Yes, lovely image there: Our happy little family enjoying breakfast in our sun-filled kitchen, and then the camera pans down lower and lower till it descends to the scene beneath the floorboards - a dark, musty, and strangely perfumed battlefield of rodent death and decay.

Adam has a jaded air about him, as I imagine one would have were you to poison things and then retrieve their corpses for a living. He did however cheer up when talking about the fact that he and his wife are expecting a baby.

He said that they had already purchased their stroller and went on to tell me that it was great because it was easy for his missus to fold up. That seemed to be their only requirement when choosing - that the apparatus folded up easily. "It fits into her life, you see," he told me looking enthusiastic.

I mused that we too were like Adam and his wife once upon a time, foolishly thinking that all the things we were getting for baby were about our lives and how well these items, and indeed baby, would fit into them. And how we'd bundle her under our arm and continue with life as we had up until this point and nothing really needed to change.

Which brings me back to the adjective, 'foolishly.' When you have a baby, in fact the second you have that baby, it is not about them fitting into your life, but about you completely reorganising, reshaping, and overhauling yours to accommodate them. Babies, for their size, are incredibly life changing and not unlike a hurricane - you can prepare for their arrival to an extent, but you just don't really have a clue what to expect until it is upon you.

Still, there are rewards, and no this is not just something parents invent to make themselves feel better about the fact that they no longer have a social life and have to watch the Teletubbies instead of the Hallmark Channel. You see your child changing and learning new things almost daily, and getting pleasure and excitement out of the smallest and what seem like the simplest things. I watch Julia crawling around and playing before her bath, naked, and she is absolutely free and beautiful in her own skin. She doesn't know anything about body image or shame or feeling embarrassed. It is breathtaking to imagine, even for a moment, being so utterly without bullshit hangups and insecurities.

Unfortunately as soon as she is able to talk and understand and come into contact with other children, this will change. Children who, like their parents, are intolerant and ignorant to the concept that other people and indeed the world can be different to them and that this is a good and fine thing. Having grown up in a country where bigotry and intolerance were so thoughtlessly passed between parent and child, I mean to make a concerted effort to ensure our child doesn't suffer the same gift of supreme ignorance at our hands.

But I am getting far too serious and it's not in my nature, unless I am drinking a rather fine glass of red wine. Which, unfortunately, I am not. I've decided to limit myself to a couple of nights a week simply because all that fine vintage is going straight to my middle. It's quite incredible the havoc we can wreak on a perfectly fine body through over indulgence. And don't even get me started on my latest preoccupation with baking, which isn't helping matters.

Separately, is anyone else completely and utterly intrigued with the Foster fire in Shropshire case? I know it's terribly morbid, but I have a feeling in my wannabe forensic psychologist bones, that this is going to turn out to be a very sad and twisted tale of murder, betrayal and lies. The latest news is that of the two burnt bodies that were found, one has been identified as Jill Foster, with the post mortem revealing a gunshot wound to the head.

My theory is murder and then a cover-up by virtue of fire. The corpses of dogs and horses were also found with gun shot wounds, leading me to postulate that whoever did so did it as an act of compassion to the animals so that they would not have to suffer a painful death in the flames. This lends itself to a possibility that the person/s responsible were intimately involved with or indeed a part of the family.

Until the other body has been identified, said to be that of an adult man, Christopher Foster and his 15-year-old daughter Kirstie are still considered missing.
As a well as Jill Foster's body, which was identified from her dental records, an adult man's body was recovered on Saturday, though further tests are needed before a positive identification can be made.

A rifle, legitimately owned by the businessman, has been found near the bodies as was the body of dog, which was also shot.

A further three horses and three dogs found in the mansion's outbuildings were shot before the fire broke out, while spent and unspent gun cartridges have been found in the mansion's grounds. (Reuters) Continue reading.

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