I was never a country girl in fact I should not really be here especially now I am on my own. I live in one of the most beautiful places in England, the Northumberland National Park and as much as I love and appreciate it I am useless at living with nature. For a start I am scared stiff of all creatures great and small. If something can't speak to me then how can I trust it?
It's Spring and everything around me is awe inspiring. Last night I went outside to photograph a beautiful sky and there were bats flying around having their in flight meal of midges.
Don't get me going on midges those tiny things that can eat you alive.
I live on a gated road and sometimes I have to get out of the car to open a gate and shoo huge cows away. If one of them happens to be a bull I turn the car around and go the long way.
Last year I had lodgers in the form of mice. They squatted in my ancient stone walls and came out of the tiniest of cracks to use my cottage as a toilet and a snack bar. After filling every visible hole with wire wool and boarding up the back of my kitchen cupboards I called in the cavalry. My next door neighbour has an arsenal of mouse traps, these aren't just any mouse traps they are designer mouse traps. She kindly set them for me whilst I ran away to Dubai for 10 days. On my return she reported the death toll at five. Considering three had been caught previously I had had eight lodgers. Think how much I could have earned if they had come via Air bnb.
Last autumn I had a crow attack on my cottage. I returned from a holiday to find the west wall of my cottage had turned black and white and I couldn't see out of my windows. You can guess what is black and white and falls out of birds. I had to have the whole wall hosed down and scrubbed. I have since discovered it happened because I had nothing on the window sills so they were fighting with their own reflections.
My back door is a stable door and in summer on a warm day it's lovely to have the top open but birds fly over the village green, see straight into my 40 odd foot long open plan ground floor and think it's part of the scenery and fly straight in.
Now we are approaching that time of year when huge spiders come calling. I am still trying to find a way of getting rid of them without actually looking at them. Any ideas?