Monday, 17 May 2010
Remember the MPs' expenses scandal, and in particular the duck house in the moat?
Well, scaled down to the level of an ordinary - i.e. moatless - individual, I feel the inexplicable urge to confess in four Parts that I have my own extravagant and inexcusable folly: the Mouse House.
Confession Part 1. Here it is:
It's the warming drawer that fits underneath my oven. Intended for plate-warming, food-keeping-hot, bread-proving; a handy sort of thing, and filling the space that my old double oven had left empty when it gave up the ghost. Cost an alarming amount (I found the receipt yesterday during my grand shreddathon) and leaves me wondering where my brain was on that day.
Inside, there live the extra oven shelves, the roasting racks, the instruction booklets. All terribly clean and shiny, as though brand new. Because they are*.
There's also another item: the electronic squeaking mouse.
Yes, that mouse, the one that wouldn't stop squeaking when activated, and that had to be hidden away, for fear of giving the dog an apoplexy. The dog loved it, but became terribly over-agitated by it and couldn't settle for hours, running about looking for her prey, terrier instincts on Red Alert.
If she got hold of it, she would try to tear it to shreds, a lengthy process for a near-toothless Yorkie. We had been through this before with a squealing pig on a string; a small dog living on her nerves day and night was not a reassuring form of play.
The cats weren't much better. The maddening effects of that perpetually-squeaking mouse extended to all of us as the five animals harassed me to leave it to them to silence. I found that if it was left motionless for at least five minutes, the mouse would shut up. I could then forget it was there, in its stainless steel luxury Mouse House.
Confession Part 2: The awful truth* is that, apart from the cruelty perpetrated on the cats and dog in keeping this enticing object hidden in it, and from which a muffled squeak could sometimes be heard if I shut the oven too sharply, I have never used that warm, shiny, multi-purpose Mouse House.
Confession Part 3: Because it's never been wired in, or even connected to a wall socket, either option requiring access to the back of the wall unit.
Confession Part 4: Because I haven't worked out how to prise this particular length of plinth away from this section of the kitchen. I've tried, I've lain down on the floor, hooked my fingers in the tiny gap hidden at its top edge and wrestled with it, but it doesn't budge.
And then I give up. It's so easy to give up on anything that involves lying on the floor - Pilates, yoga, retrieving ping-pong balls from under furniture, plinth-wrestling. I haven't the figure or flexibility for it, and I'm never sure how clean the floor really is. And I kept putting off getting someone in to do plinth and wiring for me.
Now that I've taken these pictures, I can see how grubby the plinth is too....
And now that the mouse has been taken out of hiding to be photographed, I have three cats (not Lottie - she's too cool to become overwrought by a mere fake mouse) and a small dog sitting in front of the oven unit, looking strained and anxious.
...I wish I'd never started this blog post now; my life is going to be hell for the next few hours...
PS Confession Part 5: I rather like that duck house, and I wish I had a moat. Delusions of grandeur, or what!
Posted by rachel at 20:10