Posted by: okathleen | February 16, 2009

Rat Race

The rat catcher returned on Friday.

Long ago Ray might have been the Gamekeeper on the estate. He dresses the part with corduroy breeches the colour of sludge and a Harris Tweed jacket with poacher’s pockets.                                           

His hands are gnarled and hairy knuckled. His eyes are bloodshot, as is his skin.

It’s difficult not to be thrown when Ray smiles. He has a brand new set of gnashers, brilliant white and crisp and even.Very Hollywood, very Tom Cruise, not at all rat catcher.


Off he prowls towards the rotting tree stump near the hedge and the snowdrops. There’s something Pied Piper about him. I retreat to the back door and grasp the handle just in case.

Just in case 3,000 rats suddenly erupt from the rotting tree stump and spew, hurtle, race towards me. Rat race.

Ray prods around and crouches down with a torch and puts his nose far too close to the entrance. Mind you, he has a secret weapon, those teeth. One flash of those and the rat rolls over.

My son returned on Friday.

He’s not been home since Christmas. It thrills me inside to see him. There’s some sort of moustache thing going on and he looks too thin, but that’s Pot Noodles for you. He brandishes a bottle of Moet and a charming card from the V & A and seems rather pleased that his Mum is tying the knot.

We discuss the wedding.

Eli would like to go to Las Vegas and do it a la Elvis. 

I would like to go to Aruba and do it a la Pamela Anderson.

Charles thinks we should stay at home and have a party in the garden.


This week, begin case study on Keats and Miller Williams. Find female poet – contemporary. Get camera, photograph objects. Start to write.


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