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We pulled the insect house apart today.

It was a lovely day so I imagined it would be good to do something outside as a family.
Also I had some unpacking to do and it had just got to the part where everything looks really messy, just before it all gets tidy again, and I had completely lost interest in folding pants.
I know it has to be done. It will be done.
But the sun was out, the last of the Daffs was nodding away, a cat was chasing a butterfly and the fedge (Stupid word) has begun to sprout.
What was I to do?

I like the insect house but I have to say it is a remarkably inactive thing.
The  Man Who Digs The Garden is never drawn to comment on it which means he probably feels it is a waste of space.

The Man Who Digs The Garden is actually downright rude about my compost bins, I could almost take offence but when I see how industrially he deals with his own composting I can see his point.

Anyway The Man Who Digs The Garden has not been doing anything in my garden for a while, which is sort of good because setting him to work in my tiny green patch is a little like that scene in Fantasia when Mickey mouse is the Magician’s Apprentice and sets the broom going and it all goes wrong. I asked The Man Who Digs The Garden’s opinion about moving and pruning apple trees and when I came back with the tea he had moved and pruned two trees. Two trees. I did two teas and half a dozen Digestives on a plate and he dug up two apple trees, dug new holes for them, replanted them and was dragging the hose out to water them in by the time I got back.

The cats love The Man Who Digs The Garden, probably because he smells of moss and the sea, partly because he occasionally feeds them but mostly because often when he comes round he digs in the garden which means they have somewhere new and exciting to defecate.
If he does not actually dig the soil over they generally just urinate near him.

I get The Man Who Digs The Garden to feed the cats when I am away.
He is more reliable than The Girl From The Circus but they do look quite tubby if I am away for more than a week.

The move of the insect house was prompted by the discovery of Australian Flatworms at it’s base.

Australian Flatworms are, if one were to read the Daily Mail, a new menace that will soon irradiate the native earthworm and thus kill all gardens, everywhere, totally dead, soon.
Or they may have been around since the 1960s and, along with the NewZealand Flatworm, now populate most of Britain, which may indicate that native and invasive populations of worms have struck some kind of equilibrium.

Whatever belief system you favour, a kind of worm that wraps itself round another worm, oozes digestive slime all over it and digests it whole from the outside is a thing of particular horror.
I wanted to see how bad the problem might be so looking under the insect house was the only way really.

I imagined we would strip down the layers of the insect house, finding woodlice, spiders, slugs and snails.
I imagined setting the Proles tasks like carrying the solitary bee nesting sites to a safe place or gathering up the pine cones into a bucket.
I imagined having a break half way through and having a snack and a drink in the sunshine.
I imagined finding a nest of Australian Flatworms and discussing with the Proles the morals of what to do with them.
I imagined a glorious re build, an insect house 4.0, redux, Mark II, a super space for invertebrates, created by us all.

I imagined a lot of things.

I took the house apart, Prole2 danced to Radio Six in the kitchen and Prole1 practiced magic tricks in his bedroom.

Prole1 would occasionally come into the garden and show me a particularly unimpressive rendering of a Magic Circle classic.
Prole2 banged his head on the kitchen table twice and needed immediate soothing and a cuddle.

Every time they distracted me like this one of the cats would sneak past and urinate or defecate on whatever I had just been working on.
I swear the inhabitants of my house have disproportionately huge digestive systems which are primed to kick in whenever I relax.

The Proles were, in short, utterly useless and stopped me doing what I was doing.

I did not finish the job.
The rebuild is still an hour of digging away.
The Australian Flatworm nest was not the seething mass of carnivorous slime-vermin I was imagining either.
Two worms, sticky and strangely beautifully coloured.
I squished them.
Prole1 was not around to discuss the morals of this which I think serves him right.
He will be no use to GreenPeace if he is not on the frontline fighting the cause. No one from the Rainbow Warrior ever go arrested for practising magic tricks.

I left the pieces of the house scattered around the garden to get the Proles ready to go out.

When I got in Prole2 showed me The Jiggling Bottom Dance, which to my great relief was performed fully clothed.

Prole2: Do you like it Dad?

Me: Yes, I think so. Do you think you will do it in public?

Prole2: What?

Me: Will you do it in front of other people?

Prole2: No. I made it just for you.

Me: Oh good. Lovely. Good.

Prole1 made some rabbits appear from nowhere, or quite obviously from his other hand.
He actually stopped talking to do the swap from hand to hand.

Prole1: Did I fool you?

Me: No.

Prole1: Oh.

Me: But I loved the patter, I loved the way there was one rabbit at the start and then it’s family turned up. It’s just I might have just seen a bit of a hand swap at one point.

Prole1: Yes that’s the tricky bit.

Me: Yes, tricky.

Prole1: I hope the audience don’t look like you do.

Me: Pardon?

Prole1: I hope they don’t look. At the trick. Like you do.

Me: Oh, yes. I see. No.

Prole1: Thanks for being a great audience, I really must go and practice some more.

The house is a wreck, the garden is a wreck.
As mornings go I could not really fault it.

 

 

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