'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Eating Figs and Washing Windows

I've been away house-sitting for about a week.
I've eating their figs straight from the tree, and watching Tui sip nectar from the flax-flowers, and hearing their amazing calls: chiming, wardle-ardles, glottal stops and obstruents.
I've been smiling at the quail and their silly little bobbing top-kots, and watering the vegetable garden.
I've also been reading the owner's books, listening to their music and cleaning their windows*.
And looking at the view: the in-and-out of the tides and changing light and weather over the estuary.

It really has been quite delightful.




* About 130 of them.  Phew!

23 comments:

  1. What's the bird species.?
    He's very cute

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    1. That's a little Californian quail John. Male.

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    2. I recognized it and wondered what it was doing there.

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  2. A hundred and thirty windows? People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw fig stones.

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    1. It's a big house YP, and lovely views from every room. Figs don't have stones. They have leaves.

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    2. You haven't seen Yorkshire Figs!

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    3. Really, Cro? Stones? I shall have to look them up to see if you're pulling my leg.

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    4. I don't wish to alarm you but figs contain oxalates, a chemical which can cause kidney and gall bladder stones. Regarding Yorkshire figs - they are bigger, sweeter and juicier than the rest - often the size of rugby balls. In contrast, French figs tend to be minuscule - like rodent droppings - and extremely bitter.

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  3. When I first read your title I thought it said, "Eating Frogs and Washing Windows"....



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    1. No Robert, that is 'eating FIGS'. Similar, but different in essential ways. I've eaten eel. And snail. But not frogs. Yet.

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  4. It's a hard life. It's a good job you had the windows for light entertainment.

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  5. Light? LIGHT? The first three days were the worst. I am sure I have grown arm-muscles Geeb.

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  6. I'd Have never managed work if I'd eaten 130 figs.

    Silly me. You ate one fig and cleaned 130 windows.

    It is a wonderful view.

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    Replies
    1. Actually Adrian, I ate about three figs a day (except on my 'fast' days) and cleaned 130 windows x 6. That is,
      1. cleaned all outside with the cobweb brush
      2. cleaned all outside sills and surrounds with a cloth and soapy water
      3. cleaned all outside window glass with cloth and soapy water
      4. cleaned all outside window glass with meths and polishing cloth.
      5. cleaned all inside glass, surrounds and sills with cloth and soapy water
      6. Polished inside with meths.
      7. Vacuumed up flies.

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    2. Looks like a great place! People I know who clean windows (not my case!) swear by using screwed up newspaper, don't know if an expert like yourself has ever tried it?

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    3. Brian. I usually clean winders (and mirrors) using old newspapers and water. I couldn't find any here.
      Speaking of which - the very best way to clean one's wood-fire glass door that has become all soot-blackened is to dip a wetted ball of scrunched-up newspaper into the cool ashes and rub that all over the window. You may have to do it a number of times. Then clean off with wet, then polish with dry newspaper. Works a treat.

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  7. Come and house sit my place. I'll get some fruit in, I haven't that many windows !!!!!

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    1. I'd love to house sit at your place Helsie. I usually do a painting to say thank you, you know.
      (Needless to say I didn't get one done for this place yet, and yes, it will be figs).

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    2. I also should mention that I'm not altruistic enough to have cleaned the windows for free. They paid me.

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  8. What a lovely view! New Zealand is so beatyfull.

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    Replies
    1. Yes it is filled with beaties whatever they might be.

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  9. Sounds wonderful except for the window-cleaning... :)

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