'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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Monday, 30 March 2015

Life Styles

Today I was flicking through one of the kids' books at lunchtime (I am still progressing on my big clean out, but I won't throw this one away) and reading the page on animal lifestyles.
After careful consideration, I have decided that my lifestyle has a definite cycle. Winter is a time of hibernation. I emerge periodically, blinking in the cold wind, at least down to 12 or even 10 degrees centigrade at times, chop another wheelbarrowload of firewood, make a quick sortie to the supermarket for supplies of chocolate from Belgium, snowpeas from Africa, and bananas from Tonga, and disappear inside again. Summer is hot and dry, and I stay inside much of the time then too. (No air conditioner but the house is very well designed and sited to be delightfully cool in the back rooms). This is apparently called 'aestivation'. Between the two, in spring, and, as now in autumn, I am active, cleaning out my burrow, scratching around and marking the corners of my surrounding territory, and preparing for the next season. It's all here. Quite simple, really.



14 comments:

  1. When my late parents bought their very beautiful thatched house in Sussex, they discovered a brass knocker of the outside of the Master Bedroom door. They found this a bit odd, but later discovered that the previous owner always hibernated in winter, and the knocker was for his maid's use.

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    1. How wonderfully odd Cro. I have a picture of him with a night cap on, staying in a huge bed all winter. Or maybe the room is large enough for a desk, an easy chair, and a huge fireplace. Yes, that would suit me too!

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  2. That's the best excuse for buying Belgium chocolates I have ever heard!

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    1. Easter is coming too, Alden. Even my orthodox Russian Grandma (to whom Easter was a much bigger time than Christmas - 'anyone can be born, but who can rise from de dead?') used to indulge then.

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    2. An Orthodox Russian Grandma? That actually sounds very interesting - make a very good Blogpost wouldn't you say?

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  3. I'm surprised that you have anything left to clear out.

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    1. Getting much closer Geeb. But still some black holes of Calcutta to go. You might be almost as surprised as I am to see what's been hiding in the top cupboards for ten+ years!

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  4. You make it sound like you are living in Iceland instead of warm sunny Tauranga. Surprised that you need to chop firewood.

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    1. I do, don't I Ben? Actually, for a few months it does get cold enough for a fire, especially as I try to save a few $$ by not using the heater. HOWEVER When this batch of wood is used (was grown on the property), I will be using some form of renewable energy to warm myself. And I was attempting wry humour - it does actually get below zero at night maybe 14 times or so in the middle of winter.

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    2. Renewable warmth that doesn't release carbon dioxide, that is.

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  5. It's getting so that I hibernate in Summer to stay inside with the aircon, poke my nose outside in Autumn ( if there is such a thing in Queensland) and rejoice in Winter. I am soooo looking forward to the cooler weather, it's been a hot Summer. I drag myself around all Summer but in Winter I have a spring in my step

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    1. I do understand Helsie. I will never forget the enervating effects of heat, and as I probably have mentioned before, was only in Sydney and Brisbane one summer decades ago. However it was during a heat wave, reaching 45 during the day, and 'down' to 30 centigrade at night!

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  6. You make a good comparison. It's sad that we sort of hibernate. I will make a resolution to stay out more. We're just getting spring so it's a good time to t out.

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  7. Red, I guess it is a pity to stay inside a lot in summer, especially if the winters are also terribly cold. However it's not really like that here. I was exaggerating really. And in any case I have a garden full of shady trees that make it a little slice of heaven on all but the very hottest summer days (rarely exceeds 30 centigrade anyway) and I have often snoozed in the hammock in the sun in the middle of winter, albeit in a blanket and with a warming book. I'm sure it is much less hospitable where you are Red.

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