Lunch time here is a quiet affair. Ma does her crosswords, J eats a sandwich at speeds which blind and bewilder the human eye and then disappears until someone calls out 'Do you want this cup of tea or what?' The terriers have a couple of biscuits, a mad charge around the garden and then settle down on squirrel watch somewhere and I have my lunch whilst reading my Kindle and the house is quiet enough to hear the birdies singing. But today was different.....today's lunchtime could have been written for a sit com.
Conkers bought home a lovely gift this morning of a dead baby mouse - he then, when this was rejected, decided we'd much prefer a live one, which he deposited amongst all the outdoor shoes by the back door in the conservatory. The three human residents then spent a good 15 minutes amongst the shoes, helped by a demented Scottie yapping constantly through the kitchen door and a cat sitting in a superior fashion on the glass topped table.We shook the shoes, we moved the shoes, we spotted the mouse, we lost the mouse.We tried shaking the shoes again and moving the furniture when we noticed a bipping noise....bip......bip.....bip.....bip. Not the mouse squeaking too big a noise, Ma suggests the washing machine has developed a squeak....wrong location. Mouse hunt abandoned as we moved onto bip hunt.
(In the meantime I am still trying to finished my slice of toast, eat my apple before it goes brown, calm down the demented Scottie, make tea and coffee and watch the cat to see if he leads me to the missing mouse.)
Perhaps the bip is the tumble dryer....nope. The downstairs smoke alarm....ah yes...it has a bit of droid rot when it needs new batteries. J volunteers to deal with the alarm (I am still eating my lunch - on the move - and Ma has been ill all week with labyrinitis) he climbs on the step stool, wrestles out the two 9v batteries - problem solved......bip.......bip.......bip. Check the burglar alarm (which was serviced last week and had a new battery) ...no not that.....upstairs smoke alarm.....bip.....bip....bip. J again volunteers - repeat of before but just 1 battery this time. I find a replacement loose in the drawer (M loves 9v batteries and takes them in out of his basses so it could be a used battery but I try it anyway). The bips meantime have stopped.....so J then puts back the batteries in the downstairs smoke alarm as it was actually ok.......bip......bip.......bip.
Action stations - smoke alarm watch.........me downstairs......J upstairs (I finally finish my apple). It's upstairs! I find a brand new battery (still in the packet - must of hidden it well from M - who has one nickname of "The Battery Hen" he loves and hoards them and J and I make clucking noises at him). Again J clambers up changes the battery. No more bips! Hurrah.
I then take the chance to drink my now cold cup of coffee when.....bip......bip......bip I send J to watch upstairs alarm...I watch downstairs.....neither! Then Ma appears with the carbon monoxide alarm from the conservatory where it lives above the boiler and it goes bip......bip......bip. The boiler isn't on, the windows are open so it must be the batteries....3 AAA ....got those. Two adults and one teen geek can't find the combined brain power or manual dexterity to open it. So it is still going bip.......bip........bip. Maybe the missing mouse will think it is its Mum calling and come out of hiding? Conkers has abandoned it and gone back to next doors compost heap to look for a friend for it.I just hope we find it before Fergus does!
Bip......bip.......bip.........I think tomorrow I will go out for lunch!