Saturday, March 25, 2006

A Mixed Bag Day

My husband went off to work this morning with all the gate and front door keys, leaving me locked inside. Well, I could get out of the backdoor, but not out of the yard, not unless I climbed over the front gate - and left without the car. When he came home, much abashed, I accused him of doing a Taliban. Lucky I still have a sense of humour...

On the up-side, I received a copy of The Aware from my publishers. A peek inside, and I see why - it's their way of telling me it has gone to a fifth printing. Yay!

Also nice was an email from my wonderful agent, telling me she thought Book 2 of The Mirage Makers was 'unputdownable' and lots of other nice things. She also remarked that it was a wonderful title for a wonderful book (the selection of that title gave me endless trouble, you may remember!). The MS has now been delivered and has entered the process towards publication. Whew.

Out in the garden a couple of Plantain Squirrels have been doing repeated circuits, one chasing the other: across the verandah, up the mango tree to the rambutan, down the bamboo and through the gingers, up the avocado, down the other side of the house under the longan tree, and back to verandah - all done at the pace of a cheetah on a double dose of speed and amphetamines. I suspect it was all about sex and being macho...it usually is. For pix see here.

Dennis (the birder) and I once had a strange experience with this species in the Johor mangroves. We were in a small open boat, investigating the birdlife of some of the tangle of hidden waterways, quietly paddling along, when we heard the subdued chatter of squirrels. Not one or two, but dozens and dozens of them. They came through the trees like long lines of soldier ants, one following close behind another. No squabbling, no racing, just squirrels wherever you looked. They crossed the waterway we were on by following the network of branches overhead. We counted thirty-five - but they were just the ones we saw. There was chattering all around us, as others unseen passed through the trees. After a while, they all came back again.

It was eerie. I was reminded of that children's song: Don't go out in the woods today...for every bear there ever was will gather there for certain, Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic...

Just substitute squirrel for teddy bear, and there you are. As a child I always thought there was something creepy about that song, and now I know why. The picnic was probably an orgy.

7 comments:

Satima said...

Have you a picture of a Plantain Squirrel you can put up, Glenda? I have no idea what one looks like. On a visit to Thailand I made the acquaintance of a little black and white bushy-tailed beastie in a cage whose owner assured me it was a "schooler". I thought that was the Thai name for it until I realised she was trying to say "squirrel"! However, it looked nothing like the red squirrel or the grey, which are the only ones I know about.

Glenda Larke said...

I have put a link up to a pix...

I know what you mean about mistaking misspoken English for a foreign language! I've done that lots...

Anonymous said...

"My husband went off to work this morning with all the gate and front door keys, leaving me locked inside."

Could have been dangerous. Whyn't you leave a set of keys in a hidden place in the house ? that way if anything happened you could still leave the place :)

Glenda Larke said...

Well, I could get out of the house ok, and into the yard - although not through the front door. And I suppose I could have left the yard too, by climbing over a rather large gate. As long as I didn't want to drive!

Anonymous said...

No offence, but can you really climb the gate ? :)

Glenda Larke said...

I hope you are kidding! Yes, if I have to. You'd be surprised what I do as part of my environmental work. Go along to the unflattering photo of me just dumped out of a boat and walking into the mangrove mudflats and note what I am carrying. This lady may be no spring chicken but she's as tough as old leather.

Anonymous said...

you must have a small gate then.. my gate is weathered wood and iron about six feet tall. :)