An unexpected visitor

This was a day of domesticana  –  just as well I didn’t have to travel as Storm Doris was making herself felt with gusts of winds that made the house creak in its old joints and had the trees swaying wildly, which we don’t see often in London.  I kept hearing odd noises downstairs as she tried to make her way in through the cooker hood with baleful whining and  frustrated tantrums.

Tedious domestic chores always take me longer because time seems to stand stultifingly still. There’s a sort of pleasure in achievement but after a while I sat down to do some research at the computer as my real reward.  I love tracking things down and the Internet has made for a new world of possibilities.  Although I do miss exploring and coming face to face with people and places. But now I can do both and cover more ground.

I watched the shirts and trousers jiving in the wind on the line outside from my study window  –  not many people have a washing line nowadays but it’s much less expensive and environmentally more friendly than a droning drier.  And the clothes smell fresh, ready for ironing, when I also have the chance to listen to Radio 4.  Ironing in itself is workaday but because of Radio 4 I look forward to it.

I got absorbed in researching new flooring and sofas, flitting out from time to time into a few favourite sites like Bendor Grosvenor’s ‘Art History News’,  French vocabulary sites, new books, travel writers and places to visit, film reviews and art, science and nature programmes on TV. Back to the job in hand  …

And then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw an orange flash at the edge of the window pane.  A ginger cat?  I looked round and came face to face with a very pretty fox, staring at me through the glass! I was both shocked and enchanted at the same time.

An unexpected visitor

She must have climbed up the sloping glass windows in the kitchen roof to find a sheltered place by the wall, which separates us from our neighbour.  It was a smart move  –  a very cosy, mossy corner out of the wind.  She was completely unafraid of me as we gazed at one another  –  only slightly curious.  She looked in good health, she knew she was elegant  – it was almost as if she was smiling at me.

Surveying her territory

Elegant Mrs. Fox

Photoshoot of foxy model

I longed to have a conversation but finally, after twenty minutes or so, she made a move and vanished as silently as she had come.

The lady vanishes …

In the evening, I heard some fox call in the distance.  Was it her? I hoped she had somewhere to sleep out of harm’s way.  Maybe she was pregnant and looking for a safe place to make a den.

I know foxes can be a menace. They attack our compost heap with a vengeance. They have proliferated in cities where food waste makes easy pickings.  They leave nasty droppings and make bloodcurdling screeches in the dark of the night. They have been known to enter houses and bite babies in their warm, soft cradles. They are classed as vermin.

But I fell for her in an instant and I called her Vivienne.

Vivienne

PS  This encounter put me in mind of the poem by D H Lawrence called ‘Snake’.  It taught me the lesson of tolerance, of live and let live.  The author watches a snake coming out of a hole in the wall to drink at a pool in the heat of the day in Sicily. It is golden and venomous.  Should he kill it?  Read this poem and see.

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