This week we have mostly learned more about how everything that anyone has ever done to our house as a “repair” in the past was inherently and fundamentally wrong. Hooray. It’s to do with incompatible types of mortar, the First World War killing off most of the people who knew anything about how it was really supposed to work, those who were left alive but clueless hazarding some guesses, and subsequent events within a culture of it’s-always-done-that-way incompetence. But let’s not go into that here, because depending on your personal outlook it is likely to be either horrifying or tedious, or a mixture.
In much, much better news, I found a toad in the garden the other day. I have been hoping for a toad for some time, although I hadn’t expected one due to the garden being a small oasis of growth immediately surrounded by mostly tarmac. And I haven’t made any particular efforts to encourage toads other than looking up “how to get a toad” on the internet. (This search yielded results containing several along the lines of a Yahoo Answers thread entitled “is it true that you can get high if you lick a frog?”, but that wasn’t quite what I intended.) I haven’t dug a pond, and I hadn’t built a toad-house (upturned flower pot with tiny doorway cut in it) but I did have a patch of weeds and detritus in a damp corner. A very small toad was hiding under some detritus which I was clearing up, which I’m sure ruined its day. I’ve now made it a toad-house as a replacement for its destroyed detritus-hut, so I hope it comes back. It proves the garden-can-have-toad principle, anyhow.
The main reason I want toads to convene near me is not, disappointingly, so that I can lick them and get high. It is so they will eat the slugs, and then perhaps the garden will be able to produce a higher ratio of human-food to bee-food/slug-food than it has this year. There are loads of bees, because I planted bee-attracting flowers, and they did very well. So well that it’s hard to do any weeding without getting bees all in my face, but BEES. BEES ARE NECESSARY. I also planted (as it turns out) slug-attracting vegetables. But they were supposed to be for me.
Admittedly the toad I saw was actually a bit smaller than most of the slugs I’ve seen recently (dayglo-orange-footed behemoths, ugh) but it’s a start.