Thursday, 15 March 2012

Trading spaces

For the last few nights we have been playing musical beds.  As exciting as this game sounds, it actually isn't.  For some unknown reason, the Sweetpea and I decided it would be a good idea, in the last few days of summer (a summer which would actually be classified as winter in various other places on the globe), to set up the tent outside in the garden.  The we could all have fun in the tent before autumn really sets in.  So that was the plan.

Fast forward to the reality.  About two minutes after we had set up the tent and stood back to admire our handiwork, the sides of the tent started flapping ominously in the wind.  Nevertheless, we decided to brave the elements and sleep in the tent regardless, since we had gone to all the mission of setting it up in the first place.  With a few grave misgivings, we dragged enough bedding to make the night bearable (enough blankies and eiderdowns to protect a small army from the cold of a Siberian winter) into the tent and settled down to sleep.  After an increasingly breezy night in the tent, during which all five of us almost chickened out at various times, we emerged blearily into the light of day to discover that it had rained in the night and now we could not take the tent down, because it was too wet and we couldn't risk it growing mold and mildew over the winter.   Never mind, reasoned the Sweetpea optimistically, we could thus spend another night in the tent now.  Bonus! (I think not!)

The next day dawned extremely chill, and an arctic wind was blowing from the South pole.  That night, we stood at the edge of the deck surveying the tent silhouetted against the grey and chilly sky, and as one, turned tail and ran into the house.  A huge amount of dragging bedding from the tent back into the house ensued, and we were finally settled in our room again.  There were a few minutes silence.  Then:  "What's that stinky smell?" from the boys.  True, there was a terrible and suspicious stinky smell in the air.  In fact, it smelled of nothing so much as dead rat.  After searching high and low, we discovered that the smell came from the central heating vents, into which said rat must have crawled and died.  A panicked mass exodus resulted.

We dragged all the bedding down into one of the spare rooms, stopping by the tent to retrieve all of the blow-up mattresses that were still there.  An increasingly late night saw us eventually all settled on the floor of the spare room, sleeping shoulder to uncomfortable shoulder on the airbeds.  One scratchy night later, and we got up, only to see that the tent had blown down in the furious wind the night before.  

The next night saw us unwilling to enter our bedroom for fear of the dead-rat smell, and so it was back to the spare room.  No sooner than we were all settled for the night than a little voice piped up out of the darkness:  "What's that stinky smell?"

Turns out that old rat had a poorly cousin...   

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