Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Mystery

Anyone who reads my blog regularly may remember that I had a fence built in Autumn and a narrow b order of garden in front of it.   My son and I between us planted just under three hundred tulips in the border and they are just beginning to poke through the soil.   Well something has decided to start digging them up.    There are holes in the soil where I presume the bulb has been and there is no sign of a bulb.   My daughter in law says she thinks it is the birds - she may well be correct.   But whatever it is I do wish they would leave them there to flower in May.

All the snow has gone and has been replaced today by horrible fog and a damp cold.   This is set to disappear tomorrow as the wind rises and we may even get a sunny day.   Tess hopes so of course as it is the day when friend S takes her for a walk.

I have to stay  in to take delivery of a new bookcase I have ordered.   At last I shall have an opportunity to really sort my books out into categories and then into alphabetical order (fingers crossed).   This may sound a bit optimistic but I am going to give it a try because I can search for an hour for a book and not find it and then, as I am casually passing the shelves I see it there.   I don't suppose I am alone in doing this.

The gas boiler has been serviced today so that is another job done.  I can tick it off my list of things outstanding to be done - I hate lists like this - things have to be done quickly for me.

Everyone in our Book Group really enjoyed 'Days without End' by Sebastian Barry.   It generated such a lot of discussion.   Our next book is 'Killing Floor' by  Lee Child - can't get much more different than that I guess.   But I really believe that one should read all kinds of books - just because one is retired doesn't necessarily mean one should give up on page five if one is not enjoying the reading.   What do the rest of you think?   Should you be able to say that  now you are retired you need only read books you enjoy or should you still be prepared to tackle books outside your field of enjoyment?

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you have squirrels?
Traveller

Sue said...

I like to give most books a fair try but if I know I'm not going to enjoy it then these days I'll move on to something else.

Jane said...

Last autumn I watched with dismay the posse of squirrels munch on my bulbs , a 1000 circus went into the lawn , in the spring I counted 7 crocus ;(

Jane said...

crocus not circus ...though it was like a squirrel circus !

Alcea Rosea 31 said...

The squirrels ate all our crocus bulbs, not sure if their diet includes tulips. I don't always continue to read books i' m not enjoying. My reading time is limited, so I read for pleasure and as part of my nightly routine.
I can spend too much time looking at maps though, I have always found them fascinating, ever since Browies/Guides map work.

busybusybeejay said...

I agree with the others above.The squirrels dig our bulbs up.It is so frustrating to go to all the trouble of planting them and then they disappear.

justjill said...

No idea what is eating your bulbs. As regards books. We have 4 book cases. I sort them into authors. We do tend to be boring oldies! There is a kids shelf at appropriate height. Lots on gardening. Lots on bird watching. Lots on nature. all grouped. I have no problem on finding a book!

Rachel Phillips said...

Probably mice. As for books I don't think it is simply give up or don't give up, or age related. Too much to discuss further in a comment though.

Sue in Suffolk said...

So many books, so little time.....I always give up on any books I don't like

Heather said...

I wish I had room for another bookcase as I can't stop acquiring books. I downsized quite considerably before moving here but my collection is building up again. I have often searched for a particular book only to find it where it should have been all the time!
My tulips used to be dug up by squirrels, and even planting the bulbs in pots was no rememdy unless I pegged netting over the tops.
As for reading, I am a bit lazy and tend to read what I think I will enjoy, though it is a pleasant surprise at times when I discover a book which is not at all what I expected.

Janet said...

Squirrels are well-known for dining on tulip bulbs. I now plant daffodils as they are not liked by squirrels and other bulb eating animals.

Sol said...

at our last house we have to plant the bulbs and then lay chicken wire over the top and knocked camping pegs in to hold it down. the squirrels gave up then.

Dahlia88 said...

I plant all my tulips in pots and find that a layer of grit on the top stops any hungry squirrel!

Virginia said...

I need ORDER in my bookshelf. But as all I have kept is travel books and embroidery and design books, they’re divided by subject. All the fiction went to the charity shop when the grandchildren’s puzzles and toys needed storage. Now those shelves have neat plastic boxes that grandson can get out, and put back, himself, and he is very good at obeying the “only two boxes out at a time” rule. All their books, of which there are many, are in an antique Canterbury that used to hold art books. Life changes!

And as to what I read, it’s not almost all on the iPad Kindle, as my eyesight isn’t as good as it was. I will persist with a book until I have worked out why I’m not enjoying it. Occasionally I’ll try something and find it was just not well written, or it’s too violent. I really don’t do violence.

Would a covering of fine mesh wire netting tucked into the ground at the edges protect against squirrels, or mice? It’s not a problem I’ve had to deal with in New Zealand

Camille said...

Squirrels will raise the very devil with bulbs and all the suggestions above are very good. But unless you see them actively digging around out there, I do agree with Rachel and it's probably mice burrowing over and underneath possibly wiping them out. We no longer plant bulbs for that very reason...mice! A good cat would solve the problem but in my case, the husband is too allergic.

the veg artist said...

I think it's good to challenge ourselves with new subjects, but I will give up on a book if it is badly written.

jinxxxygirl said...

Pat from where i'm from Arkansas.. i would automatically say your bulb problem is squirrels but across the pond i just don't know...

Books... avid reader here... and i enjoy a wide variety of books... BUT a decision i made several years ago was to NOT finish a book just for the sake of finishing it as i was apt to do then... Life is too short... I will give it several chapters but if i'm not enjoying it then i'm moving on........Which is one reason i would never join a book club. Hugs! deb

Bonnie said...

Besides squirrels and mice, gophers will also eat flower bulbs. It is very frustrating to work so hard and have your work become some animal's meal! I love the sound of filling up a new bookcase. Like you said, it is so nice to get your books all sorted. It is rare that I won't finish a book even if I'm not too crazy about it. Once I start reading then I am too curious as to how it will end. It will take me much longer to finish a book I don't like though!

You recently mentioned your son's poetry website so I had a look at it and truly enjoyed his writings! I have not read any of his short stories yet but I thoroughly enjoyed his poetry. Thank you for mentioning it!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Anonymous = yes we have plenty of grey squirrels and here and there patches of the beautiful red squirrel. And Jane also suggests squirrels - I haven't seen any round here at all but that doesnt mean there isn't perhaps one about.
Rachel's idea of mice is perhaps a better one here and if they all go then I shall abide by Janet's suggestion and plant daffodils next year.
Interesting thoughts on Book Groups too thank you.

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

It could well be squirrels. They can be very destructive digging up bulbs and carrying them off. Here where I live they love to hop up and into my big flower pots where I alternate between bulbs and seeds. A few years back I started securing hardware cloth (wire with smaller weave) tightly to my flower pots to fight against the squirrels, the neighbor's kitty who uses flower pots with nothing growing yet as a litter box, and birds that pull seeds and sprouts out.

One morning as I was looking outside, here came a young gray squirrel who jumped up onto the pot thinking of how he was going to dig it up, but when he hit the wire, it bounced him back up a little like a trampoline, he seemed to think that was fun and jumped up and down on it several more times. I was so wishing I had my camera in hand.

I hope that whatever creature is taking your bulbs leaves plenty to bloom for you.

Tom Stephenson said...

An animal of some sort.

Joanne Noragon said...

I'm late to the party, but agree it is a mammal.

Sue said...

If a book isn't grabbing my attention, I will put it down and pick up something else. But often if I come back to it another time I end up enjoying it. So I think it is more my mood than the quality of the book that makes me stop reading something. I remember you planted so many bulbs - hope you still have a lot come up!

Mac n' Janet said...

I'm retired and read for pleasure where ever that may include.

Robin Mac said...

I can no longer see to read a book so have to listen - a whole new experience. The quality of the reading makes so much difference to the enjoyment and sometimes even when I like the content of the book I cannot bear to listen to the reader so I give up. Sometimes I find the reader makes the book a much more exciting experience than I suspect it would be if I were just reading the printed page. I do give up on books I am not enjoying these days though.
I hope some at least of your tulips survive to flower in May - they would make a lovely sight.

Anonymous said...

Squirrels - not only do they dig them up - they replant them somewhere else. My whole yard is a testament to that - tulips coming up all over where they were never planted - I give up but they still are lovely and the little stinkers do a pretty decent job of naturalizing the yard. Mary Ellen - Wisconsin - By the way, we are having the most brutal winter I can remember and I am 75 .

Marjorie Stintzi said...

I have sorted my middle son's library and it is very helpful. I did categories such as poetry, short stories, graphic novels, non-fiction, classics like Homer, and literary criticism. He is a writer and part time college instructor and lives far away. The sorting has helped to fill his requests for books he needs. It is very satisfying sorting them.
I am sorry about your tulips, I hope it can be stopped.

Cro Magnon said...

Just recently I was watching a Magpie digging in my lawn (where there are Daffs).

Derek Faulkner said...

As everybody else has commented, Grey Squirrels are the most likely culprits, in the winter when they haven't got bird's eggs and chicks to eat, they turn to bulbs. At my partner's house in Surrey where it occurred I found an air rifle soon reduced the problem.
Mice and voles will take the odd bulb but not to the degree that squirrels do.
As for books, if I can't get into a book within a couple of chapters, I give it up and buy another - not a good habit though.

thelma said...

Hope your book sorting goes well, I have lots of non-fiction and they can be completely boring, just useful to dip into. But I have never sorted books because I know by instinct where individual books are.

Librarian said...

Like the others here, I can not imagine birds digging up your bulbs. They usually do not eat bulbs but rather want seeds and fruit such as berries. And male blackbirds go for yellow flower heads in the spring, when they attack anything yellow because it reminds them of a potential rival's yellow beak!
It is rare that I give up on a book. I've done it a few times when I found that a free ebook was so full of mistakes (spelling and grammar) that it annoyed me too much, or when the story looked so unpromising and uninspiring that I simply wasn't in the mood for it.

DUTA said...

I'm surprised nobody has warned you about rats and rabbits. Luckily, tulips are not as expensive as they used to be in the past.
Anyway, nowadays it pays to read about things on the internet (youtube mostly), before one starts some kind of project.

Fifitr said...

When we moved to our current house instead of locating all our books in one or two rooms we decided to scatter them around and divide into sections, so there's detective novels on the top landing, Greek and Latin in the bedroom, history in the hallway and so forth. Having done that our firm intention was to alphabetise them when we got round to it... Well, I'm sure you can work out whether that happened or not! But at least if I want a romance novel I know which bookcase they're in and it's less of a hassle to look through half a dozen shelves than a whole library.

Instinctively I'd say stop reading if you're not enjoying something, but I usually do battle through to the end because I always have several books on the go, and this means that if I'm feeling too tired for something difficult I've always got something else to turn to; if I'm simply not in the mood for something depressing there's usually a sparkling Georgette Heyer romance or a spot of P G Wodehouse to brighten my day. The only thing that really makes me give up is poor, sloppily-written prose.

Carol Caldwell said...

Squirrels dig up our bulbs especially crocus and cyclamen. I love Lee Child's books and am currently reading his latest which my husband bought me for Christmas (Past Tense) and am really enjoying it. I have read the one you mention but because I have read so many I can't remember how good it was. I prefer the personal ones rather than military. I rarely give up on a book unless it is really poor. Let us know if you enjoy it. I think we are never too old to try new types of books and I have sometimes enjoyed a book I didn't expect to, usually free, for whatever reason.

liparifam said...

I keep my little library of around 1,600 books in alphabetical order, though the 1,400 or so novels are separated from the 200 or so non-fiction books. I also keep a list of all of my books on an Excel spreadsheet - otherwise, I find myself buying new copies of books I already own! Tip: you need to leave some space every few shelves so you can shift books around to fit in new books. I would place one book on its side every few shelves so books could be inserted in the correct place, then the excess books stacked in that place. Even so, eventually, unless you weed out some, you will end up having to shift ALL the books around! That is always a major, time-consuming task...

Margie from Toronto said...

My dad used to plant hundreds of bulbs every autumn - but some years he said it felt as though all he'd done was create a buffet for the rabbits & moles! He wouldn't have minded so much if they actually ate them but mor often than not they take a bit and then leave them!
And then of course there was the night that the raccoons got to his koi pond - left all the bones neatly by the side of the pone!

Sackerson said...

I've tackled two books recently which were outside my comfort zone. Uzumaki by Junji Ito is a manga graphic novel and I enjoyed it immensely. The other is Steampunk Fantasy, Perdido Street Station and I'm still reading it.

Ruth said...

I just found this:

Use Mesh. Squirrels and mice seem to take special pleasure in finding, digging, and nibbling tulip bulbs. Wide wire mesh, such as chicken wire, is an effective deterrent. Lay it directly on top of the bed, extending the surface about 3 feet from the plantings, then stake it down.

It's so disheartening to find your bulbs missing. I hope whatever is taking them doesn't hog them all!

I find in my old age that I can read the more difficult things I'd not care for when younger. I pretty much stick with old books, the older the better. Beautiful stories and no smut!

Gwil W said...

It's not often I get through a book that's outside my 'comfort zone'. If I think I'd rather be reading something else I quickly switch to something else. I gave up with Homer's Odyssey as it was mind bending lay repetitious. I'm reading Robinson Crusoe in its stead. He's now built his little house and stored his gunpowder in a safe place where it won't get exploded by a lightning bolt and now he's beginning to wonder how he'll pass the time. This is a pivotal moment for me. Will the story drift into the predictable whilst awaiting the arrival of Man Friday or will the suspense be maintained. The next few chapters will decide if I go on with it. And so it is with half the books I cant get beyond halfway I regret to say.

lynda said...

I could read all day, but I won't waste my time on books that don't draw me in.. which is why I will not join a book club. I refuse to waste my hours plowing through a book I don't like.. or discussing the " meaning" of it all.. had enough of that in uni to last a lifetime!
I heard one author interviewed and he was asked the deep meaning of a passage. He replied he never meant any of that.. he just wrote...