There are certain things you never get used to, even after more than 20 years in the UK. Like the wildlife, and to be more precise, it running around your house!
Don’t get me wrong, we do have wildlife in Finland, even in the capital Helsinki, where I come from. It is quite common to spot a pheasant, some squirrels or a wild hare in one of the parks and we even once had an owl land on our balcony! So it wasn’t a shock when I moved to England to see an occasional badger or a fox in our garden, however, I wasn’t prepared for the mice. And these mice weren’t just outdoors, they seemed to have a habit of coming into your houses as well.
I vividly remember the first time we spotted a mouse in our house. We were renting a house for a year before we bought our current one, and this house was backing onto the rugby fields. There should have been our first clue, you see mice migrate from fields into houses when winter sets upon you, but we hadn’t quite realised that.
So there we were, late one night, hubby and I watching TV in our living room, with son fast asleep upstairs, when we suddenly felt a presence and thought we’d seen something move. As soon as my eye caught hubby’s, I knew something was wrong. “Did you see that?” asked hubby with trepidation and just as he said it, a mouse ran across our living room floor!
What happened next could have been a scene out of a film, not sure if a horror one or a comedy, but my educated guess is the latter. Hubby decided that he was going to catch the mouse and quickly donned his mouse catching outfit, which was a pair of trainers on his feet, trousers tucked into his socks, big black gloves and his secret weapon – a golf club! I’m not sure if it was a 5 iron or an 8 iron, but I think that might be irrelevant. At this point hubby had turned all the lights on in our living room and was chasing the mouse with his golf club as I was standing on the coffee table shrieking out every now and then, giggling hysterically in between. Honestly, I have no idea what our neighbours must have thought was going on, hearing my intermittent shrieks and giggles…but I presume they must have thought hubby and I were doing something much more enjoyable than chasing a mouse!
After half an hour of chasing the mouse, and I’m not too sure who was getting more tired, hubby or the mouse, hubby finally managed to corner it and to my delight did not decide to bludgeon the poor thing to death with his golf club, but to pick it up with his mouse catching gloves and dispose of the mouse in a humane way. And this is when it happened. The mouse got a heart attack and died when hubby picked it up. After all that chasing I have to remind myself to be thankful it wasn’t the other way around, especially as it would have been quite embarrassing to explain at a funeral that your husband died whilst mouse hunting…
Over the past years, we have every now and then been visited by mice, even in our current house, but we have got better at deterring and catching them and I have got better at tolerating the occasional visits by local wildlife.
But will I ever get used to mice in our house? To be perfectly honest, no.
And I’m glad hubby understands that and appreciates that after all I’m still a Helsinki girl.
Like when I overheard him on the phone, explaining frantically to the caller about the seriousness of the mouse incident in our house:
“You don’t understand, my wife is Finnish! Last time she saw a mouse, was in a zoo!”