I don’t need troubles when shopping

Like her father, Julia is a very picky eater. Because she turns food down so often, when she makes specific requests I almost always oblige, which means several days a week she eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or cheese and crackers or yogurt covered raisins for breakfast.

This morning she wanted apple slices. No problem. I got an apple, peeled the skin off, cut it into wedges and went to get a bowl from the cupboard. I was just about to toss the wedges in the bowl when I noticed it was full of crumbs.

Crumbs that were moving. Crawling. Crumbs that weren’t crumbs but instead, ants. Teeny, tiny little brown ants that were so small that they were almost transparent.

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I’ve lived in the Far East and I loved it

I have nothing against rats. I think they are cute, charming, intelligent creatures that make very good pets.

The issue is with a former neighbour, when Bahkti and I lived in Hoole, a suburb of Chester. We noticed that one day the alley at the back of the house appeared much cleaner than usual. It had never been a particularly dirty alley, but suddenly it was almost clean enough to eat from. We sometimes saw that there were bubbles from detergents foaming from the drains. It all seemed very public-spirited at first.

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