CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hampshire Life today CLICK HERE

Chris van Schaick: Our family room is unnervingly attractive to winged blighters

PUBLISHED: 11:54 01 December 2016 | UPDATED: 11:54 01 December 2016

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

hermandesign2015

Letting the outside in is all very well until an unwanted visitor makes itself at home in your family room says Chris van Schaick

Throwing open the doors is all the rage these days. French windows. Floor-to-ceiling glass. Bi-fold doors on to the deck. It’s all about making the outdoors part of the indoors. Or is it the other way round?

But there’s a pitfall. It’s becoming clear here in the Meon Valley, that even a casually opened bi-fold is an invitation for the wildlife to come inside.

Only the other day, a couple of our friends were enjoying the southerly view from their lofty beamed garden room. Then in flew a bat, causing consternation all round. Due respect was paid to bat rights and conservancy. The mammal was ushered out of one of the open doors – only to stubbornly fly back in the other. Cue more faffing before the creature was directed gently on its way.

The welcome probably wasn’t so gentle at the home of a late neighbour of ours who was a countryman at heart. He certainly wasn’t a bi-fold door man. But that didn’t stop two inquisitive fox cubs turning up at his back door one day. Our neighbour was no sentimentalist and I understand that on their return visit, the cubs were greeted with a twelve bore. It was a clear case of the camel’s nose concept – the idea that once the camel gets his nose inside your tent, it won’t be long before the whole animal is inside.

There’ve been moments at our place. I think I’ve already regaled you with the time Mrs.v.S. stood barefoot on a hedgehog. It had presented itself on the front door mat late one night. Mrs. v.S. was letting the dog out and the bulb had gone in the outside light. Considerable noise pollution was the net result.

But most of our wildlife intrusions have been by birds, rather than mammals. Our family room, with its high ceiling and double doors, has proved unnervingly attractive to the winged blighters.

Once a small bird – we never got to see what it was – got in the room and spent some time flitting around before disappearing. But it had simply gone into a gap between a beam and a ceiling panel. It emerged several times amid more screams - many of them mine - until it finally found its way out.

The most recent avian visitor – a partridge – was actually a walk in case. I was tapping away at the laptop, with the double doors open, when I became aware of the visitor. There it was, pacing up and down - for all the world like an estate agent sizing up the room and its westerly aspect. My response has since provoked considerable derision in the pub. I went and got a duvet. Surely the worst aspect of a bird in the house is the danger of it flapping in your face. My reasoning was that I could usher the partridge back out through the French doors, protecting myself behind the quilt. But as I said, ridicule was the result, after the bird - and the story - got out. 


More…

Chris van Schaick: We’ve become obsessed by keyboards - This month, Chris is haunted by the tippity-tap of the QWERTY

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Graphic artist Chris Gibson is bringing Hampshire’s landmarks in to people’s homes with his nostalgic posters

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2018

Some of Hampshire’s best known personalities have revealed what they most love about the county. Here, we compile some quotes from our interviews over the years

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

Something Wicked this way comes… the hit musical follows the yellow brick road to Southampton this month. Leading ladies Amy Ross and Helen Woolf share tales from behind the emerald curtain

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Turning 40 kick started a career change for Claire Fuller that took even her by suprise. She talks to Rebecca Fletcher about becoming a best-selling author, and what to expect from her latest novel

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

You can take the lady out of Hampshire but you can’t take Hampshire out the lady. Yes, it’s a corny expression but it is true in the case of actress, singer, dancer and TV presenter Amanda Holden, who has never forgotten her roots in the county

Read more
Monday, August 20, 2018

With her bold, graphic designs, New Forest artist Evelyn Bartlett captures the magnificent scenery on her doorstep

Read more
Monday, August 13, 2018

From food and drink to fashion and furnishings, Wickham is home to businesses that are pushing the boundaries. Viv Micklefield meets some of those proud to be different

Read more
Monday, August 13, 2018

A surf club… on the Isle of Wight? Surely not! 50 years on, Faith Eckersall meets those that say their little island is the surfing community’s best kept secret

Read more
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Tinnitus affects around 10% of the UK population and often goes untreated. Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care told us everything you need to know about tinnitus

Read more
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Sir Ben Ainslie’s sights are set on bringing home the 36th America’s Cup in 2021 and hoping to join the battle are the sailors currently in his youth squad. Viv Micklefield catches-up with some of the young guns already taking the world by storm

Read more
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

You can’t keep Mary Berry out of the kitchen and the same goes for Hampshire. Bernard Bale hears about her favourite places to visit

Read more
Monday, July 16, 2018

We are a nation of shopkeepers, but is the shop dying? We head to Winchester’s High Street

Read more
Monday, July 16, 2018

Vibrant and colourful, Overton artist Arabella Ross captures nature in its most vivid form says Sandra Smith

Read more
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Once destined for the chip fryer, we visit one north Hampshire business whose award winning single-estate cold pressed oil is giving Tuscan traditionalists a run for their money

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory



Property Search