Slow worms and personal catnip

1 Feb

On 25 July 2021 I wrote:

Local wildlife. And more local wildlife

Days were already easier, more predictable, less stressful. And much less tiring. We could start planning things for the future. And we could just stop for awhile and enjoy Galloway.

We still went back and forth to Mum’s house all the time (it’s just across the yard from my brother’s house where we were staying), and one day I discovered a slow worm squirming about on her kitchen floor. I, of course, thought it was a snake initially and instinctively was a bit squirked by it. But I knew I had to be a big brave girl and get it outside, whatever it was.

And now, having done the most minimal research into slow worms and their habits, I discover that they are found throughout mainland UK, though more in Wales and South West England. And, as I anticipated, they prefer more humid conditions – Mum’s house was dry and warm and the poor thing had some fluff caught on its face, no doubt picked up from an expedition under the fridge. It looked somehow too dry.

Should you ever wish to capture an unhappy slow worm on your kitchen floor, my patented method is to slide a piece of stiff paper under it and sort of scoop it into a bowl. If you don’t have a piece of stiff paper, I guess a newspaper might do. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll work it out. The slow worm was released into the bank, not a money bank, a grassy bank with various shrubs which were mostly slightly overgrown .. it seemed like the sort of place a slow worm might be happy enough, or at least happier than in Mum’s kitchen.

Talking of wildlife, my cat MisoCat has been really needy the last few days and has taken to jumping back up on the desk, and playing with the keyboard, or nudging my fingers off the keyboard. This morning she wanted to just sit on it. I’m not going to get much work done if she behaves like this all day – usually it means she’s hungry, but it’s not that just now, so perhaps she just wants attention. When I was having a tidy up in here the other day I found a bag of ‘herbs’ which I’m pretty confident is catnip, and judging by her reaction it definitely is – she is rolling about in the dried leaves, then trying to catch them and lick them, then more crazy rolling. It’s keeping her off the keyboard for now, and I’m hoping that her catnip come down will encourage her to sleep for the rest of the day. She’s an old lady cat now, and we keep thinking she hasn’t got long left, but looking at her antics now, perhaps she’s not that old after all. We are all just as old as we feel, eh?

So, work out what your personal catnip is and have more of it – if it makes you squeak with delight, then you’re winning at life. I’ll probably write more about mine some other day.

And Mum. There’ll be more of a Mum update in future posts.


Finally, if you want to catch up on how we got to this point, this series of posts starts here, with Taking Smock of the Situation, an embroidery project I started after I realised Mum might have dementia. There I was, embroidering her old fisherman’s smock with symbols relating to her life; meanwhile her memories were being thrown around like so many pieces of jigsaw in a big box.

If you feel like a bit of cooking inspiration then you could check out my recipes here. I’ve been getting lots of carrots in my veg box lately, so have been making vats of carrot soup each week. I have a recipe for a carrot and lentil soup here, which I might update one day soon, as I’ve been experimenting with my pressure cooker (in a bid to use less energy) and honestly, it makes the best lentil soup!

Pimped up carrot soup

This blog started out as recipes, sometimes accompanied by wee stories, so I’ve got a back catalogue of tasty things to make. Do let me know if you’d like me to add more recipes in the future – I had an ambition to make a carers cookbook a couple of years ago… perhaps some day.

One Response to “Slow worms and personal catnip”


  1. Taking Smock of the Situation | Shewolfinthevalley - February 1, 2023

    […] Slow worms and personal catnip […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: