About Me

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I'm 57 years old, working full time, wife, mother and grand mother, wishing that I wasn't working full time! I love and enjoy our children and grandchildren, our dogs and cat, our garden and allotment. I love crafts - knitting, sewing, crocheting, patchwork and restoring old furniture. I love to go to country auctions and love thinking that I've got my self a bargain!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Hissing Sid

Afternoon All,

What a day! It just hasn't stopped raining at all - when is it ever going to end? we've got to the point where we're thinking of planting rice at our allotment because it really does resemble a paddy field! - there's that much water, and we're in a drought!!!

I was recently telling you before about my days working in housing, in the 1990's  - here's another memory. One day I had a phone call from a young gentleman who had recently moved into one of our void properties and he wanted someone to go out and do a visit as he had something to show us.

 I went out there, to be told that when he'd gone into the gas cupboard, which was situated in the corner of their lounge to put some money on the gas meter - a snake had popped it's head up through a hole in the floor boards!

He said that he couldn't believe his eyes and so he'd left the cupboard open and left the gas fire on in the room and had just sat watched and lo and behold the snake had popped up again - he thought it was popping up as it was nice and warm in the room. I thought 'right I've heard everything now - how the hell was I going to solve this one'. Trying to sound as if I knew what I was doing and this was an every day occurrence (?) I told them that I was just popping back to the office to make a few phone calls and then I legged it- I don't like snakes!

I got back to the office and phoned the RSPCA who said that they would send an officer round asap, got in touch with a carpenter and asked him if he'd meet me back at the property asap.

We all got back to the property around the same time and I quite kindly let the RSPCA man and the carpenter go in first - I kept my distance on the front door. The RSPCA officer said that if he could just get a look at the snake he would know what to do - they took up half the downstairs floor  and they thought that they'd  got a glimpse of Hissing Sid (we'd given the snake a nickname whilst I'd been in the office!) but they couldn't be sure.

The house had been built just after the war and had cavity walls and it was part of a terrace so it was completely open across all 3 properties under the floor boards and they just couldn't see it. Hissing Sid had done a disappearing act!

The young gentleman and his family didn't want to leave the house, they'd waited years to get it (having lived in a flat before hand) so we agreed that the carpenter would go round and fill in even the slightest hole in the floorboards in every room.

The RSPCA gentleman was of the opinion that Hissing Sid could have escaped from the care of the previous tenant and that it would find it's own way out - (un)fortunately the 2 properties either side were owned by owner occupiers, so I didn't have to worry about those properties.

I did have a phone call from one of the owner occupiers to ask whether it was true that there was a snake in residence under these properties, so I said yes and told him to do the same as our carpenter had done, fill in even the smallest of holes.

Hissing Sid was never seen again! - and for me, it was just another working day in the life of a council officer!!!

Speak again soon Byeee xxx


  1. Great story but heck of a shock for the poor house occupant. My friend once had a hamster escape in the house never to be seen again, maybe the same scenario with the snake X

  2. Thanks Anne - when my daughter was young she let her hamster escape it's cage - it took us 3 days to re-capture it and all the time it was free we could hear it scratching in the walls in different rooms of the house - I was so glad when she found it - take care xx

  3. Gosh Trudie, a snake at large under the floorboards would have me worried sick. Creepy!!

    1. Me too Sarina - when they taking the floor up, I stood firmly by the front door ready to run!

  4. One of our cats fell into a cavity wall (from a false ceiling).We looked down the 'shaft' and thought she was dead..Chris had to cut through the wall to get her out. Eight years later..... she is sitting on my lap purring.
    Jane x

    1. That must have been one of her 9 lives used up that day Jane! but it was good that you had a happy ending xx

  5. That was funny. From the other side of the fence: as a council tenant, I was rather non-plussed about 20 years ago to have a council officer turn up and say they'd had a complaint about my compost heap! Someone was concerned it would attract vermin; he was doubtful and asked me if I couldn't put it all in the rubbish bin! I explained composting to him and, to give credit where credit is due, he did listen and said, ok, keep your compost heap! A few years later, the council sent out leaflets extolling the virtues of home composting and sold compost bins at a bargain price. I snapped up a huge one (£20) and was disgusted a couple of years later to see the council was giving the smaller ones away! It seems I am ahead of the times!

    1. You were Attila - but that's how it worked in the council - we'd see a customer doing something worth while and then one of the managers would either have to say No! can't have that or they'd pinch the idea as their own! There were always too many managers all vying to be the best and coming up with some stupid ideas sometimes, but whenever something kicked off, and you needed one of them to make a decision you could never find them for love or money!! xx

  6. Oh my word, that is my worse nightmare!!

  7. Hi Trudie, you asked about the amount of wool I used for my ripple blanket, I used 100grm balls 7 colours 2 balls of each hope this helps.

  8. Hi Jill,

    Thank you for letting me know - I've done a throw for the bottom of my Mom's bed in pink and white in that pattern and have enjoyed doing it so I would like to do a full bed cover one day Thank you xx