Now, I was in the middle of writing a nice, cheerful post about days out in the Vale. There was going to be tea and buns, and possibly a mildly humorous incident with a puddle.* All that, however, must wait, as I have a tale of terror to impart which will harrow up your very soul. Or, if not that, it’s certainly going to make you feel queasy.
Picture the scene: the start of a normal day chez Biographia Domestica. Eoin is vocally demanding his morning crumpet, and I am furtling about with the breakfast things. I go to fill the kettle, and peek inside it to check the water level. Now, having spent many years in Cambridge, we had conscientiously equipped our kettle with one of those little steel wool limescale-catcher thingies: admittedly, this is a very small stable door to try to contain a large and chalky bolting horse, but you do what you can, right? This morning, however, there was not one little grey, limescaley object floating in the kettle. Oh, no. There were two.
Yes, that’s right. A slug. A pre-boiled, calcified slug.
We have been drinking slug tea.
I’m not ashamed to admit there was a certain amount of horrified sobbing as I fished the little sluggy corpse out, a process which took rather longer than expected as it went to ground behind the filter and I had to grope for it with my fingers (Oh God, why? What did I ever do to deserve this?). For the strong of stomach, I can report that a boiled slug is still squishy, but also somewhat calcified and flaky.**
Finally, the body was gone, and I set about boiling and re-boiling the kettle, hoping that this would clean out any remaining slug traces. Eoin was completely unruffled by the experience, but I am now more convinced than ever that the Gastropod Menace has a private vendetta against me. Even now, they’re hiding out under the decking, planning their next incursion. “We’ve hit the dishwasher and the kettle, so the next step is to go for the toaster. We already know she’s worried about that, so the psychological blow will be immense. Then, lads, onwards and upwards to the cooking pots! Your sacrifice will live on in the hearts of slugs to come: be brave, be bold, and we shall conquer!”
Today, Eoin and I will mostly be buying salt.
*Oh, yes, folks: this is how we roll here. We are frequently to be found banging seven-gram Welsh cakes.
**I never in my life thought I’d be able to describe the texture of boiled slug. I do these things so you don’t have to.