When I moved into my new home a few years ago I suspect that I behaved pretty much like most house buyers. I couldn’t wait to have the luxury of the extra space and was already planning the decorative schemes for each room.
I had some big ideas and dramatic plans that would turn my humble abode into a veritable palace and I couldn’t wait to get started. It would be fair to say that my revamp is still ongoing but in the midst of all the changes I overlooked a few simple improvements which could have made life a great deal easier.
One of these oversights was the installation of a light outside of my back door. My mind was too overloaded with thoughts about colour schemes and mosaic tiles to focus on the practicalities. Remarkably it took several wake-up calls to shock me into action.
I think it was the fourth or fifth occasion on which I stepped out of the back door and straight onto a grotesque slug that I considered that the addition of a light might enhance my lifestyle. For some reason the area around my backdoor is a magnet for these huge, slimy creatures. To make matters worse several large snails also lurk around my patio and the horrid crunch when I accidently step on one of those is really off-putting.
I have also experienced other intruders who have caused a bit of a stir and frankly a lot of pain. One evening I could hear a noise somewhere near the large bush opposite the back door and decided to investigate. Due to the lack of light I was forced to use my hands to explore the bush and ended up on my hands and knees peering into the gloom. The culprit turned out to be a hedgehog, a fact which became apparent when its spines were embedded in my fingers. I also had a couple of slightly unfortunate encounters with bats when they flew straight into my face. Not the bats’ fault but a little shocking.
I was forced to tear myself away from paint colour charts and design magazines to source a solution. The first effort was an epic fail as the light had a switch inside the house and I invariably forgot to turn the thing on before I stepped out of the door – more dead slugs. If I did remember to turn the light on I would forget to turn it off again which was life enhancing for the slugs but terrible for my electricity bill.
A Good Result
The light had to go and was eventually replaced by the sensible option – a lamp with a motion sensor. This meant safe transit for the wildlife in my garden and saved by feet from an untold number of nasty squishes. The slugs are clearly delighted as there are more of them than ever and the patio is the Piccadilly Circus of snails but we have learned to live together in a brighter world. If the sensor would only pick up my cats the place would not-longer be a death trap for birds either!
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who is now a great fan of exterior lighting as are the slugs in her garden.