Dressups, hair removal, and pine martens

The kids had to dress up as a character from a story at school today. They both chose to wear hats I had crocheted for them. Isn’t that sweet? I didn’t threaten them, I promise. At what age do kids start to hate the things their mother makes for them?


Elizabeth is the big bad wolf from Little Red Riding Hood and Daniel is the Viking from There’s a Viking in my Bed. One little girl had a pair of underpants on her head and so I asked her who she was. Captain Underpants of course! How silly of me.

I read an interesting article recently about women’s obsession with hair removal over the last few centuries. Apparently women used to use x-rays to remove hair despite the deleterious consequences for their health. There was also a product in the 1930s called Koremlu which contained the toxic metal, thallium. Thallium has been used in rat poisons and insecticides so it defies belief that women would smear it over their bodies. Apparently thallium poisoning causes hair loss – from all places – nerve damage, blindness, and even death. Now we have the Brazilian which, well, I’ve already expressed my thoughts about this.

Elizabeth is channeling George Monbiot with this picture she drew on our white board:


It’s a tree in which a pine marten is about to catch and eat a grey squirrel. The pine marten and grey squirrel are coloured in blue on a branch near the top. The other creatures in the tree are red squirrels. According to an article by George Monbiot – How to eradicate grey squirrels without firing a shot – red squirrels have evolved with pine martens and are small and light enough to get to the very ends of small branches that pine martens and grey squirrels are too heavy for. These are the results from a paper that was published last year which found that the recovery of the pine marten in Ireland brought with it a recovery in red squirrel numbers and a crash in the grey squirrel population.

I wonder why the government is not doing more to increase the population of pine martens? I have never seen one of these animals so they must be quite rare. I still haven’t seen a red squirrel either despite many efforts to seek them out.

18 responses to “Dressups, hair removal, and pine martens”

  1. Sadly I had one of those awful ‘oh look a pine marten’ moments before I ran it over on the A74 driving from Ben Nevis to Scarfell when doing the three peaks challenge. So not doing much for the red squirrel population

  2. Your kids look great 🙂 And you’ve got a few years yet before your kids start wanting to be “cool”!
    Didn’t know about the pine marten/red squirrel/grey squirrel relationship. My sister sees red squirrels when she visits Scotland, but I can’t remember where exactly! Keep looking 🙂

  3. I just checked out pine martens on google. Initially thought they were a bird couldn’t imagine them eating squirrels. I have now worked out that I was confusing them with martins. I’m always learning from your blog. By the way, the kids look very happy in their mother-crafted headgear. Well done! 🙂

  4. There’s a quote about hair being a matter of fair distribution. Thought it was GBS but can’t find it.
    With all your talents…….you knit too. 😦

  5. Adorable hats there Rachel! Make the most of these years, for yes, the day will sadly come when they won’t want to wear homemade things 😦 Incredible about x-rays for hair removal. Pine Martens are hard to spot here, mostly in Scotland in your neck of the woods I believe? As for red squirrels, I saw lots of them growing up playing the woods. They are hard to find now, but I did read recently they are making a come back. So glad about that. Hopefully Elizabeth will get to see one so that she can draw one of her wonderful pictures 🙂

    • I do hope red squirrels continue to make a come back. I see plenty of grey ones hear but no red ones.

      And yes, I expect that once they become teenagers they won’t want to wear the stuff I make. I’ll try to make the most of it now.

  6. Hi 🙂 I did remember to ask my sister where she had seen a red squirrel, and it was on the west side of Scotland, Dumfries and the Galloway forest. Apparently red squirrels are very elusive and hard to spot, as they are much more shy than grey squirrels. Good Luck seeing one! 🙂

    • Thanks so much for asking your sister! We haven’t been to that part of the country yet but we plan to go at some stage. There were supposed to be logs of squirrels in and near Ballater where we went for Christmas but I never saw any.

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