IT has been one of those slow weekends. Of necessity I have been “confined to quarters” while looking after my grandson Ollie, because his sister and mum are visiting one of the universities Jessica is hoping to attend next year.

Ollie is severely autistic. Non-verbal, extremely anxious about any activity and needing to be both fed and toileted. There has been a significant change in his behaviour over the last year and he has also lost a lot of weight.

Not a totally bad thing as before he would steal food and now, unless he were fed, would starve. He is tall, handsome, with the most gorgeous brown eyes. In a parallel existence, a heartthrob. Life certainly can be cruel. But he is loved and we, and his other grandparents, try to help as much as we can.

Because we were quietly sat outside with Ollie last night, I noticed more going on around us. Which was why I spotted an unusual visitor to our hanging baskets. At first I could not identify the species or name of this member of the Lepidoptera order, but John deduced it was a Hummingbird Hawk moth, and a rather splendid specimen too.

Now we had first seen it in the early evening, flitting among the geraniums and our internet research informed us that it would probably visit us again at about the same time another evening. And it has.

It flies rapidly between the geraniums, hovering to feed on them through its very long proboscis, an elongated mouthpiece that is both tubular and flexible. The moth is noticeably larger than butterflies visiting the hanging baskets . It seems to have two sets of wings, one pair orangey brown and the other grey brown, but all joined together with a rather splendid black and white checked body. Very showy.

And with more time available than normal, I mucked out the hen, goose and duck huts. Ollie and I made a good team. He sat by the trailer while I filled it with soiled straw.

Next job was to clear out the fitted wardrobes in Ollie’s bedroom. I set up a train track for him on the carpet and brought up all of his Thomas trains. Despite everything, he will still take some interest in those. But as I started to pull out shoeboxes and carrier bags from the floor of the wardrobe, I noticed a large quantity of chewed up sweet wrappers and a lot of mouse droppings.

A packet of caramels had somehow been left in a bag in the wardrobe and apparently been consumed with relish. I set a trap and decided to leave well alone and take Ollie downstairs.

As we started to go down I heard a snap. One mouse down. I set the trap again and no sooner had I left the room than another snap. In all, over the weekend I have caught 11 mice. All with a passion for a killer caramel. And a liking for an untidy wardrobe.