Seated in the arbour this morning, Jackie and I contemplated the wildlife around us. A squirrel scampering across the lawn was no doubt seeking store-cupboards for winter supplies. Underneath a thin covering of the grass lie ancient gravel footpaths. These are always the first sections to turn brown in a drought. A scuffed up part of one of these suggested that even a squirrel could not get through it to bury its spoils. Squirrels had, however, turfed out small potted seedlings from their containers; rather like cuckoos placing their eggs in foster parents’ nests. The bird-feeders had been refilled yesterday. Small birds were feasting from them, whilst the larger, ungainly, pigeons, hyena-like, scavenged for spillage on the ground. Jackie had emptied the bird-bath yesterday, with the intention of cleaning and refilling it today. This was because it had been fouled by the pigeons. A number of tits were flitting down, expecting a drink after their breakfast, only to be disappointed. So she refilled it and I am sure the birds expressed their gratitude.
The pigeon photographed on 13th. September drinking from the bath could not have been a soiling culprit. It had been ailing, and eventually succumbed to a marauding cat. We think a cat, rather than a fox, because it’s clawed body had not been eaten.
Having lunch at the kitchen table I admired the sweet peas which usually adorn it. Constantly cutting the flowers ensures frequent replenishment of the stock. Some of these will have come from the cosy arbour mentioned above. Another container of flowers regularly being filled is the ‘accident pot’. This sits on the patio between the kitchen door and that of the workroom/garage/potting shed; and is a receptacle for flowers which have been broken off inadvertently during the gardening activities.
Jackie explained the production of the sourdough bread we were eating. It is apparently the extra length of time in the yeast box which produces the strong flavour. She spoke of how she had enjoyed making bread for the harvest festivals with Matthew and Becky. The children used to love making little mice with which to decorate the sheaves of dough. They had a very special effect, since, by the time they were applied, they were always grey.
Later, we finished putting the pages for the project for Mum into the display albums; then worked on developing ideas for the logo for Elizabeth’s new company, Psychologists for Autism. Jackie came up with our favourite idea which we played around with to send to the professionals. Elizabeth has received a draft of a different idea which really isn’t suitable.
This evening Roc des Chevaliers 2010 and, for Jackie, Hoegaarden 2012 helped down her roast pork dinner followed by apple crumble and custard or cream depending on taste. A few strawberries found at the back of the fridge, although a bit crusty, were still edible.