Wait!

Watching birds arriving at Jackie’s feeding station this morning, I was struck by the different approaches they exhibit.  The tits perform an undulating swoop across the sweeping lawns, reminiscent of Ducks and Drakes.  It is as if they bounce on thermals much as children’s flat stones do on still water surfaces during the game of that name. Robins pop up from anywhere.  Bright yellow-billed blackbirds, perhaps too large for the feeders, patrol the surface of the box hedge beneath the containers, picking up fallen scraps.  This is exactly what the pigeons do on the grass at The Firs.

After coffee I walked to Lyndhurst via Mill Lane and the A337; and back through Emery Down. Gorse Gorse, of course, flowers throughout the year, but the sunlight on a bright day such as this bestows a golden glow to the shrubs.

All around our new environment there are permanent road signs warning of queues ahead. Traffic queue A337 Easily outpacing vehicles headed for Lyndhurst as early in the year as 2nd April, I received an inkling of what we will experience in the high season.

My main purpose in visiting Lyndhurst was to collect the euros for my forthcoming trip to Sigoules.  The NatWest bank in the town is situated on a very dangerous corner bend. On emerging from the door of the building it is impossible to see what is coming round on the near side from your right.  There is a traffic island offering some refuge for people wanting to cross here and walk up the hill that is the main street.  The best approach is to wait for a gap in the stream of cars, walk to the kerb, lean forward, crane round, then nip across, hoping for the best.  I had reached the nipping across stage and made it halfway to the refuge when a cry of ‘wait!’ somewhat startled me.  Well, I was committed.  There was no turning back.  And something in the tone suggested that it was unlikely that the cry was addressed to me.  As I dived onto the secure area I came face to face with our neighbours Ari and Jackie.  Their little brown miniature dachshund seemed to have been rather to keen to go to the bank.  Replying to Ari’s question as to my well-being, I said ‘I’m fine now I’ve got across the road.  When I heard your ‘wait!’,  I thought ‘what? what?’.

Before Becky, Ian, and Scooby left for Mitcham, leaving Flo to spend more time with us, we all dined on Jackie’s chicken curry followed by apricot and rhubarb crumble.  I drank Kingfisher, Ian drank Peroni, and Flo drank milk.

Spring Is In The Air

PrimrosesMat, Oddie and I walked the ford loop via the churchyard path.  Primroses are now abounding in the hedgerows and daffodils mirror the lichen on the gravestones.

Churchyard daffodils

The Herdwick lambs were arousing the interest of a couple of neighbours.  One is quite black, the other pure white.  The farmer explained that Herdwicks normally ‘throw’ black lambs.  A white one is very unusual.

The Furzey Gardens alpacas normally pretty well ignore me when I pass. Alpacas Today they showed a great deal of attention.  It wasn’t until later that I realised they must have picked up Oddie’s scent, which is often not too savoury.

This afternoon there was a definite sense of spring in the air.  The sun shone and the garden birds flitted and swooped about.  I am beginning the recognise the languid loping line of the various tits aiming for the feeder.  I was able to stand very close without frightening them away.  It is amusing how they make for the shrubbery behind their food; perch there until they are sure it is safe to dive for the seeds, nuts, or fat balls; grab a morsel and flit away. Long tailed tit Indeed, one particular long tailed tit seemed less timid than a robin I startled.  Interestingly, there seem now to be three robins vying for territory.  We wonder which one will win out.

While Mat, Jackie and I played Scrabble this afternoon, we watched a number of large rabbits bounding and chasing each other across the lawns.

Later, Becky, Flo, and Ian joined us and we all dined on Jackie’s shepherd’s pie followed by Sainsbury’s sticky toffe pudding and custard.  Jackie drank Latitude 35 degrees S; Tess and I drank two different red wines; Ian had Peroni; and Mat, Becky and Flo abstained.