Today was possibly even warmer than yesterday, although the sun did not fully penetrate the heavy cloud cover which I described, according to Jackie with more than a touch of hyperbole. I have no idea what she meant.
Wearing a jacket to walk down to the village shop, and return via the footpath leading to Home Farm Cottage and Seamans Lane, was definitely surplus to requirements.
A one child family of black cattle grazed in a field on the way down. Tails were whisking away with irritated regularity. Since the calf was sticking like a limpet to its mother’s backside, I wasn’t sure whether her twitching appendage was for the benefit of the flies crawling all over her, or wafting in an attempt to dislodge her anxious offspring.
Possibly the result of seasonal atmospheric affects, any piles of pony droppings that have been in situ for a while are coated with a grey fur, so that from a distance they look like a child’s cuddly toy.
We are betwixt summer and autumn. Possibly for that reason, the plant destroyers are gradually approaching nearer the house. Rabbits are beginning to tear up the lawn in earnest. There must now be a community to rival that described by Richard Adams in Watership Down. His description of the small animals’ terror of the motor car, as they became transfixed by headlights, must have been very accurate. Our rabbits seem to have no such fear of John’s lawn mower. Perhaps he should work at night with the aid of a miner’s lamp. According to Mo, their damage is cyclical. They fill the lawn with holes they are emptying. The managing agents organise a cull. The lawn is undisturbed for a year or two. The rabbits come again. The rabbits are culled. And so on, no doubt, ad finitum. Before the rabbits, according to John, came the moles, whose hills he had to clear up before he could do anything else.
I have described before how at least one deer is becoming less timid. Today, as I entered Lower Drive, one, possibly the very same, startled, leapt across my path, almost making me jump.
When I volunteered to contribute to the meal this evening Jackie, feigning panic, held up her left hand, arm outstretched, and said: ‘No. It’s all right. I’m too tired for you to cook’. Perusal of my post of the 18th should explain her reaction. Unaided, and therefore unhindered, and pandering to my penchant for alliteration, she produced a succulent chicken Kiev, crisp croquette potatoes, carrots and cauliflower accompanied by a ratatouille that Remy would have been proud of. This was followed by a luscious toffee bomb from Lidl, for which Jackie made some custard because I am going to France for a week tomorrow and ‘will have to make do with creme Anglaise’. I drank a couple of glasses from Sainsbury’s House Red box.