Having a quacking good time


I have done it! I have been cycling for the first time in a year. And I noticed many others had the same idea too. We are all suddenly taking to the road on our bikes.

Admittedly, it was only a short ride but oh, how fantastic it was to be there on the open road. So different from being in a vehicle. I felt part of the countryside on our little lane. There were lots of wildflowers I had not noticed before when I drove past in the car. They are growing so fast, like a centimetre a second! Especially the huge hollow stemmed hemlock, it seemed that it was taller when I cycled back. We used to call it rabbit meat, but rabbits do not eat it (they eat our vegetables). The only thing that stops hemlock in its tracks is the farmer’s cutter.

Something stopped me in my cycling tracks though, and that was the potholes. I had to steer round them and if a car was coming behind me, I had to stop and wait. The driver behind would not know why I was steering into the middle of the road so unexpectedly. There was also a rabbit in the road, and I pondered, only for a second, as to whether I should steer round it. But it hopped off long before I got there.

The rabbits breaking into the garden have gone underground and are not a problem for now, but we have another pest. A pair of mallards have taken up residence and are trying to swim about in our garden ponds. Mr T has put netting over the water, but the ducks just sit on top until it caves in and they can happily feel the water on their bellies. The trouble is they eat the pond plants and wildlife in there.

Every morning the ducks are on the lawn. They wander about and trample into the flower bed. I would not mind but there is a pond in the corner of Oak Meadow, and they have nested there for years but this year, for some reason, they have chosen our garden.

I have completed my vote for the Police Crime Commissioner and local councillors. I have done it by post for years, not because I am old, but because it is so easy. Ballot papers go in envelope A. Then this envelope and my voting statement go in envelope B. No problem, except that the returning officer’s address was not showing in the window. I had to break in to my own envelope and stick it back with Sellotape. Now I am wondering if it will still count.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)

The wild flowers on the road side are growing so fast


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