One thing after another

You will be forgiven for thinking that these days it is ‘just one … thing after another’. Like Alan Bennett quoted in The History Boys. It seems that we have just taken on one emergency and think we can cope, when another one rears its ugly head.

In very uncertain times it is a comfort to see the wild animals follow their usual pattern. I have seen huge groups of birds getting together roaming the fields. This autumn there have been large flocks of goldfinch on the seed heads of grasses, it is the first time I have seen so many together. And of course, there are the ever-present crows marauding the fields looking for grubs and worms.

Then there are the ladybirds. Have you been invaded? We have been inundated this month, there are so many flying towards our south facing house wall that it has been impossible to sit outside without becoming covered with them. Now they have come indoors through invisible cracks and settled down for the colder months in a safe corner of the bedroom. They are the harlequin ladybirds, which have landed here from their original country of Japan. They may be a threat to our own little native ladybird.

Our very own native robin is thriving here though. We recently went away for a quick break and as soon as we opened the front door the robin came in. We were ready to go with my car engine running but the robin would not leave. He sat on the window ledge, on the back of my fireside chair and on the table. Eventually, with an indignant piping noise, he left through the front door. Then when we arrived home, he flew straight in again and did a few circuits indoors before going outside to perch and watch as we brought our bags in. It is our ‘Goodbye’ and ‘Hello’ robin.

Another very tame creature was a little black cat we met when visiting a stately home. It greeted us and stayed at my feet until I began to walk then it almost tripped me up as it deliberately fell to the floor and rolled over onto its back. There was no way of moving on until it had been stroked and then it left me and went back to wait for its next victim.

On our way home the worry was the petrol situation, but we managed to fill up before the motorway.  We were in the north which has not had the same shortages. One thing I did notice though was that the electrical charge up points were very popular, something else to think about perhaps. 

Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star


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