‘Your parcel has been delivered to your enclosed porch.” I read my email with puzzlement because we do not have an enclosed porch. I went out to see if I could find my delivery. I looked on the steps, in the greenhouse, in the shed and even in the coal bunker, but I could not find anything.

That evening I went to the lounge and tripped over my parcel which must had been thrown in through the front door. I was pleased to solve the mystery but a bit affronted that our graceful entrance hall had been labelled as a ‘porch’. It was also surprising that someone had been able to open our door without my knowing. It does not open quietly. It is a heavy ash door and you often you have to put your shoulder to it to get in. It made me think about keeping the door locked in future.

My friend has also learnt the same lesson. Not that she has an old creaky door like ours. I went to see her, but although I shouted ‘Hello, hello,’ several times no one was there. I let myself in and sat in her conservatory. Eventually she found me sitting there. She had been on the phone but even so I could have been anyone waiting for her in the dark.

Now that it is getting dark earlier. Mr T and I play a game of ‘Pente’ whilst our dinner is cooking. You each have a supply of coloured glass beads and the idea is that you take turns to place these on a board. The winner is the one that gets five in a row.

I remember a game called five stones. We used to play as children when we were at the top of our lane waiting for the school bus. You had to collect five stones from the ground and squatting down we held them in the palm of our hands. Then we threw them in the air to and try and get them to land on the back of our hand. Not sophisticated and not easy, but always fun.

And it is not so easy for the birds to find food now there is less daylight. I have a beautiful mahonia flowering, it is called Winter Sun and it really does look like a yellow sun rising with rays spreading out into a cold blue sky. The blue tits love it too and forage in the blooms for pollen and nectar. It will not be long before the flowers are destroyed by the birds. I am used to seeing bumble bees on flowers, but bird intruders are a great surprise.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)


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