Sunday, January 25, 2009

Postcard from outside

Even if politicians get slammed for talking about 'green shoots', it's nice to see the real thing coming through. Forget spin or economic analysis, the world is still turning and it's snowdrop season!

This weekend has also been the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch. Eighteen feathered guests visited us. All common species, but it's good to have the company. Good to have an excuse to gaze out the window too. Sitting in a dazed stupor can often be put down to the hard work of preparing to write (!), but this weekend it's all in the name of nature conservation.

I might brew a cuppa, find a comfy chair and take another look. The birds and the bulbs are getting busy.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Postcard from several degrees below

To say the UK is in the grip of a cold snap is to understate matters. What with the national obsession for talking about the weather, understatement is about as likely as High Street stores being saved from collapse by a sudden rush on bikinis. It's not as if we can afford to leave the country after all!

Out on the patio, frozen footprints tell a story – the only ones venturing out are cats and birds. Both are looking for food. The cat does not live here, but the evidence is clear. A trail of footprints takes a direct route from its own house, via a call at our back door to see if anyone's home, through to the neighbour on the other side. The return route is shorter. Having been unlucky in its attempts to gain access, it backtracks to try its luck with the houses to the other side.

The birds were luckier – there is seed on the bird feeder and no sign of them having encountered the cat!

Here's hoping the weather warms up soon…