The voice of a sombre US President on the six am radio. Again.
It's rained overnight. When we venture out the young swallows are washing themselves in puddles in the courtyard. The rich blue of their wing feathers glistening royally in the early sun. How argumentative and noisy they are. A trill of mysterious sibling melodies. The PONs, ever hopeful, see what's happening, yelp with excitement and hurtle after the young birds. To demonstrate their mastery of the air the chicks shoot up, flex their wings and swoop and dive and twirl inches away from the heads of their enthusiastic pursuers. Playful gymnasts. They repeat their gravity defying routine of back flips and right angle turns a second, then third, then fourth time before they soar away to fresh adventures. They're young, the world is achingly beautiful and gravity only applies to older generations. In Scotland and Italy different swallows and different PONs used to play the same games. I thought it then and I think it even more now - for those who take the time to look nature paints a canvas of reassurance.
Some mornings you take your solace where you can find it.
Exhausted, the PONs clamber into the back of the car and promptly fall asleep. The sort of contented silent sleep that tells you they're dreaming of times long ago when PONs chased swallows in a Polish field.
In McDonald's they've hung bunting with all the flags of the nations participating in the European football championships. Scotland, again having failed to qualify, notable by its absence.
In the grocery store something I've never seen before. A bottle of mare's milk. Very Mongolian. Thank heavens I read the lable before buying it.