Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Summer torpor

It's heating up. 32 degrees forecast for today. We're out at six to wander down to the stream and the waterfall while it's still cool. Angus walks, the PONs run.

On our way back I try to take a picture of the Coot chicks. The Coots are very shy. By the time I've pulled out the i-Phone they're safely hidden in the thick foliage. Getting a picture of them will be my summer challenge.

This mornings croissant an unusual shape. Not that this deters the PONs who think it wonderful.

Today the baker is big on strawberries. In fact strawberries rule to the exclusion of everything else.

Back at The Rickety Old Farmhouse we have breakfast outside at the recently power washed grooming table. The dining table on the terrace, where we usually eat, is out of bounds. Three families of wrens have built nests in the terrace beams. The parents are busy flying too and fro feeding their remarkably noisy chicks. As a result the human inhabitants have moved to allow these honoured guests some peace and quiet.

Sophie has found her warm weather spot under the interim breakfast table.

A golden oldie. The mantelpiece in this is strangely distracting as is the furniture: https://youtu.be/dMaaJZSTVCA?t=55

Monday, June 17, 2019

Baby coots + pond + Sophie = Owners high stress levels.

There are three baby coots nesting in the dense undergrowth on one side of the village pond.

Sophie, who takes a keen interest in all things small and fluttery ( and edible ) rushes over to see them

The baby coots, followed by their mother, rush into the safety of the shrubbery. They use the water lily leaves as stepping stones.

Sophie is grabbed and 'encouraged' home before she can leap headlong into the the pond in pursuit. Sophie by temperament is a 'consequences be damned ' girl who lives for the moment. Given half a chance she would be in the pond and Angus would be in there too pulling her out. Bob by contrast understands that the pond is full of water and should be avoided.

The mayor has fixed a strange contraption to the plane tree by the ox track. 'The Font' thinks it may be a bees nest protector. It has been carefully shaped to cover a depression in the side of the trunk. A small metal entrance with a circular hole is the only way in - or out.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Grown up ices.

A run of grey, chill mornings. We opened the pool two weeks ago but it's been too cold to venture in. Sophie joins me as I check the pH balance. She ponders whether a third-party candidate will take some of the anti-Trump vote and upend the electoral college results. Before giving me an answer her train of thought is interrupted. She shrieks, leaps onto her feet  and chases after an audacious collar dove that's wandering across the lawn. Politics can wait.

There is a very friendly young black labrador in the village. It's at the '' what fun to chase cars " age. I stop and walk him home. The PONs, in the back of the car, maintain a running  commentary on these unfolding events .

At the supermarket they've got a promotion on paella dishes.

The new cafe does a roaring trade in Indian Naan cheese wraps.

Angus buys some grown up ices from the frozen food store. Grapefruit and blood orange or lemon, lime and ginger flavours. Surely the sun must come out sometime ?

There aren't many houses to be seen : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWFcZgdMNn8

And then there's this : https://youtu.be/1GR_NqXFNdA?t=2777

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Again ?

A grey and borderline chilly morning.

What better way for a girl to start her day than ...

... play catch over ....

,,, and over and over again ?

How about just one more throw ?

Friday, June 14, 2019

And hope and history rhyme

I think Sophie's being aloof but in fact she's looking grumpily at two pigeons who have had the audacity to settle on the branches of a holm oak. One of her holm oaks !

Bob has noticed that the odd job man has left the pool cover out to dry on the lawn. The chlorine has killed off an oblong patch of grass. The family fellow does one of those bizarre wrestling on the ground type things that dogs do and ends up rolling on his back down the hill. This is the cause of great satisfaction and happy amazement. 

Village checked, animals accounted for, school bus observed, croissants tasted. The PONs are ready for an active day on the stoop.

'The Font' returns to howls of acclamation. We catch up :

A Swedish  restaurant has opened in what used to be the Salvation Army hall ( what are the chances of that ? ). Swedish meat balls are on the menu. A table of no less than fourteen Swedes come in and express surprise at the wetness of the weather.

At the cinema there are half an hour of adverts before the main feature. The adverts are big on funeral plans, Indian restaurants and ' Great deals on new model Fords'. Rocketman proves to be unexceptional.

The workmen descend on the wee house. They all have names ending in son. Robertson, Donaldson, Johnson, Wilson. The taxi driver is Mr Williamson.

The window cleaner shows up. 'The Font' tells him to be careful climbing up his ladder. He looks bemused. Seems window cleaners haven't used ladders since the dark ages. He has a device that shoots high pressure water, pumped from the back of his truck, onto the windows . He clambers through the vennel to do the back windows. This costs 18 pounds. He is delighted with a two pound tip.

There is a conference on solar flares in the science faculty. 'The Font' wanders in to a lecture. '' Are you registered ? '' asks a woman in a grey chunky knit sweater who is sitting at a table by  the door. ' No ' replies 'The Font'. ''That's fine then '' says the chunky knit woman with evident disinterest.

The PONs are delighted the flock is back together. Bob exudes an inner happiness that hints that he alone has found the wandering sheep. The boy done good.

Earlier in the week a video of an American Presidential candidate was posted alongside a comment holding out little hope for British politicians. Then I was sent this tweet. Anyone who reads Seamus Heaney would get my vote :

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Sunny morning - much to do.

The sun just rising as we turn left out of the gate and head through the village to the pond.

Half an hour later, as we retrace our steps, the sun has risen.

Readers of the blog will be pleased to learn that everything is in order. Goats, donkeys, calves and horses all accounted for. Jackdaws, collar doves and a pair of recalcitrant pigeons all chased across the village green. Sophie shrieks with delight.

Bob stands on his stump seat to monitor the village little ones as they head off in the school bus. His sister takes a rather more relaxed approach to guarding.

Time for the male PON to have a thorough grooming.  He clambers, willingly, onto the wooden garden table. A chance for him to be the centre of attention for twenty minutes.

Angus notes that the hair on one side of Bobs muzzle has been trimmed an inch shorter than on the other side. Bob is quite unconcerned.

Sunny morning music : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCSQd8Nx4mI

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Down to the wood.

A beautiful scudding cloud type morning. Bob and master sit on the concrete storm drain and put the world to rights. Sophie doesn't want to put the world to rights. She wants to chase small fluttery things among the stalks of wheat. It goes without saying that any small fluttery things are alerted to her presence by her constant squeals of excitement. They are in no danger.

Bob listens patiently to his masters thoughts on whether China's President Xi will show up at the G-20 meeting in Osaka. Our conversation is interrupted by the passage of the howling Westie in the green metallic Toyota Land Cruiser. After that the young garagiste sweeps by in his little black Citroen with the raspy exhaust note. Two farmers in white Renault vans go along the lane in the other direction. By this time all pretence at discussing weighty matters has gone. It's time to think about curly croissant ends.

'The Font' has returned to the wee house in Scotland to deal with decorators. Before going Angus is told when to put a quiche in the oven for lunch.  Maybe I got the settings wrong but the quiche swells up like a souffle. 'The Font' is called and expresses some surprise.  

Sophie has woken up to the fact that the standard of the in house cuisine may have taken a downward turn.

Back in Scotland the decorators are wondering what could have happened to floor boards that have had three layers of undercoat, two layers of durable floor paint and a double layer of varnish applied to them.  The tenants have worn the paint down to the wood. The foreman opts to sand down the floors and repeat the seven step process all over again. Cue for 'The Font' to head home.

Don't think this guy can win but good to see a politician setting out an adult , lucid, thoughtful approach to world affairs. He admits that things can never go back to the way they were before 2016 which is refreshing realism. Meanwhile his British counterparts are busy trying to show their populist credentials by telling us they tried cocaine 20 years ago. The contrast is beyond embarassing . https://www.nbcnews.com/video/watch-pete-buttigeig-s-first-speech-on-foreign-policy-and-national-security-61714501707