The ramble in question will be this posting to the blog, not the story of my afternoon’s walk, although that may well come into it at some stage.
Biggest laugh of the week came on Saturday, courtesy of the Lo-Cost Royal Wedding, with the arrival at the Guildhall in Windsor of the junior royals, mostly the grandchildren of Our Beloved Sovereign Lady Elizabeth. One can imagine the Chamberlain of the Household instructing these youngsters to assemble promptly in the courtyard at the castle to proceed by coach to the civil ceremony. One can then imagine the horror that must have descended upon these young people when they see arranged for their convenience, not the finest carriages from the royal mews, but a local bus adorned with the title “Windsorian”. I’ll bet there was some chinless wonder amongst them who wondered who Ian Windsor was, and whether one of grandad’s little indiscretions had finally caught up with the rest of the family.
Believe me, I am no republican, and have every sympathy with the Duke of Rothesay’s contempt for the reptiles that pursued him to Switzerland, but it’s great to be reminded why the pomp and ceremony actually helps keep things in some sort of looking-glass perspective.
Here’s a list of the birds that have come to dine at The Chookery this week:
Tits: great, coal, blue.
Finches: green, chaff.
Siskin: great fun these and good value as humming-bird impressionists.
That bastard phantam and his disreputable hen-chook mother from next door.
Thrush: mistle, pair (probably nesting in the pine tree in the paddock but not sure).
Woodpecker: spotted, great (feeding on the hanging fat ball and pigging the lot).
The buzzards nesting across the river are often clearly visible coming into and out of their nest. The male buzzard is somewhat sensitive to inquisitive crows and will give them a severely hard time if they show too much interest in his domestic circumstances.
Saw both the ospreys flying above their nest up the road this afternoon whilst out walking around the estate. Great sight.
I took pity on the geese yesterday because the ground in their pen had become water-logged. Some days ago I had cut down several clumps of rushes which were growing in the paddock and collected those to cover the base of the pen. This morning the geese had taken some of that into the old water tank that forms part of the coop and made a nice little nest, even adorning it with some downy feathers and, the piece de resistance, an egg. The last I swiped to add to the burgeoning collection in the fridge, which means that it was absolutely essential that I went for a walk this afternoon to visit neighbours and promote the eggy wellbeing that comes from a diet of goose eggs. Several promising noises so commercial success may yet be mine again. Ali at the restaurant may have lost two cats in the last fortnight, but she has kept a desire for my eggs and will come round to pick some more up later this week.
The Cat is still treating her litter tray with contempt, but not the sort of fruitful contempt that means I can give up my daily search for presents on the carpets. 1001 carpet cleaner is the remedy of choice until the little beast decides to overcome her abject terror of the great outdoors; I may have some wait.
The Queen of the Chooks returned to Somerset temporarily on Friday to work for another week until her new job starts up here. She should be back, finally and permanently, next Friday and will set about emptying more boxes into the house.