This has been a pretty sedentary week. He has just been lying on the sofa (in my place, I might add) barking his head off. If I barked like that there would be uncomplimentary comments all round I can tell you (postman excepted, of course). We’ve been trying to get him to go to the Dogtor but to no avail – until yesterday. It doesn’t seem to have helped much, except that he is now much more smug about his coughing.
He spends his lucid moments complaining about how frustrating it is to be stuck there on his back while the rest of the world is getting on with it – and checking that the trains that run along the embankment keep to the timetable. The strange weather seems to have settled down, although I probably ought to say that very quietly, we don’t want to start it off again, now. The ferocious winds of last weekend and the early part of the week, and the driving rain and hail they brought with them, seem to have dwindled. At least the wind has dwindled to a more normal icy blast and the rain and hail now fall vertically instead of horizontally. With a little patch of blue sky and a smidgen of sunlight it seems quite spring-like. Until you go outside, that is.
He wanted you to see this picture of the daffodils along the road. It’s only the first few days of January and they are up and running. He hopes they know what they are doing and it doesn’t turn out that they are “too ‘asty” – see below for translation
It was pouring with rain this morning and it was close to coffee time too, so The Dog and I agreed on just a potter up the road to the village green and back. A good part of the way is under the shelter of the trees that make up the other side of our wood, so we could avoid getting absolutely soaked. Just as we reached the end of the drive, the squirrel, who was also just popping home for coffee, appeared in the road. The Dog was busy checking ‘The Place’ by the gatepost, where every passing canine leaves their calling card, so she didn’t notice the squirrel about six feet away. I stopped, tightened my grip on the lead and looked at the squirrel. The squirrel stopped, looked at The Dog going about her own affairs, and looked at me. He raised one eyebrow, shrugged, then disappeared into the hedge. I released the tension on the lead and we wandered off into the rain.
For these last few days we’ve had the excitement of a Yellow Hammer and two chicks trotting around at the foot of the bird table. The chicks look just like sparrows and it’s only that they constantly harass their parent that gives them away. We must have taken a thousand pictures of the little family group or the brightly coloured parent but in not one of them have the birds been in focus. In frustration, here is one of the least blurred.
You’d think that with a name like Foxgloves there would be no issues. Obviously, some of the naughtier fairies have given the foxes these gloves. The foxes can then tippy-toe into the chicken roost, without making so much noise that they alert the residents to their presence. Fairly straightforward you might assume, but not so. It would seem that if you search hard enough, even BG – i.e. Before Google – you can find a word in some ancient language that sounds a bit like glove. Of course, we don’t know how they pronounced these words from long dead languages and that helps in translation.
The end result is that we have Fox Glew, or Fox Music. The music created for foxes by the fairies who played the bells that are formed by the flowers hanging from the stem of the plant. Here, we have a troop, or skulk, of foxes sitting in a circle round a patch of Foxgloves. The EmCee fairy: “and now, get on down, get on down, I say. Here’s nuuumber five this week. Lets Boogie!”.
Boringly, they could also be FairyFolksGloves shortened to FolksGloves, easily transmuted in to FoxGloves. Really? How unimaginative!
By the way, the most usual misfortune that befalls children and Foxgloves, is related to the children drinking the water from the vase containing the flowers.
The message is clear. Don’t pick the flowers. Leave them for all to enjoy.