The consolations of Spring.
The Herbs and I are up at the farm for a deep chlorophyll soak and a spot of the wide open solace which is so abundant here. The idea was to get sleep for me and cavorting for them. I forgot to factor in the fact of Spring and arrived to find the amplifier turned up full on everything. The days heave with the fanfare of new life and birds and reptiles and everything bellowing the joy of it all. In the three weeks since I was last here the garden has gone from Winter-bare to out-of-hand fecund, the grass as high as a Remington’s eye, the jasmine galloping full-tilt towards world domination.
The nights are punctured by the enthusiasms of an over excited Master Willy Wagtail who sits in the magnolia outside my bedroom, practicing, like some small loved-up suitor, his four-note song. Over and over. And over. All night. Every night. He is thus every year. May he find himself a girlfriend, soon, please dear universe. His fellows of the same species take up the day space, swooping and diving, marching in with their brass bands and beating on their drums. There are the Cackling Birds, the Vomit Birds, the Washboard Birds. The Whompoo Fruit Doves (not a made-up name), altogether more stately fellows, call in the early morning misty hours to one another from the strangler field in one field to the strangler fig in the next. They remind me of that childhood rhyme “Two fat gentlemen met in the lane/ Bowed once, bowed twice and bowed once again”.
On my way to the bathroom last night I found this rather fetching gentleman on the floor of Ms P’s room:
He was sitting very peaceably, minding his own business, but clearly grey polypropylene shag (remnant of the previous incumbents I hasten to add) was not going to be his ideal habitat. And besides, I didn’t particularly fancy treading on him in the night. So with the aid of my trusty broom – I very much like frogs but not on a skin-to-skin basis – and with his impeccable manners intact, we managed to get him out of the front door and into the cool night. Frogs are no strangers to the inside of this house but invariably one meets them in the Salon of Ease where doubtless they find the porcelain pan a delightfully cool, damp place to be.
There have been other adventures with carpet pythons, with escaped dogs and with a gang of heifers. But this is, after all (at least putatively) a houseyhousey blog and besides, the adventure with the snake was too sad to relate.
So here instead is a picture of some viburnum flowers from the garden plonked into a vase in my kitchen. Doing their level best to cheer up Mr Moustaches. Which is somewhat of a Sisyphean task.