Well its bank holiday Monday and its after five in the afternoon. The beef has just gone in the oven. No, my clay oven needs a lot of attention after the winter and may even need a complete rebuild. I’m not keen on that as we are unlikely to be here this time next year.
We are just back from a couple of hours walk from the cabin, along the river then up to King Arthurs cave and back down the road. Always amazed at how lush the Ramsons are just below the caves and how long they can last in the shadier places. The usual suspects were out in force, dog’s mercury, wood anemony and lords and ladies with the odd violet here and there. Saw my first bluebell of the year, just a few small specimens here and there. Everything seems late this year, but I’m not good at judging yet, even after six years by the river here. Up north I’m not used to spring coming till about July.
On the last leg of our walk a shy roebuck darted across the road in front of us, we usually see fallow, more concerned with the cyclists plodding up the hill toward us. It’s always amusing when a crowd completely misses something wonderful under their noses and you get to witness it.
I’d gone for a walk to get away from the bank holiday public, knocking on for directions or other trivia. I’ve loads of admin to do and a sunny day like this and all the solar energy I can use is not usually to be wasted outdoors. Seems ironic that the best day all year means staying in and sitting at a computer.
Anyway, just as the sun disappears behind the ridge opposite I can’t help but reflect on an otherwise fantastic 24hours.
After a lovely dinner yesterday, a pork vindaloo (my speciality, an authentic Anglo Indian recipe from Goan friends) and lots of wild garlic kitcheree. And a little alcohol and tv, well, a video and lots of settee time. I’d just that morning given a well received and if I say so myself an excellent public discourse, but it had exhausted me and some comfort and succour was in order. Late on I talked Sue into a drive to the top of the hill to collect text messages. The trip was fruitless except for the usual treats, badgers and stuff on the ride, always like the first time.
Arriving back in the dark we were greeted to quite a common site, twenty plus fallow dear right in front of the cabin. What made for a memorable experience was that we parked just a few meters from their, barely visible in the dark, bodies, noisily grazing. Still talking as loud as we liked, we exited the car and to our surprise, not a movement from the dear. They were doing that thing they do, like children pretending to be invisible. We stood among them talking now to them. After what seemed an age one got up from its couch just under our nude tepee and, as if bored, wandered away. The others followed, but not obediently, not immediately.
We have been here six years and enjoyed many a joyful moment, and of course we’re no strangers to interacting with wildlife in our previous lives, but this was a special moment. Well for us.