Wednesday, May 07, 2008


There are a pair of '14-'18 biplanes high up in the sky above the farm this afternoon performing loops and other acrobatic manoeuvres (Immelman turns?). Maybe someone is making a movie.

Earlier I watched a red kite trying its best to soar gracefully whilst a crow repeatedly niggled it from the side, pecking at the larger bird's head, presumably in defence of a nearby nest.

The red kites first appeared in these parts two or three years ago and, like the Poles, are now a good deal less rare. Maggie leaves out bacon for them on the summer house wall.

There's a dead bunny on the lawn close to a bed of tulips with its guts at full extension. A big black crow has landed at a safe distance and keeps hopping towards the carcass, but every time I shift my position it reluctantly turns its back and retreats. The lawn has that freshly-mowed smell because my father was out on his tractor-mower a little earlier.

The Housemartins returned from their winter break in the Med a fortnight ago. George the stallion had bird-crap on his whithers again.

Once the horses here are patas arriba, their remains are fed to the lions and tigers at Longleat. George is getting on a bit at 35. Through him I've learned that horses can be wonderfully characterful and demonstrative creatures.

My favourite tree in the garden used to be the Japanese Cherry, which used to blossom beautifully around this time of year. When it inexplicably died in 2006, my father bought Maggie a weeping willow sapling, which is now doing just fine a few feet away from its predecessor's stump, around which the grass has been left to grow long.

The tulips are past their prime; a pity because my final farewell BBQ has been organised for next Sunday. I've advertised it as a pool party. That's "very LA," quips Surfer. "Shall I bring some bling?"

The air is suddenly thudding now as a big Chinook passes over the valley. Prince William dropping in on his bird in Chapel Row again?

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