Sunday morning, total peace here in my own little corner of heaven.
This peace, however, was rudely shattered at 7.45 am by Bill baying, and Miss Maud yapping in a high-pitched frenzy. The Sunday papers, Lordy me, were being delivered - hours earlier than usual. This, coupled with the fact that for once I had slept far longer than usual, and wished to remain asleep, should have made me very grumpy indeed.
However, I was secretly proud of my protective canine companions. Last year, when our beloved Violet had her terrible accident in the lane outside the house, Bill saw it happen, and since then has waged a war against the perpetrator, the man who delivers the papers. Bill has never forgotten, and wreaks his revenge whenever L appears outside the house. Dear, clever Bill.
My lie-in ruined, I stumbled out of bed and drew up the blind. On the bank of the stream in the paddock, stood "my" heron. I could not believe my eyes - I had not seen him since the beginning of the summer, when the water levels dropped due to lack of rain, and seeing him today, seemed like a wonderful omen.
Usually he is balanced on the hand rail of the little chinese bridge we had built over the stream. I had never seen him on the ground - he looked a little like a pelican, crouched down. Then he stretched up, and put his head straight up, beak vertical to the sky. I opened the casement window to watch him. He preened himself, and then slowly rose up to the handrail on the bridge, perched for a minute, and took of in slow motion, wings flapping slowly, legs hanging down, positively prehistoric looking.
As he slowly rose up to clear the trees, a shot rang out, my heart sank, but he just veered right round, and flew off in the other direction. My clever heron, how pleased I was to see him again. Was he back again, to reassure me all will be well?
Now I am sitting in the kitchen as I am wont to do, Classic FM playing softly in the background, the dogs slumbering outside on the terrace, there is a small bird making little urgent whistling noises, and though technically in the village, I could be miles out in the countryside.
I have just listened to Faure's Agnus Dei, and next it will be Elgar's Serenade for Strings. A feast for the senses. I get such joy from wonderful music and my little personal nature reserve that surrounds me here.
Billy the Kid has just lain his dear head on my lap, and gazed up at me with his gentle, liquid brown eyes. Maud is standing in the doorway, staring intently at me. Time for a walk.
59 minutes ago