Laptop still crashing after ten minutes so here is a post that I’ve been trying to put up for the last couple of days. Caroline provided the photo which I just had to include …
I’m very lucky. Over the past few years I have got to know a lot of people and observed hundreds of different lifestyles through my decorating work. If the job is a long one, I become a fly on the wall. Listening mainly to my DAB headset sports radio as I work but sometimes looking beyond my brush.
I have been employed on a large estate for several months on and off, painting their 43 Georgian sash windows and doors (inside and out). Fiddly work but the radio and the wildlife keep me sane. My clients are kind and interesting too.
Half a mile from the road, the house is freed from the noise of passing traffic. A large range of birds are attracted by a handful of substantial feeders. Ducks and moorhens nest in the rushes at the side of their large natural pond. Swallows return each summer – in fact I flushed out a couple when I started Niftylift (their cherrypicker) in the barn this morning. They darted out so fast that I just glimpsed the shape of their wings before they accelerated into the clear blue sky.
When Jalopy and I rumble up the drive we are travelling into a different world, so packed with wildlife that any worries seem almost irrelevant. Here the 40 acres team with wildlife especually when all the humans are out.
Sometimes a pair of wagtails bob across the grass. Beautiful enchanting birds that I had never noticed before I worked on the estate. Even though we live just a couple of miles away, they are wise not to visit our garden – the Min Pins would have them in a trice as wagtails are ground feeders. There are blue pheasant nesting in their garden and a wild duck who’s successfully protected her brood of six obedient ducklings for two weeks now. I see them disappearing into the shrubbery when I disturb them as they guzzle dropped seed below the bird feeders.
It was here that I saw my first jay, heard baby owls who ‘terwit’ weeks before they ‘terwoo’. One quiet and sultry afternoon a hare lolloped past – just inches from my step ladder, heading for the kitchen garden and the young spring greens. This morning I spotted a green woodpecker arriving to feast.
This is the place where I first fell in love with a black Labrador. Patrick was sensitive and hugely intelligent. Sadly now enjoying that great meadow in the sky. His place has been filled by Beau. Large feet, low slung and affectionate, B has enchanted me. His big dog scent intrigues the Min Pins when I return home in the evening. I love catching his eye and feeling his head in my hand each morning.
Tomorrow is my last day and although I will really miss this haven, it has got under my skin and is part of me now.
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