The Naked Detective

Much weeding today. Keith topped up his grass seed order with some wild flower seed for the back track, so today I took the mattock to the waist high weeds on the bank under the trees. We will need to wait for some rain to soften things up to give them a chance – it’s like concrete!

After hacking away in Stakhanovite fashion for ages, I came down to make a cup of tea and went to see if Keith wanted one. He kindly took the opportunity to point out that the grass in the edges of the stream was seeding and if I didn’t get it out there would be more next year. I confess, a dark afternoon of the soul set in at that point. To the grass we need to add the buttercups, the thistles, the ladies bedstraw, the garlic cress, that yellow thing with the hairy seed heads, Uncle Tom Cobley and All. The grass had not, as it happens, escaped my notice. I have been weeding fairly steadily – were it not for the cows’ passion for eating it, the compost heap would be 20 feet high. But however many you weed out there are more, lurking and maliciously setting seed. Anyway, I muttered a bit, made the tea and then pulled out the grass. By 6 I was completely pooped so Lyra and I took the long way back to the house, ambling round the field to chat to the Coos, who were having a nice loll. She does love her ladies…..

Later, whilst soaking in the bath with a cup of coffee and a banana (as you do) I turned my attention again to the house martin nests. As before, the left hand nest was getting lots of efficient house martin action – but there was something just not quite right about the right hand side nests. It’s not easy to see the detail from the bath, what with the steam on the inside of the window and the extensive bird poop on the outside. A closer look was needed.

I rose from the Radox Muscle Soak for Men (B*stards get all the good bubble bath) like Venus from the surf and clambered onto the top of the toilet seat (having put the lid down of course). The view of the birds was much better (and if there was a pervert on top of the Cheviot with a giant telescope trained on the house, doubtless he could have said the same). The presence of a Rubenesque nude on the other side of the glass did not phase the left hand house martin and it kept up its intensive feeding regime. The right hand side bird seemed a bit put off . I could see little hungry beaks in the nest and hear chirruping though – the chicks needed feeding. It seemed to me that having got myself in this ridiculous position it would not do to retreat without achieving my objective, so I decided to wait it out. My patience was eventually rewarded when I came nose to beak with a small brown bird, definitely not a house martin, which had clearly moved in to the house martin’s nest (It was definitely built by one as I watched it go up and the window was much less poop besmirched at that point) now presumably abandoned. It looked a bit like a dunnock (hedge sparrow) – but would one come up this high?? I think standing on the loo with the Observer Book of Birds may be a step too far so this may never be verified….

Strolling over to report my findings (now decently clad) I observed that everything in the garden was lovely and smelled divine. The roses and the honeysuckle are out and the bees are happy. Who cares about a few weeds.

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