Thursday, 15 April 2010

Lunch in the country


Off on a jaunt today, to visit friends who live in a Northumberland village, receiving a warm welcome from their lovely dog, who I'm sure wasn't anticipating the large bone-shaped biscuit treat I'd brought him - he only put his head in my handbag to check that I'd put my keys away safely, didn't he? Does this look like cupboard love to you?


"You are going into a deeeeep sleeeeep.... you will find another bone-shaped biscuit for meeeeee....."

Then out for lunch in Meldon Park where Stewart & Co have an outpost. As we sat chatting, a pair of greater spotted woodpeckers swooped on and off the bird feeders - sadly, my photo through glass doesn't show the detail of this striking bird, but it's there on the feeder. Exciting for me to see it - I often hear a woodpecker on my allotment, but have never managed to see it.


Then back to the village and my friends' house, yet again failing to spot any of the red squirrels that cross her garden after ignoring the ropes strung across the treetops to keep them off the road. We drank tea, walked round the garden, groaning at the relentless invasion of ground elder, and had muddy sticks brought to us by the ever-hopeful dog.

The village is well-cared for by its well-heeled residents, and every Spring, organised posses of locals walk the roadsides picking up litter thrown from passing cars.

It's an opportunity to get to know each other, and the pickings are rich and varied, and good for discussion, bewilderment, horror, outrage and the occasional laugh. Empty alcohol bottles are usual, and this year someone's extensive bottle recycling collection, thoughtfully tied up in a large bin liner, was left for the village to dispose of. What possesses people, we wonder, in these days of council-provided refuse collection, recycling points and wheelie bins, to drive through quiet lanes and streets and throw quantities of their unwanted possessions out of the car as they do so?


Last year's best and most-discussed find was a full bottle of rum and a pornographic video; this year my friend found a heap of soft-porn magazines in the ditch, but more mysteriously, a large number of packets - of laxative pills. Work that one out.....

9 comments:

Val said...

"work that one out.." ...you know I'm not really sure that I'd want to

Lovely dog ...Masterful Cupboard love skills displayed :0)

Susan said...

handsome dog says
Miss Winnie Dixon

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I tend to agree with Val . I'm not sure I'd want to work out large quantities of aforesaid pills ... not that it would take long ...Sorry , being vulgar again .

The sheer kemptness of the Northumberland countryside impresses the visitor and now I know why , it's even more impressive . Could the bottle of rum and porno video be meant as a tip , rather along the lines of a Christmas box , for the helpful rural "recyclers" ?

Friko said...

what a mess people leave behind them in this beautiful land. I love Northumberland, my favourite boss ever was Northumbrian and I've spent some happy holidays there.

Handsome doggy, very sensible too, by the looks of him. Where else would you look for food but in someone's bag.

elizabethm said...

I love Northumberland and that is a fine dog!

Linda said...

Glad you're feeling better. I've always fancied going to Northumberland, I'm into bleak places and no people!!

Rattling On said...

That is one handsome dog!

My sister had people in to do her garden. They cut down loads of Leylandii and other overgrown shrubs and took them away for composting (for which she'd paid extra). A while later she got a court summons to appear for fly tipping. Now, the 'gardeners' had done the tipping, but how had the council traced the stuff back to her!?! It all got sorted in the end but it makes you realise just what does go on.

marci said...

re the laxative pills: if you have to ask...

Poshyarns said...

Eeeugh to the fly tipping.

But the dog, oh he is gorgeous, how could anyone resist.

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