Thursday, 15 April 2010
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.....
Posted by rachel at 18:49