My lovely Newcastle visitors have been and gone. During their visit, they were rained on, almost blown out to sea, rained on some more, and eventually granted one fine day in which to see Somerset without accompanying wateriness in the air, underfoot, or raging in torrents via rivers and brooks.
They watched badgers; they walked up to Dunkery Beacon; they had tea and cake in Periwinkle Cottage; they had their photographs taken many more times than they had expected; they were swiped splashily by the wet tail of the Hobby Horse, and they had (so they tell me) a very nice time.
I had fretted slightly beforehand about what fussy eater Dave would eat (answer: everything, with gusto) and if up-and-down-all-night Sandra would sleep (answer: like a log) but they didn't fret at all, about anything, even with the appalling weather and local flooding that made us change most of our plans.
We were sorry to see them go home, and hope that they will come again soon. The dogs had been in heaven; two favourite people coming to stay in their house!
After seeing them onto their train, the companion and I went off to strange and wonderful Wells reclamation and salvage yard, where we found the right size and colour of stone slabs for my soon-to-be-rerouted garden path. Cost: next to nothing.
We did not buy this.
We braved the flooded road across the Somerset Levels and stopped at the RSPB site at Greylake, in misty light rain; few birds were visible, but the surround-sound of birdsong rising from the reeds and willows was magical.
The birds disregarded this notice.
And then we came home to a strangely quiet house, where cats told us to stop moping and to just get that dinner served, please.