I looked in the fridge for my porridge this morning only to discover I had miscalculated again. (I make a double portion every other day as I found it hard to judge the quantities for a small single portion.) While I put a pan of porridge on to cook I thought I might as well use the time to walk up the hill to collect our recycling box. I had driven it up on Tuesday on my way to the hospital but with the Easter holiday collections were a day late so it wasn't ready to bring down on my way home. At the moment neither of us leaves the valley for days on end so the empty box was still up at the top of the hill and the recycling was piling up on the kitchen counter.
The day had started sunny and there was still blue sky with fluffy white clouds to the east but coming in from the west was the leading edge of a cloudbank. Things got a little cooler as the clouds blocked out the sun but so far there hasn't been any rain. My neighbour drove by as I was walking down and offered me a lift but I was quite happy strolling along in the fresh air.
I did some extra tidying up in the garden because the estate agent had rung asking if we could do a viewing tomorrow afternoon. Peter asked them to check if the prospective buyers were aware that this is quite an isolated property (if you've been used to living in a town) and so far we haven't had an email confirming the viewing.
Another sign of the approaching summer - the first swallows have arrived back. I was just thinking about them and wondering if I should get some big sheets of cardboard or newspaper to put on the floor below their nests when I heard their high pitched double t'wit, t'wit and there they were swooping overhead.
One advantage of the trees being leafless is that it is easier to watch the birds. For the last few weeks at least I have seen 2 male blackbirds perched about 3ft apart on the same branch. This morning as I lay on the floor doing my exercises I could see them in the big tree on the corner. First one would hop towards the other who would hop away along on the branch and then their roles would be reversed. I've been wondering if they were fledged in the same nest and maybe spent the winter together. Just now I looked out of the window and they were back on their usual branch but before I could take a photo they jumped up and had a mid-air fight falling down to the hedge below after which one took possession of the tree for a while.