Welcome to family, friends and visitors. Here you will find interesting (hopefully) pictures of my part of the world, news of our household and probably, long ramblings about anything that catches my interest.

Tuesday 31 July 2012

Cool & Wet.

Back once more to our usual summer weather. Grey, often wet and 11-12C (the side bar display gives the weather in town). Today I changed out of my pj's, (I'm seeing how much of the summer I can spend in nightwear), so that Linas and I could take some junk to the Ilfracombe dump and drop into Tescos on the way back.
I had to show these lovely flowers which my friend brought me the other day, they are especially appreciated as they are the only flowers I have been given. Not that I need flowers with the garden looking so good.

So today when we were in Tescos I bought myself a non-fattening treat. The colour is an even more intense purple than in the picture. Sometimes I do well with orchids and sometimes not. I bought one for my classroom and that flowered for 2 years but hasn't done so well at home.

Nothing much else happening at home. I spent the morning checking out washing machines, even looking on eBay. Buying new can be from £200 - £3,000 (Miele) so I might just go for a local reconditioned one. The one I have is an Indesit, I know they are rubbish so I don't think it is worth getting someone in to repair it. You pay at least £50 for someone just to come out. I think it's the electronic programming gone wrong as it just keeps on going on and on and won't stop. I might even let Linas take the top off so we can have a poke around because I don't think we could make it worse.

Monday 30 July 2012


A little cooler still today. We lost the sun in the afternoon and had a few showers. Had another medium gall stone attack today so I think I'll have to go 100% fat free until I have the op. It's a little earlier start to my diet than I was planning but I'd rather not take the risk. I haven't done very much today, the back is improving but I'm getting more pain from the nerve that runs down my leg. I only hope that this settles down as at the moment it is worse than before the op.
Linas saw the fox walking down the drive today, I hope he's not trying to work out how to get to my two old hens.

Sunday 29 July 2012


The weather today has been much the same as yesterday, mostly sunny but cooler especially when the many clouds obscured the sun.
I have been taking things easy today. Now that the hot weather is over there is not the incentive to go and bask in the warm sun though I did sit outside in the afternoon. I have to admit that despite all my good intentions I have been sneaking in a little gardening each day, just watering the hanging baskets or a little weeding where I can reach. Yesterday I saw a big fox walking in the garden. I did run for my camera but he had disappeared by the time I got outside so instead I shouted and made a lot of noise to scare him off.

This afternoon I had another gall stone attack, luckily medication and a hot water bottle made it pass quickly but I'll be so glad when that gall bladder is removed.

Saturday 28 July 2012


It was all change with the weather today. The temp was down to 13C, there were clouds in the sky and even the occasional heavy shower. After yesterday's excitement and staying up late last night I was quite tired today. I got up quite early and hung washing on the line but the 2nd load of washing has spent the whole day swooshing around in the machine. That machine is so on its way out. I've just tried switching it off for a while and seeing if that is any better but I think I'll have to listen for the end of a spin and then switch it off again to rescue my sheets.
Obviously I was up late watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony. I'm in 2 minds about it and overall I don't think it matched the Beijing ceremony. Parts were impressive but others seemed to be quite obscure and by the deafening silence of the commentators they didn't get the references either though was Hobbiton deliberate or not? I loved the use of children and the fact that our NHS was highlighted but jive? And while we all love the Beatles and having the whole stadium singing Hey Jude was brilliant am I the only person who thought that Paul McCartney's voice let him down, (no fault of his after all he is 70)? On the other hand we enjoyed all the music references. Indeed Tubular Bells is the album on top of the pile next to my PC waiting to be transferred onto the hard drive. The cauldron concept was brilliant but my very favourite moment of the whole evening had to be Ronald Atkinson in the persona of Mr Bean. That was a real laugh out loud moment.

Friday 27 July 2012

A Great Day.

I've had a really lovely day today. This has been due to a group of friends coming round for ... well it was either a late lunch or an early tea. Let's call it an afternoon soiree. Basically we sat out in the garden chatting, drinking tea and eating lots of home-made food. The weather has been a lot cooler today with more clouds in the sky and a brisker breeze but it was still sunny without the wearing heat of the last few days.

I was too busy having a great time with my friends to remember to take photos so here is an after shot of the cheesecake I made (wasn't sure just how many of us there would be). Everyone brings food so we had a selection of salads, smoked salmon, ham, cheese, both egg and tuna mayonnaise as well as fruit & biscuits. Linas has been a great help all day, moving chairs, mowing the lawns and acting as our waiter. He even did all the washing up. This is my kind of party. Maybe it's because I don't drink (2 week hangovers!) but I don't really enjoy the kind of party where you have to 'mingle' with lots of people you don't know, many of whom are getting slightly worse for the wear. Far nicer to sit with a small group of friends whom you can relax with. I wasn't even worried that my house is not spotless, (they know about my op, indeed they obligingly oohed and aahed at my scar and bruises), and anyway they are the kind of people who don't worry about such things.

Peter came home at the end of the 'soiree' so the chat continued. Soon we will be settling down to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony. I wonder if it will be as impressive as the Beijing ceremony.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Still Hot.

I'm not sure where the weather people get their stats from 'cos yesterday the highest temp was supposed to have been 29C, ha! I saw a few clouds yesterday and this evening it is beginning to be overcast. I guess the end of this hot spell is on its way. I did not get my usual lie-in this morning because Linas HAD to go to the bank. For once I paid to park in the middle of town and spent an hour doing a bit of shopping and getting some new books from the library. I started out trying to stand up tall and walk normally but I began to tire after a while and was nervous about people bumping into me. After all that it transpired the nearest RBS branch is in Exeter and Linas was able to sort everything out on the phone at home. I kept my eagle eye on the car's temp gauge (not hard when my Micra only has 3 gauges; speed, temp and fuel), and it stayed normal thank goodness.
The 3 swallows' nests up in the outbuildings are filled with chicks again. I couldn't stay long to take pictures as the parents were getting rather distressed having me standing there in the doorway.
I spent the afternoon in the shade reading yet another library book.

This book is a mixture of a story and an account of how this teacher was pilloried by the teaching authorities for the amazing work she did with a group of very difficult boys. I found it a very good read and you can read the start (or maybe all) of it online if you follow the link more info . The final section has a lot of thank you's and I was most surprised to see close friend of my mother named there and described as 'the coolest woman I ever met .... '.

I am having some friends round tomorrow and Linas helped me make a cheesecake. Last year I couldn't find the curd cheese that this recipe uses and tried an alternative with not very good results but this year I found the curd cheese in a tempting deli in town. It's a no-cook recipe that I have made successfully many times so hopefully it will be fine.

Wednesday 25 July 2012


Do not fear Dear Reader, we were all talking to each other before bedtime so all is peace and harmony (ish) once more. Not such a restful day today. Linas went in early with Peter as he had to catch a train to Plymouth and I had volunteered (to maintain the peace and harmony), to collect him from the station in the afternoon. This was also a good opportunity to do some shopping in Tescos. Such a relief to get some fresh fruit and fruit juice.

It was on the journey home that problems began. I had looked at the temp gauge in the car on the way out and it was reassuringly low. I didn't look again until we were nearly home, shock horror! it had swung up past the red to the max!! As we were nearly home I took a chance and continued on, coasting down the last few hills. Not surprised to find the radiator empty. Hmm, Only had a service and MOT a few weeks ago but I am assured by those who know that leaks can happen all of a sudden. We've poured in lots of water and will see how much comes out by the morning. The other problem is that I still need a few items of shopping which I was planning to get in Ilfracombe tomorrow but Linas needs to go to the bank asap and that's in Barnstaple. Funny, I thought I was supposed to be convalescing.

It's lovely sitting outside in the cool of the evening. I think they must be having Pony Camp next door as the sounds of childish squeals are ringing up the valley.

Am I an old fuddy duddy to think it important to wear a hat in such sunny weather? As I drove around town I saw only one person wearing a hat of any sort, and he looked distinctly continental. I wore a straw hat which I had to hang onto a few times in the car as I had the windows and the sunroof open. More people were wearing shorts but there was a fair amount of overdone too-pink skin to be seen. I know that this kind of weather is unusual but will they never learn?

Tuesday 24 July 2012


Another hot day. Because there is only so much time you can spend sitting on wooden garden chairs, even with cushions and an ample rear, after putting some washing in the machine I stayed in bed for the morning alternating between dozing and listening to the radio.
Aside from a long session at the piano my afternoon was spent outside deciding between shade and sun, by the house or up at the scree garden. All was peaceful at home as Linas had to go up to Bristol for the day. Each time I walked up the drive there was the delicious smell of new hay from the bank that Linas strimmed a few days ago.

All went pear shaped when Linas and Peter arrived home. I was in a bad mood because having finally perfected an ungainly sumo-style squat which gives me access to the fridge, I discovered a punnet and a quarter of strawberries nearly all of which were mouldy because no-one had thought to offer them to me last week. Peter was in a bad mood because he had to wait to pick Linas up from the station and then Linas got in a mood because I had inadvertently shut the door of his bedroom with a cat inside. The cat had done what cats do in a box of Linas' t-shirts and I didn't feel my back would cope with clearing up the mess which normally I would have done. So it ended up with all 3 of us yelling at each other and now there is an uneasy truce with each of us in a separate room, Families eh?

Monday 23 July 2012


The wonderful weather continues with the temperature at 22C all day. Once again I slept the morning away. Well, I woke and drank the tea Peter made me as he got ready for work, watched a TV programme and then went back to sleep. When I finally emerged from my slumber I had my first shower and hair wash for a week. Boy did that feel good. Although I've a waterproof plaster over the incision (which comes off tonight, ouch), I've preferred to err on the side of caution and wash at the sink.
Then there was nothing to do but sit outside in the sun, or more often, in the dappled shade, read a book and make myself the occasional cup of tea. It was so peaceful by the scree garden with only the sounds of water rushing over the stones in the stream, the buzzing of bees and the occasional huffle of the ponies in the field. Linas drove into town with Peter in the morning and walked back in the afternoon. When he got home Linas made me a nice cous-cous salad with smoked cheese as I didn't fancy anything heavier.

And that has been my very relaxed day.

Sunday 22 July 2012

Blue Skies.

Not a cloud in the sky today. From a breakfast sitting outside to the barbecue we are soon to eat my day has been spent outside mainly reading yet another library book. I wake each day in happy anticipation of good weather and an improvement in my pain levels and so far I have not been disappointed. The novelty of being carers has worn off and I find that requests from me are met with heavy sighs and lists of things they have already done. Never mind, I am used to doing things within the bounds of my physical limits and I have been very careful. The only thing I really struggle with is picking things up from the floor so that I don't attempt. There is also so disagreement as to what constitutes 'finished' for some of the bigger jobs. I'm one of those fussy people who like tools to be put away, rubbish to be cleared up and the area put back to the way it was before. Blokes, or at least the ones in this house, simply don't understand.

Saturday 21 July 2012


It was sunny again today with less breeze making it feel hotter. Let's hope that we're in for a long hot summer, or a couple of weeks at least.My back pain as continued to lessen and I was able to sleep the morning away while Peter and Linas went off to help with the Green Man Day, our local festival. Peter was there in 2 guises, firstly to help pull one of the gigs up Pilton Street and set up a publicity stand for the gig club and then with Linas to act as a marshall for the procession. Linas was taking my place a marshall which consists of having a briefing from Gareth our local PC, wearing a high-vis vest and stopping traffic as the Green Man and his followers danced through the streets. It was a shame to miss the festival with the music, stalls and craft stands as well as the owl man but I'm not ready to go out yet.
I spent the afternoon reading outside and enjoying the sun. It got so hot I had to sit in the shade with just my legs stuck out into the sun. My poor legs seem to take forever to even turn a shade browner. When I was a small child my days were spent on the beach clad in nothing but a sun hat and I was golden all over but then there came many years of living in London with my legs hidden by jeans. It is only now that I have slid into disreputable middle age that I spend all my summers in shorts, (It is very rare to see anyone over the age of 20 wearing shorts in this country, blame our rotten weather and natural reserve), and my legs stubbornly remain many shades lighter than my arms. (I only wish for a light colouring and a dark tan is not something I aspire to but fish white is not good either.)
While I relaxed Linas strimmed all the grass that the mower hadn't reached and he and Peter cooked up another barbecue. They are still working on their burger recipe to make burgers that don't fall apart on the barbecue. I then retired up the hill to catch the last of the sun before escaping, still in my PJ's to walk up to say hello to the ponies, and get bitten by a horse fly.

Friday 20 July 2012


Now today was so much better, both pain and weather wise. It was sunny for the whole day with a gentle breeze keeping it not too hot. As sitting and walking are fairly comfortable (with the aid of a few pills), I have been up for the whole day. I started by having my breakfast sitting outside in the sun. Then yes, I did some gardening! it was only deadheading the hanging baskets and sprinkling more slug pellets around the squash plants which are under constant attack. Then, after washing up I retired to my pc to catch up with the omnibus episode of The Archers which for a second time I had failed to record on the Sky+ box. Because of our slow download speed we can't watch TV programmes on i-player but luckily radio works. Later I moved outside to spend the rest of the day sitting in the sun, in my short pj's, reading a book. That was more how I envisaged my convalescence to be. Luckily the wooden garden chairs that came with the garden table I bought last year are perfect for me at the moment. The high slightly curved back supports me well without putting pressure on my lower spine and most importantly the sturdy arms make it easy for me to lower & raise myself supported by my hands. Linas has brought one of these chairs into the sitting room as there is no way I could get in or out of the armchairs or sofa. It was so much nicer watching TV in here than lying flat on my back upstairs. He also has put one up by the scree garden as the chairs I keep up there have lower backs.

Linas and Peter finished putting in and burying a drain pipe to take water across the small lawn so that is another job done. Then the 2 of them went off to town leaving me in utter peace and when they came home Linas tackled the lawns that had shot up in all the recent rain. Meanwhile Peter prepared a barbecue which we have just eaten up by the scree garden.

There has been a noticeable lack of butterflies this year and so far I've only seen these dark brown Ringlets and a few Skippers. While I was enjoying the sun I saw my first Golden Ringed dragonfly which patrols the garden like a mini helicopter.

Thursday 19 July 2012

The Sun Reappears.

Oh Dear. That was quite a moan yesterday. Happily today my pain levels, like the weather, are improving. Yesterday was mostly wet while today it has been mostly sunny. Perhaps that good weather is on its way after all. Briefly; standing is almost pain free,
walking about slowly is OK,
sitting in my office chair is tolerable,
moving from sitting to lying & vice versa is ouch,
lying on my side gets painful and lying on my back is OUCH.
But everything is much better than yesterday. So that's good.

I spent at least an hour up this morning, first tottering around the garden before it started to rain and then a good long catch up with many of my favourite blogs. My blog counter has disappeared and the handy statistics site which told me who was visiting the blog closed itself down some time ago. Today I found another visitor map and Linas helped me put it on the blog. It was always fascinating to see where my visitors were based.

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Missing The Hospital Bed.

No pictures today as I have spent most of my time in bed with occasional walks around the bedroom. I do think that being sent home the day after your operation is more in the hospital's interests than the patient's and another day in hospital would have been better. The main reason for this is the bed. In hospital I was able to maneuver on and off the bed quite easily but when you are so vulnerable you find that the lower height of a standard bed makes such a lot of difference. Also having a memory foam mattress makes it hard to support yourself on other parts of your body when you try to move to a new position. Being able to raise the top of the bed with the electronic controller was also a great help. (I was advised not to play with the controls for the foot end.) Yesterday it was very painful getting in and out of my own bed and moving from my side (when my bad hips become too painful) to my back was quite an unpleasant experience. Today the pain is slightly better, walking about is almost pain free and sitting in an office chair is bearable for a while but I shall be heading back to bed soon.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Back Home.

Well the deed has been done and I'm back home once more. My back is pretty sore, not much worse than a serious graze with bruising but there is that worry that any movement which causes pain might result in everything bursting open. So I'm moving around very cautiously. Being a private hospital you automatically get an en suite room of your own. (In the NHS you're usually in a 6 bed room). The room was clean and tidy, a few knocks on the woodwork, but the real difference is in the amount of time the staff spend with you. None of those flying visits by random nurses that is more often the case in the NHS. Also the choice of food is good and it was tasty and well presented. Last night I had a smoked salmon salad sandwich on wholemeal bread. The salad was served next to the sandwich so it was easy to pick at slowly whilst lying down. I chose a healthy breakfast; coffee (fresh of course), wheetabix and a fresh fruit plate of orange, grapes, kiwi fruit and pineapple. (Notice I write about the food first.)
The TV had all the Freeview stations so I kept it tuned to Radio 4/ The World Service which was the perfect thing to listen to as I lightly dozed through the night. They kept taking my blood pressure because it got low and the foot pumps, while it is quite nice to have your feet massaged every few seconds, are noisy.

Hanging on the wall opposite the bed was this big photo of St Ives. (I haven't yet worked out how to turn off the flash on my baby Nikon.) It brought back comforting childhood memories as the photographer would have been standing on the beach that was my daily playground when I was a toddler.

I'm not going to bore anyone with gruesome operation details, indeed I was asleep at the time. The last time I had a general anaesthetic I was disappointed not to have been asked to count down from 10, like they do in all the films, so this time I counted anyway as the second injection went in. And I got down to zero (by counting fast) and even remember the anesthetist commenting on the fact. Next thing I knew I was in the recovery room and I remembered the advice I had been given at the pre-op appointment to ask for pain relief there as they have stronger stuff than down on the ward. The low blood pressure kept me woozy all night but I slumbered away listening to the radio and sticking my arm out when the nurse came in to do her obs.

After some x-rays in the morning and advice from the physio there was not much to do but sit and wait for Peter to collect me. It was a 2 hour drive home on the scenic Old Road which runs through the river valley all the way up to Barnstaple. There are some very pretty parts especially when you drive through the forest. It's a deceptive forest because it runs up the side of one hill and then turns into farmland but you would never know as you pass under mature trees shading the road. Now I have 7 weeks of R&R to look forward to and I shall take it extra easy for the first 2 weeks though the ban on sitting up in bed has scuppered some of my plans.

PS for those who live with a different health system.
Here in the UK we have a National Health Service. If you work money is deducted from your pay along with all the other random taxes. If you don't work you don't pay BUT everyone in this country gets free health service. It's not always the best and often you have to wait, like me with my back though years ago I had a D&C within a few weeks. Some people pay insurance for private health care but that is the exception. I had my op done in the private hospital by my NHS consultant because the NHS had more than doubled the statutory wait of 18 weeks at the NHS hospital and they are trying to clear up the back log. Prescription, not hospital, medicines cost about £7.50 each though if you need more than 2 it is worth having a yearly ticket which works out to £9 a month for unlimited medicines. National Health dental care is limited and often not so good so many people do pay for private dentists. I'm stuck with the NHS dentist, a check up is £15, minor treatment like fillings are £45 and for root canals and dentures it is £250. These prices are what I remember anyway. Eye tests are free for children, students, claimants and pensioners with some free or subsidised glasses everyone else pays. All visits to your GP (family doctor) and any treatments at their surgery or health centre are also free. As long as we can stop the greedy Tories from privatising/outsourcing our health service we will have a system where nobody has to fear being unable to pay for treatment.

Sunday 15 July 2012

The Big Day.

Well here I am, showered and ready to go. Just waiting for Peter to come down and drive me off to Exeter. I'm not feeling nervous, the last time I had a general anasthetic it gave me a wonderful sleep, but I would like it to be over with. I stayed up late last night as I reckoned there would be enough time to sleep today. I'm leaving this page open for Peter to complete and post at the end of the day. Very tired and slightly nervous arrival at hospital...however, just a quick update...operation went very well...wifey temporarily very subdued(post anasthaetic sleepiness)...further reports tomorrow.


Hooray! For the first time in years St Swithins Day has been dry. A bright and breezy day, hot during the sunny spells and not quite chilly when the fast moving clouds obscure the sun. I could settle for having the next 40 days of the same weather. More sun would have been nice but I can always find a sheltered spot in this rambling garden.I was up early and back out in the garden to get on with my last minute weeding. Today I did clear the brambles that were popping up on the bank and I also cleared the path along the heather bank that had become quite over grown. I had to cut back some of the heathers so I planted up several rows of cuttings in the vegetable plot.

As a sort of belated birthday treat for Peter we went to the Station Inn to introduce Linas to the tasty and ample carvery.

Once again the beef and pork lived up to our expectations. The desserts looked very tempting but none of us had any space left so we went and sat outside to enjoy the view and watch the alpacas.

"The food here is supposed to be rather good."


"Nah. We prefer to relax with a mud bath."

Back home I abandoned my plans for a quiet afternoon and did yet more weeding around the scree garden. The paved area is now completely weed free which is quite satisfying. There will be plenty of time for relaxing later.

Saturday 14 July 2012


We have been lucky enough to have another dry day. This gave me the chance to spend yet more time in the garden. I had planned to pull out a few brambles and ferns that had escaped my attention earlier in the year but as I went to collect my weeding kit; bucket, grubber and foam mats to kneel on, I couldn't pass the small weeds that once again were popping up between the paving slabs around the scree garden. Until we get round to re-pointing those slabs the many gaps are a haven for weeds and moss. As I hope to be able to spend a lot of my summer sitting in the scree garden I couldn't bear the thought of having to look at all those weeds sprouting up (bending is a definite no no this summer). So I started at one side of the scree garden and worked my way round on hands and knees removing every tiny seedling that was visible. A redundant pair of eyebrow tweezers made an excellent tool for this job. It took all afternoon to get halfway round, hopefully it won't rain tomorrow and I can get the rest done. So some good has come out of the delay to my op though cold callers are getting very short shrift from us as any phone call could be that dreaded cancellation.
Peter went to the gym and took Linas into town with him. Once home Linas got on with repairing the drive,( lots of raking, shovelling and then heaving of barrow loads of stones), while Peter prepared another barbecue (Linas also made some burgers using our little burger press). Delicious smells are wafting in as I type and hopefully the rain will hold off so that we can eat outside.

Friday 13 July 2012

Mostly Rain.

It has been raining for most of the day but nothing like yesterday's downpours. Eventually the sun came out and I was able to get outside. My first job was to clear the gutters at the back of the house as I am the only one who is prepared to climb ladders. The back gutters are not that high but clearing the smelly leaves is not the most pleasant of jobs.
I also cleared away the sticks and leaves caught on the pipe and the fence that cross our stream. There was even a small metal stool that had washed down the stream but 2 of the 3 legs are broken so it will have to go down to the dump. Peter and Linas had gone into town and I was tempted, briefly, to start on repairing the drive but then decided my time was better spent weeding. It is good to have a few more days to get rid of those pesky weeds. Normally I work on the principle that I can ignore any weeds I can't see but today I was searching out every tiny seedling. Any weeds left will have 2 months to grow unhindered so I want to clear everything.
This evening I had a phone call from my GP (doctor) regarding the results of the ultrasound I had done last week. He cautiously approached the subject of 'discussing options' whereupon I told him I was quite happy to have the gall bladder taken out asap. Now all I have to do is wait for that operation but the waiting time should be weeks not months.

Thursday 12 July 2012

Nearly Flooded.

It's been quite a stressful day. Last night I went into a bit of decline over the cancellation and then I spent the morning waiting to find out what the next step would be. I even got up early and ate some cereal at 6.00 and then went nil-by-mouth in case a miracle happened and they rang to say they could fit me in today, but no that didn't happen. When I hadn't heard by 12.30 I phoned the hospital, that's quite a change from my normal passive accepting state. I was told they had a theatre slot available for first thing Monday morning but they were still waiting to confirm that there was a bed available. Eventually I had a call saying that I should come in on Monday. Now I will be worrying each time the phone rings in case they cancel again.

I didn't do much in the morning except stay snuggled up on the sofa listening to the torrential rain. That is until I chance to look out of the window to see 2 rivers flowing down our drive. I flew outside and then yelled for Linas as the amount of water washing away the drive and then flooding into the waste water treatment tank was horrendous. We got some wood placed across the road diverting the road water into the fields and I reinforced them with clods of soil & grass while Linas used the washed down gravel to create a barrier in the yard and divert the water away from the tank. This really has got to be the worst we have ever had it. We walked over to Paul's and the water at the end of the lake had flooded over the road. Water was pouring out of the overflow pipe but unfortunately Paul has built a parapet along the road and we suspect that the height of the parapet is the same as the lawn protecting the back of the house.
So far everything is holding up but in case the worst happened I went and checked out out contents insurance. Guess what? We are not covered for flood damage, or fire, or storm in fact I can't see what the hundreds of pounds we pay each year covers us for. Even the boiler is excluded because it is over 10 years old and any personal items. I tried to ring them to find out what is covered because all I can see in the booklet are exclusions but I couldn't get through. The renewal comes up in a few weeks and I don't think I shall bother thank you.

Earlier in the day I spotted this squirrel who had managed to leap onto the feeder hanging over the stream. When I went out to chase him off he went straight down, possibly into the stream.