Please (cough) excuse this (cough, cough) ridiculous, hacking cough (cough), but I’ve had (c… you get the idea) a chest infection for the past week, and I sound like I got lost in a cigarette factory as it caught fire.
The second-worst thing about this has been not being able to go running, and the worst thing has been not being able to do much of anything else, either, NOT EVEN KNITTING!
I did make it as far as the back garden the other day, where a certain feathered someone let it be known that she was not impressed by my absence, or rather by the absence of the mealworms that I usually provide. Sorry, Robyn-the-robin.
On a plus note, one of the twinnage sat very quietly beside me on the garden bench, and Robyn took some mealworms from his lap, much to my ever-patient son’s delight. This is real progress, because Robyn usually scarpers as soon as anybody else comes into the garden. As you will observe, we can’t afford knees for our children’s trousers:-
Anyway, even prior to contracting what is clearly the worst lurgy ever to visit humankind (and I’m not at all melodramatic/self-pitying/deluded), it was difficult to get on with all the sensible things that needed doing indoors, because the wildlife outdoors at this time of year is just so freakin’ busy. And much of that busy-ness is happening in and around water.
Every time I forced myself to look at Volumes I-III of the to-do list, I’d be kidnapped by my own feet and would end up in the garden, peering into the pond to watch the mad beetles and wavy worms and lazy snails and nervous froglets, and the huge dragonfly larvae that are so fearlessly ferocious that they’d probably take a swing at the Stoic Spouse if he looked at them funny.
That underwater scene I knitted? I’m working on recreating it in photography, but give me a bit more time to get the hang of my underwater camera before I show you the results…
There was some messing about in a rowing boat (pre-lurgy), with the Stoic Spouse and the twinnage:-
But for a whole week in late May, we ventured further afield, to a rented cottage beside a reservoir in East Sussex:-
This was the view from the bedroom window at 4.30am. (Don’t judge me, I sometimes keep weird hours.)
There was plenty of hilly walking, quite a lot of running, and just a little knitting…
It was also a watery week (in a good way) . Some family members may have rolled their eyes and gone off to look at steam-trains instead, but I was never happier than when poking about looking for fairy shrimps and water lice and tiny beetles in the sludge. In the rain:-
Since we were so near the coast, we popped down to take a peek at the sea, too, including the lighthouse at Beachy Head:-
…And the old pier at Eastbourne, which didn’t really move me (I confess)…
…until I had a proper look at its underneath through my camera lens:-
…as well as:-
Come on in, the water’s lovely… by which I mean it’s toe-shrivellingly cold. The twinnage are just out of shot, laughing at their mother as per usual. They loved messing about in the sea.
But it was the Stoic Spouse who found the best spot for watery life that whole week, a well-over-one-thousand-year-old pond (mentioned in the Domesday Book) in a sleepy village quite near the house that we were renting.
Within moments of arriving, we watched a grass snake wriggling through the water in search of supper, and the twinnage spotted this tiny stickleback:-
It was one of those pools where at a quick glance, you’d assume nothing is happening, but once you start to stare, you notice creature after creature after creature going about their business.
Anyway, enough of that. The lurgy-of-doom has lifted to the extent that at last, I’M GOING TO GO AND DO SOME KNITTING!
Happy yarnery and good health, my friends.