Mike and I managed to take half a day off yesterday. A whole six hours. We squandered it watching the last in the Harry Potter series of films. In the middle of the day. I even had a glass of wine at lunch, which felt very badass. OK, it was Pizza Hut's house wine, but it was the best (and absolute worst) glass of wine I've had in forever. The food just tasted manufactured and unsophisticated, but a waitress brought it to me and no one interrupted our lunch. At home, the phone and the door would be going at the same time. We both left our mobile phones at home. There was a lot of giggling.
Before we set off for the big town and multiplex cinema, I made an effort to tidy myself up. I slapped on some cover-the-grey dye, and while that was working its magic (Griseum Obscura!) I had time to mix up cement and patch the holes in the kennels where Quincy has excavated loose concrete. Mike built more release pens for his pheasants, but found clean jeans - no holes, no blood - for trip to town. Our rare trips to town are the only time that there isn't a dog in the truck with us, either curled up on the floor, spaniel-style or sprawled out on the seats, lab-style.
We're not so rural that mixing with crowds should be unnerving, but it is. There is so much noise from people and traffic that I feel disoriented. There are TV screens everywhere, and music and sound. In the movie theatre, the sound was turned up so loud, even with my impaired hearing it hurt my ears. I think it was to drown out the sounds of other patrons eating popcorn and rustling wrappers.
At home I can hear a flock of house sparrows noisily invade a shrub near the bird feeder. I can hear a green woodpecker call. I can hear wind rustling leaves, which is altogether more comforting that candy wrappers. I can hear the dog snoring. When the cockerels start crowing I know it's after 5pm. There's so much going on, so why is it less of an assault on my nerves than sound and light in town?
I got home with enough light to spare that I went deer stalking. Maurading deer are still eating the cider orchard. A couple of hours sitting quietly yielded a yearling for the larder -
Mike talked me through a better gralloching technique too -
It's going to be a short cold summer and I'm taking stock of my vegetable harvest. The carrots are going to be plentiful -
And the apple crop too -
However, my tomatoes and sweetcorn could really use an Engorgio spell.