Sparkling

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Just occasionally, it seems, fortune still favours the righteous. The only sign this morning of my shameless overindulgence yesterday was that I woke up a little earlier than usual; whether it was the industrial quantity of crispy duck that forestalled what had seemed like an inevitable hangover, or the box of Belgian chocolate truffles, I couldn’t say – but the next time I fancy diving face-first into a bucket of prosecco I think I’d better eat both, just to be on the safe side.

On the subject of my birthday, many thanks for all the kind wishes you sent, both here and in other places. You’re all excellent people, and I’m lucky to know you.

The morning was lovely, and R and I had shopping to do, so we whizzed off into Stratford straight after breakfast. Where my luck deserted in me in all respects except this delicious light, and the equally delicious coffee and cake we had on a (damp) bench in the Bancroft Gardens: the shopping was a disaster. I do believe in trying to put money into the local economy wherever possible, but sometimes you just have grit your teeth and get on the internet, and today was one of those days.

R says that I should take some photos of water that are just water, with no bird – and maybe one day I’ll try it, but today is not that day. I have several “reflective” shots that I quite like, but this one of the black-headed gull on the river is my favourite. The brick colour is indeed brick, being the wall of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre terrace, and the grey, I think, comes from the railings along the top of that wall. My extra today is about the bird rather than the water; it’s quite undeniably a female tufted duck, but I was very interested to see a touch of purple iridescence on her cheeks – something I’m always looking to catch on the males, but haven’t ever seen on a female before.