The Beast from the East hasn’t treated us as badly as many other parts of the country (yet, at least), but it has been vilely cold today, with a strong, biting wind and regular flurries of snow.
R went into Stratford this afternoon – despite my faintly incredulous reaction when he said he was going out – because guitars, or something; but I’ve only ventured as far as the garden to put out bird and hedgehog food, and then only when wearing so many layers that I looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Having filled all the feeders, I threw a quantity of ground mix and dried meal worms onto the lawn to make life easier for the birds which can’t do feeders, and a few minutes later was able to stand in the kitchen doorway reaping the photographic reward.
It’s a mark of how hungry they must be that among the visitors to the picnic were two fieldfares and a redwing – they rarely come so close to the house, but today they were too busy eating to worry about my presence. This fieldfare ate himself virtually to a standstill, and then squatted over a scattering of food and chased away any other bird that tried to eat any – which I suppose will have helped to keep his temperature up, if nothing else. Despite – or because of – his efforts the ground had nearly been cleared within a couple of hours, so late this afternoon I went out again and put out some more food. As night began to fall I glanced out of the window, and he was still there, snacking and guarding – I just hope he has the sense to roost, and doesn’t try to sit it out all night.
It took R an hour and a half to get back from Stratford – a journey which in normal circumstances would take twenty five minutes. We were supposed to have been going out for dinner this evening, but wiser counsel (mine) prevailed, and we stayed in and ate pasta instead.
I’m now off to watch Civilisations. Stay warm, people!