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….. Making pretty things
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Three children (17, 15, 13)*** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

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“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”


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In the interest of balance, especially after my blog post last week featuring cuddly creatures, I want to share a week which is the total opposite. Nature does not always stay a field away or even just outside the door. I’ve always said that if we abandoned the house, nature would start claiming it back immediately. I’d give it a month, tops, before we lost the battle.

This week we have been invaded by ants, jackdaws, robins and bats. Oh, and the greenhouse has been taken over by large cucumbers.

Hang on. Not so fast. Back up a moment. Did she say bats? I hear you cry.

I certainly did. Admittedly, bats are not that unusual for us. It happens every few years.

Each spring we have a maternity bat roost in the chimney. I welcome them back each year. Not that they notice or care. Occasionally, the odd baby bat finds its way into our kitchen. (You can read more about our bat adventures here.) When they are small, they cling to their mothers and cadge a lift on her nightly flights. At some point, the baby bat grows too big to be carried, but isn’t ready to fly solo, so it waits in the roost. When they end up in our kitchen, they have either wandered off while their mother hunts alone or she never made it back. This one was very active and very vocal, so I suspect it was the former and we had a curious pup on our gloved hands.

Now the unusual thing this time was that I couldn’t hear the bat’s mama-calling squeak, just the echo locating. A sign of my hearing aging. Thankfully the children can. Standing in the kitchen with Middle Teen pointing out a sound, I couldn’t hear, we managed to find the bat. Returned it to the roost and hoped it would find its mother on her return.

I’ve had the children checking the kitchen each night since. Bats carry rabies and I really didn’t want Hero the hound getting bitten, although he usually makes a hasty retreat when he sees tiny things advancing on him. As cute as bats are, I’d prefer they kept to their own part of the house.

Next invasion was the jackdaws. That’s one of them on our chimney. Admittedly, they moved in a few weeks ago. Grabbing a new spot in the eaves of our roof. They make noisy neighbours, but we tolerate it. The problem came the evening when we were hit with heavy rain and the worst hail storm I’ve seen in a long time. Unknown to us, the jackdaws had been busy blocking the gutters with their overflowing nest materials. The first rain, we had had in months, having no where else to go, overflowed the gutters and flooded through the window below.

Mr TTC waited until there was a break in the weather and climbed the ladder to clear it. He said that it was not only blocked but jammed with sticks. Like aerial beavers damming our gutters.

Next day, it was dry, so he went up again to clear the rest, to prevent another waterfall in the room below. The jackdaw parents were quite rightly alarmed by his proximity to the nest and sent out an alarm call. About 50 adult jackdaws took to the skies. It was quite a sight and fortunately they didn’t descend to defend the nest.

Other invasion was the robin. Flying ants had erupted, from an undetected nest, into the kitchen, turning the window partly black. I opened the window to let them out and a robin soon caught on to an easy meal. It repeatedly landed on our inside windowsill and plucked a winged ant or two. Nature helping for once.

Flipping invasion this time. Middle teen went to  a friend’s garden for a social distancing birthday party. As Mr TTC was visiting his parents (he hadn’t seen them since January), it was up to me to drive her into Bristol, which coincided with the #BlackLivesMatter protest. First time I have driven since mid March. I cannot lie. I was exhausted by the time I got home. We were no where near the centre, but I thought we might get caught up in the traffic. It was OK. Strange to think that the Colston statue was being pulled down at the time. I’ve walked passed that statue thousands of times, but no more.

Finally bottled up my elderflower champagne. Five litres. I hope it’s worth it. I’ve already bottled several litres of elderflower cordial, which we’ve started drinking. Bliss when diluted with sparkling water.

Other news. Middle teen is due in school on Tuesday. We’ve had a detailed letter about what she is to expect. The level of detail is awesome. Starting with only one person in the car and you cannot get out, the amount of PPE to be worn by their first aider, where to line up, supervised lunch and other breaks, use of toilets, order of dismissal at the end of the day. It is just one day a week, but it will be unlike any school day she has previously experienced.

During a week when critters didn’t respect social distancing, we did see plenty of hares and deer on our walks this week. Nice to know some creatures keep their distance.

Joining in with Anne’s word of the week linky.


Word of the Week linky

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