Our crow family visits faithfully, the parents now sometimes watching from a distance to give the children a chance to do things by themselves.
Some of the young ones are bolder than others. A few days ago, the father crow brought one of his children to get some breakfast. Perhaps because I was nearby, the child was too scared to relax and eat. S/he stood on the wall, the other side of the dish from her/his father, while he ate. His idea was that he should eat, then fly away leaving her to eat. Each time he flew away, so did the child. On the few occasions the child stayed on the wall, s/he just stood stock still (Er… can I … should I…) It’s not that s/he wasn’t hungry. There were dried meal worms, suet with bugs in it, old scraps of cat food – in fact a delicious breakfast, almost as good as an eyeball. S/he just stood there, dribbling, wanting to eat but not quite sure … So I took pity on them and went in.
Each crow has his/her own distinct call, quite different from the others. The boldest of the young ones, very interested in us, has an erratic gargling voice – I love it.
Yesterday when I took out their supper, I couldn’t see them around so I took the crow call with me to let them know the food was ready. Then I saw one sentinel crow waiting patiently in the tree; but I blew the call anyway. He was dozing, and it woke him up - made him jump, poor thing.
We had a day without water last weekend – a burst pipe just north of the area where we live left our neighbourhood with no mains water, without warning.
Happily, because it has rained a lot recently and our water butts are all full, and because of our various eco-practices, it made barely any difference to us. We just had to tie the taps in cloths to break the habit of going to turn them on.
We did get some extra spring water (bottled), because I haven’t yet sorted out a system for filtering the roof water to make it potable – I could put it through the distiller, I suppose; the only problem with that is it loses its goodness then as well as its badness.
This is the day to send in our solar panels meter reading for the tariff the government pays us for the electricity we send in to the National Grid.
Blessedly, my father died just before these tariffs began, under Gordon Brown’s under-appreciated and imaginative government. My father left me some money, enough to pay off our mortgage and put solar panels on the roof. The timing meant that because we were in at the beginning of the government solar scheme, we got the top rate (the amount offered went down year by year). We depend on it now.
There’s something so pleasing about living in a house that pays its own bills – I mean, how sweet is that? The house contributes to the housekeeping!
We are paid according to the quarter's meter reading , and part of last quarter’s payment went to buying a big stash of upcycled sawdust wood briquettes. They’re fantastic – they burn as hot as coal, kindle with immense ease, and though they are made of wood, it’s the sweepings, waste from the timber industry, so no cutting down extra trees just to burn. And there are no noxious fumes, they are made only through pressure, no glue involved. This quarter’s payment will buy the rest of our fuel for the winter.
I have been a bad girl and eaten what I should not, and given myself the most awful fibromyalgia flare-up.
Tired unto death, and full of moving pains and stiffened joints.
So I’ve gone back to eating Only What I Should, and it’s gradually easing. Emphasis on ‘gradually’!
I am grateful for it really – it’s good to have a system sensitive enough to keep me on the strait and narrow; either I see to it that I stay extremely healthy or I’m prostrated in short order!
What was it Thomas Cranmer said in the Book of Common Prayer (the General Confession)? “We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, And we have done those things which we ought not to have done, And there is no health in us”.
Yep. That’s me at the moment. Still, onward and upward.
The future (“But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us miserable offenders”) is in kale and organic free-range eggs.
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Well, I think that’s it, really. I am reading Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning; today I will visit our beloved Granddad in the hospice, nearing the end of his life, and my beautiful Mama in her apartment that looks out over the hills and fields. And now I must get up and feed the crows.