The only exception to this bucolic placidity would appear the be the bastard rats in our garden. They are getting extra-specially busy. Perhaps they are swept up in the excitement of the pre-Christmas rush.
I bet they have made"to do" lists:
1) Run out from under the shed and frisk round the garden (Note: only do this after Mr WithaY's Landrover has left the drive.)
2) Climb into apple tree and gnaw on remaining apples.
3) Remember to glare into the kitchen window while doing this.
4) Avoid the rat traps. Especially the one in the top of the compost bin.
5) Continue with Project S.
6) Ignore the bread spread with peanut butter outside the shed. It's another trap.
7) Buy kevlar vests.
8) Get in touch with the mole and remind him that he is spending the rest of Winter with us.
9) Have a word with the robin about the meaning of the word "Sharing".
I have broken their code. I know what Project S is all about. It's about gnawing a hole in the floor of the shed from underneath so they can get in there and play with all our stuff. I fully anticipate seeing a team of rats riding my bicycle* round the garden before Spring.
The garden, incidentally, which is being gradually converted from a moss-infested dank wilderness to a tidy, fertile home for all manner of fruits and flowers. I planted raspberry canes the other weekend, before I went down with the Black Lung. I also planted up the big stone trough with Spring bulbs, so with any luck we will have tulips, irises, crocuses, hyacinths and narcissi. Assuming the resident wildlife doesn't start using the place as a snack bar, of course.
I saw a squirrel in the apple tree again, he was tucking into the peanut feeder we hung there for the birds. He stopped stealing nuts for long enough to stick two fingers up at me, then went back to his thieving. Mr WithaY recently saw a rat in there too, calmly eating one of the apples without a care in the world.
Earlier today I saw a woodpecker on the same feeder, tucking into the nuts. We've also had blue tits, coal tits, great tits, wrens, sparrows, jackdaws, greenfinches, pigeons, collared doves, starlings and a crow. Oh, and the scary robin. He is a terror. All the other birds seems to be afraid of him, and I can see why.
Other news: I am on the mend. Hurrah. I am still coughing like a pauper from a Victorian workhouse, but the pain in my chest has lessened and I don't think I have a temperature any more.
*And, to be honest, that would be the first time it has been ridden in 8 years. Anyone want to buy it?