It's 21 June, the longest day in the northern hemisphere. Apart from a short snooze a little while ago, for me it’s been a very long day indeed. I got up at 6.35 am on Thursday, 19 June. The sun was shining as Tilly and I stepped out on to the drive at the start of our early morning walk round the block. Just beyond our garden boundary stood a young deer, gazing at us. We looked at each other for several moments. The deer was not frightened. I turned to look down the drive in the other direction and when I looked back, it had gone. Moments like that are magical, made even more so by the speed with which the animal disappears. You are left wondering whether it had been there at all. These elegant animals melt away into the undergrowth of the wood like spirits.
Our walk produced some lovely things to see. It never disappoints, starting with a speckled wood brown butterfly on the drive.This is the field which was sown on St Patrick's Day.
By some miracle the road verge cutter kindly left this glorious clump of poppies.And here is exactly WHY the wild flowers along our road verges should be allowed to bloom - buzzy bees. Two of them in this photo, loving the poppies.
We saw four hares on our walk. One, sitting on its own, started and ran off across to the other side of the field and, for the sheer joy of living, suddenly accelerated and then kicked its long back legs in air, to the right and then to the left. Delightful - and it made me laugh out loud!
I love the shadows cast by the stamens in this wild rose. The hedgerows are full of roses at the moment,including the delicious appley-smelling brier or Eglantine rose. It has a smaller flower of a stronger pink.
After breakfast I watered the plants on the terrace. We have been enjoying some lovely hot sunshine and the pots were beginning to look a bit parched. I also sprayed the hose along the lavender hedge, trying to dislodge lots of cuckoo spit and the green grubs inside. They were back an hour or so later! As I stood in the sun, hose in hand, enjoying my plants and the promise they hold, the chap working to fix the bathroom next door came outside to give his two greyhounds a run in the garden. He said “You don’t look like a woman whose going to Australia today”, and I suppose I didn’t! But I needed that time to calm the inner feelings of trepidation. I am journeying on my own for the first time, and now, many hours later, I am sitting at Gate A15 in Dubai International Airport. I have travelled here from Glasgow, arriving early in the morning, thrown from the aircraft into the perfume-ladened atmosphere of one of the airport terminals. I walked through the craziness of all the glamorous duty free shopping opportunities to catch the shuttle train to another terminal for my onward flight to Melbourne. It’s all a world away from watching deer and hares skittering in the sun at home.
I have another 13 or 14 hour flight in a couple of hours. It’s an awful long way, but I’ve freshened up in duty free with a couple of squirts of the perfume I put on before leaving home, and taken my seat in the departure lounge. You can’t get to the other side of the world without spending a bit of time in transit! I can’t wait to see our son in Melbourne, and the little princess. She probably won’t recognize me because as far as she is concerned Mr Gaucho and I live in a computer. The doorbell sounds like the Skype ringtone.