Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Up, up and away!

Tomorrow Mr Gaucho and I jet off to Australia for six weeks.  I have spent the morning doing housework - yuk - in the hope that things will stay more or less clean and tidy while we are away! The cat and the dog will still be in residence (not home alone I hasten to add!), so I can only hope for a modicum of cleanliness when we get back!

Having finished my chores, and before starting on the ironing, I took the dogs for a walk round the fields at the end of the drive.  I didn't take my camera (always a mistake).  It is hard to take decent photos when holding two leads!  We walked through the stone pillars and I went to inspect the undergrowth where the violets grow in Spring.  To my amazement I could see a carpet of little, emerald green heart-shaped leaves.  The weather is still so mild that I fear they may be in for a bit of a shock by the time the year is out.

Walking on, and the red cabbage field in the distance was the colour those little violet flowers will be, when they finally make their appearance.  Later on during our walk, the colour had turned to navy blue.  It changes constantly with the light.  I took a photo of that field some weeks ago, and to my surprise I found it on Google Images!  Not sure how that happened.

It has been a quiet, still morning.  The sun weak, but welcome.  As we walked towards the road at the end of the drive, lapwings were swirling over the fields. There must have about a hundred of them.  I wondered what their collective name was - and isn't this brilliant - it's a deceit of lapwings!  As they fly horizontally the group almost disappears, it flattens out until they change direction and then each bird's outline looks like a child's drawing, two curved lines, meeting in the middle.  They are beautiful farmland birds, whose numbers are declining at an alarming rate.  To see them wielding around in the air, as we did this morning, is a joy and a privilege.

Our walk was all about flying things!  A microlite was buzzing around above, groups of geese chattered and cackled their way to and fro across the sky, an extremely large song thrush sat alone on a telegraph wire, smaller birds flitting around in the hedges, and then on the small lake at the edge of one of the fields, the two resident swans were floating, sedate and superior.  Then they dipped their longs necks into the water and up went their feathery bums!  Not so elegant!  I was reminded of one of my favourite childhood poems, Ducks Ditty by Kenneth Grahame.  I know the words but wanted to double check the name of the poem and found this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsH691gkX2o  - do have a look.  Very sweet indeed, and a relief to find a young child reciting poetry!

So tomorrow we will be up there in the sky with the lapwings, thrushes, geese, swans and the other lovely flying things, although at a much greater altitude (I hope)!  We arrive in Australia early on Friday morning, and then our six weeks of birthday, wedding, Christmas and New Year celebrations will begin!  


  1. I hope your trip goes well, I'm very envious of you going to Australia or as my aunt in Coffs Harbour calls it 'God's own country'. I loved the poem, it's an old favourite of mine and you've reminded me to teach it to my daughter. Have a lovely time and look forward to hearing from you down under! Antonia x

  2. Thanks Antonia! You've reminded me that I must email my cousin in Coffs Harbour before we leave! I am hoping we will catch up in Melbourne at some point during this trip! A x