a) Anne says it’s a law of life that whenever we’re visitors the table pepper grinder runs out.
b) People seem to have trouble recognising that I have a permanent medical condition. Several times I’ve responded to a question about my health ‘I’m feeling better today.’ Next thing I hear on the grape-vine that I’m on the mend. Better is a relative word in this context – better not to be used I realise. I will not get better, instead I wilI get worse. I suppose it’s human nature to want our friends to be well and in good health. But I find the avoidance of unpleasant facts very frustrating.
c) I spend a lot of time watching the wild life of the garden and lawn. Every day at present a pair of wax-eyes come and do the abutilon over. In winter there’s often a flock. I’m reminded of Stead’s lines: the bottle-brush bush/ shaking with/ warblers at work. Two pairs of blackbirds work the lawn over. Each day they seem to find new worms. The cabbage tree (our neighbour has several large ones) has ripe berries and the blackbirds are trying to eat them. They have trouble getting a footing whereas in a few months time they will be perfectly at home eating crabapple and medlar standing on the boughs with ease. I throw old bread out for the sparrows. Within minutes there are dozens jostling and struggling as they demolish the offering. Soon it is all gone with the birds still gleaning for crumbs. There are two dandelion flowers. White butterflies settle on them seeking nectar. If these butterflies were rare and did little damage we would consider them beautiful. Every now and then a monarch butterfly sails serenely past. We have lots of late roses with buds galore. Even the Dublin Bay climber we planted last autumn is having a second flowering.