After a fortnight with very patchy Broadband, suddenly mid-afternoon yesterday I got it and it has stayed on. It is now half past nine on Sunday morning and it is still on. The engineer is supposed to be coming in the morning (the third time that BT have promised to come, so I shall still expect him to call and check things over.) It would be just my luck to cancel them and for it then to disappear again.
Life has been hard without it. We tend to take such things fore granted. Trying to book cattle transfers by telephone when one is deaf is not an experience I would wish on anyone. I did get it done finally but at great expense to my nervous system.
So, what has been happening since our return from our cruise? Well the most important thing is that Spring has burgeoned - even here in the North of England. Riding through the lanes around here, the trees are in full leaf (except for a few late ash trees), the verges are thick with cow parsley, dandelions are turning to 'clocks' and buttercups are taking their place, and the birds are in full household mode.
The eaves which face North on our farmhouse are full of house martins' nests, as they are every year;and the air above is full of those house martins as they scream and swoop and catch insects. They are a delight to watch. There are less swallows than there used to be (same last year) but three or four pairs are building in various barns. Pied wagtails,blackbirds, tree sparrows, hedge sparrows, yellow hammers, house sparrows - all have nests in or around the farmyard. And collared doves, as usual, in our pine trees. The trouble is that their nests are so flimsy that one strong wind and the eggs end up on the grass below.
Today we are meeting my God-daughter and her husband in Ravenstonedale - this means a drive through Wensleydale, turning up along the side of the Mallerstang (well-known to Gwil), left at Lady Anne Clifford's Castle (a ruin), over the moors and down on to the edge of the Lakes. It is a gloriously sunny day so it will be a lovely ride.
I will post photographs this evening, assuming I still have broadband. In the meantime here is another photograph from our holiday cruise - this one outside the cheese shop in Edam. I remember this particularly because the sky was deep blue and the air was full of the sight and sound of screaming swifts.