Before leaving the French house I made a quick patrol of the garden. I have put the pots and trays of seeds on some temporary staging to reduce the risk of snail predation of seedlings, for which I already have evidence on the sunflowers. The dwarf Iris are now out and the Auricula seem to have taken in their trough. Indoors Ted has slept through a good bit of the afternoon, allowing us to pack up efficiently.
We left St Vaast at the end of the afternoon on Monday and caught the fast cat home. Whilst parking at Godalming to let me and my bags out, my fat cat came hurtling down the steps to point out that he had been kept waiting overly long for his food. There is mail to deal with and then I have an appointment with a good night’s sleep.
In the morning I can see that there have been developments in the garden at 88. As I stand in the kitchen with a mug of coffee staring out through the French doors I notics a very large bird on our peanut bird feeders. A beautiful Jay is feasting. He peckings then stops to look around, through 360 degrees, to check that the coast is clear. He need not worry, Monsieur Le Cool is fast asleep at the top of the house. Even from 10 metres away the blue wing patches are clearly visible and I would like to know for what advantage evolution selected those electric blue feathers.
Although they are the most colourful members of the crow family, Jays are actually quite difficult to see. They are shy woodland birds, rarely moving far from cover so I feel pleased that we have them feeding just outside the house. On the internet I read that Jays are famous for their acorn feeding habits and in the autumn you may see them burying acorns for retrieving later in the winter.
The species lives in both deciduous and coniferous woodland, parks and mature gardens. It likes oak trees in autumn when there are plenty of acorns so no wonder we see them so often at the top of our garden. We have a very mature oak tree as an outlier from the semi-ancient bluebell woods beyond our garden boundary.
I have a week in England before we return to St Vaast in advance of some guests from Devon. One evening in the week is taken up with Book Group. We are eleven, although seldom meet in force. Eight of us convene at Judy’s house for wine and savouries to discuss ‘Bad Science’ and ‘Here at the End of the World we Learn to Dance’. I have really enjoyed the former, finding the opening chapter high on laugh-out-loud factor. I haven’t finished the second book. We choose ‘White Tiger’ and ‘The Secret Scripture’ for our next reads.
Four of us travelled home in the same car and on the way the talk turned to the matter of implants. I learn that 2 of my companions are weighing the pros and cons and I am able to contribute to their debate having just had my implant fitted this very week. The process started a year ago when I was presented with various options and scenarios in terms of the hoops through which I would have to leap to achieve a good result.
It is going to be a costly business. Nothing of this nature can be a hole in one, so I have had a succession of appointments for groundwork to be laid, measurements to be taken, impressions to be made, the finished result to be considered. Finally I receive the phonecall to say the implant is ready and am summoned for fitting.
It takes less time then I imagined, feels slightly intrusive to begin with but once pronounced a good fit I leave the surgery and sally forth, confident in the expectation that my replacement molar is going to make chewing so much easier.