After a flurry of unpacking in Dorset I drove away on Thursday morning, Surrey-bound. I have appointments with my dear friend Susie, Ted, Book Group, my coiffeuse…. culminating in a large family gathering in Oxford to celebrate a Golden Wedding on Sunday.
Ted and I went to Birdworld on Friday and he enjoyed refinding his favoured exhibits and activities. On this occasion the larger of the two Toucans must have been feeling more sociable as he was willing to come out of the shelter of his conifer and pose for the camera. There are two species in the collection, the smaller one being the Rainbow-billed Toucan who must have been holing up in his box. Our guy is the Toucan toco, the largest of the 12 species described. I think the bills of Toucans and Puffins are a joy to behold, the arcs of vivid colours contrasting gaudily with the dark plumage of the bird.
The next day the Perrymans went off for the day to do stuff and I walked into Godalming for an overdue session with my hairdresser. On my way home I glanced up and spotted a swirl of colour against the clear sky. In the summer months hot air balloons often drift across Godalming, along the Wey valley in the late afternoon and may fly quite low. You frequently see, and hear, the flares of flame which look terrifying from below, so how must they appear to the people in the basket, whom you can often see too? It all looks so flimsy and precarious. But the balloon itself is beautiful, it is like a rainbow that has been picked up at one end and whirled into a sphere.