There's a line from Chaucer's 'The Knight's Tale' (I think) which I have always liked, 'Up roos the sonne, and up roos Emelye'. This morning was one of those mornings, and 'Up rose the sun, and up rose Jane'. It felt as if spring was back - and it's been a sunlit day ever since. I know every day is sunlit technically, but today the sky was blue. And eventually Jane prised me out of bed.
She went and helped with Riding for the Disabled (RDA) in the morning while I worked slowly on my laptop, writing. Then it was off to Oxford - which is best enjoyed in the sunshine - for a picnic by Port Meadow - well in a carpark next to it to be precise, just round the corner from where Jane had once had digs with the marvellous Miss Pollak. That was when we were engaged; so you might say it's an site of special sentimental interest. Anyway that was just the hors d'oeuvre. The next course was coffee and 'cakes' at Maison Blanc on the Woodstock Road with our friends James and Jo, who are training to be vicars.... Jo had assured me that despite its connections with M. Raymonde Blanc it wouldn't break the bank. And she was right. My only disappointment was that they didn't have the réligieuses I'd remembered from when we lived up the road, but I got over it and had a mousse cassis instead, a round creation too complicated to explain but not too difficult to consume. Délicieux!
The other excitement of the day was the fish. As you know, I'm missing the chickens a bit, but Jane is right, of course; they would have ruined our small garden. However, there is a pond in it. So on our way home we stopped off at Millets Garden Centre and bought six small goldfish, some pondweed and fish-flakes (what they like for breakfast) - and before tea with Rachel's expert advice (she knows about animals) we launched them. I'm not sure they'll provide as much entertainment as the hens, and of course not the eggs. But I hope they'll enjoy our company - as long, that is, that no marauding egrets or herons terminate their existence prematurely.