Yesterday morning I dreamed I was listening to Lord Peter Mandelson; and then I woke up and discovered it was only a pigeon cooing. Conclude what you will!
However this morning I woke up at 4.30 to a full-throated dawn chorus. I have to say that there seemed as much variety here in semi-urban Grove as in rural Stanford in the Vale, blackbirds and robins of course, but a lot more beside. Then from the distance came a cuckoo calling. The first of the year. Meanwhile during the daytime birds have been busy collecting material for nesting: starlings pulling dead leaves from the sedge beside the pond, collared doves scuttling around the newly dug flower bed, sparrows, blackbirds and even goldfinches. I was thinking about the number of birds we've seen in the garden since moving - blue and long-tailed tits, greenfinches, wood pigeons, sparrow-hawk, as well the others. Quite impressive for a 40 foot square garden. I reckon it's quite a compensation for the lack of chickens.
I heard yesterday the extraordinary assertion that 50% of UK adults live with a hiatus hernia. Which is reassuring since a member of our family has had one diagnosed. Talking of health matters, it's good news that Stephen Hawkinge is on course to make a 'full' recovery having been taken into hospital with a chest infection. It's a complication that people with MND are especially aware of, because of course your breathing gets progressively weaker with the disease. So I think the Metro newspaper's cartoon with its caption, 'I wonder if they've tried switching him off and switching him on again', was in the worst taste. Clearly neither the cartoonist nor the editor had empathy with or understanding of MND. As I commented on Sunday, it's not that those with MND lack humour. But philosophically it reinforces the contemporary fallacy that humans are mere machines. Professor Hawkinge and the MND patients I met at the weekend are living disproof of that.