Posted by: kathandroger | April 1, 2018

Annie Primrose.

First of April already! Still cold and miserable. We heard the cuckoo for the first time yesterday, but he only “cooked” a couple of times and then slunk away from the oncoming rain and hailstorm. Our sentinel swallow who came on his scouting mission on the 22nd rapidly flew off and we reckon he went back to Africa to tell his mates not to bother coming this year. I was looking at last years swallow nests in one of the barns yesterday and see that some illegal building has been done.IMG_3939
I haven’t seen the rogue builder who has added its own entrance and relined the old abode, but reckon it is probably the robin. I have to say it looks much more comfortable with the soft hay and moss lining than it did with the rough mud of the swallows effort. Apparently the female robin makes the nest all by herself, but the male helps by feeding her in the effort. She needs the extra grub because the eggs may weigh as much as 90% of the mass of the mother. Courtship apparently starts in January, so hats off to the little birds for all that copulatory effort in the bad weather. I guess it is a good way to keep warm though.
The flowers have been much later this year. We have the odd early purple orchid around, and the cowslips, which are everywhere round here, have been hanging their drooping heads for weeks, waiting to show their full glory. Some are just about managing.IMG_3943
But whereas in the UK the primrose is much more common that the cowslip, the converse is true here. The only site I have found the latter is on one of the hills we ride up on the cycles. It is a long draggy hill, which I hate climbing, but the sight of the primrose bank always cheers me up.IMG_3940 My mother was called Annie Primrose, as she was born in Bedfordshire in mid April, when the flowers are at their best. I always think of her when the gentle and unassuming plant shows itself; just like she was, always gentle and kind, and a great loss to all at the early age of 59. Flowers for names are always a complement to femininity in my opinion, and love all the Lilys’ Roses’and Daisys’ that we know. Middle names are often interesting. An old colleague has four brothers,each of which had a herb as their middle name. He was John Dill, and another old school chum was named after a river, he was Alastair Thames. Its all a bit romantic for me though, and reckon boys deserve a more practical name, how about Roger Wrench, or John Spanner?
Anyway I digress away from the pleasures of nature. The project last week in the workshop was to make a tool for removing earth from a post hole. I have a few holes to dig in the near future, and have always wanted one of the long tong like tools to remove the debris rather than having to scoop it all out by hand. Using some more of the old metal from an oil tank, and the wonderful plasma cutter for shaping the tool, it was soon complete-and will also be useful for planting the potatoes when we at last get some good weather.IMG_3945 But another lesson was learnt the hard way. A plasma cutter gets very hot indeed, and, just like welding when wearing flip flops, it is stupid not to wear good gloves. A flash of flame and my little pinkie almost went up in smoke!IMG_3944
Healing is well advanced now, and life is all about learning from experience. It is a pity that stupidity sometimes gets in the way!


  1. I haven’t seen any orchids in flower yet. Your finger looks mank. I expect the cuckoo and the swallow continued on north.

    • A friend has said there are lots of swallows in Normandy at the moment. I reckon their GPS needs attention!

      • We saw one swallow in Sturminster Newton this afternoon ,but he was heading south.

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