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Six months in Cumbria - so far

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It has now been six months since we left Clapham, London and moved to Thurstonfield, Cumbria. Never having spent more than a week at a time in the country-side it is like a multi-coloured day dream. Living on the Clapham Road was a fantastic experience and living in Thurstonfield is so different in every way, fabulous nevertheless.
Quite early on in the move I was worried that it would be difficult to get to know people. In reality it is no different to meeting people in London. It is too early to know whether the people that we have met so far will become close friends or not. It is great meeting so many new people who come to stay with us. When people are here to stay for a week, one really gets to know them and value the contact.
Some of the people take such beautiful pictures that I have started asking them for copies to put on the website. There was a woman that came with her partner arriving separately. She later told me that she proposed on 29th Feb and he accepted. Another young man told me that he proposed to his partner and she too accepted. So many people come on their honeymoon. I have met so many people that I would never have talked to in London and as a friend said in the past that everyone has a story to tell and it is so true … they really do.
On the wildlife side of things, I arrived one day to a sense of something was different and could not work out what it was? There was some bird dropping on the computer screen, which was odd. There were some more droppings on some of the sheets in the laundry room. The boys were being boisterous so I didn’t dwell on the matter. Suddenly there was a flash of something in the dining room, the boys screamed and didn’t know what to do. It was a robin that had somehow got trapped in the house. All three of us ducked as it flew overhead and the poor mite couldn’t work its way out of the house. I tried to open all the doors but with so much fixed glass we and the robin got confused. In the end I managed to cajole it into the back room and then opened the window. Peace at last.
Another time we saw a heron make a dramatic landing on the lawn, fantastic. It was one of the days that Nick was in London, the boys and I just looked at each other. We always seem to have conversations about what the ducks and geese are doing when they chase each other around the lake and make such dramatic landings on the water. Mostly we see the rear of ducks as they eat in the morning.
Jon saw our resident otter. I am disappointed that I have not yet seen it. There is a pair and they have definitely been spotted but not recorded on film. They eat the duck’s eggs and the fish in the lake. During the winter when the lake was glazed over the geese were standing on the ice and the otter was also spotted skating along – if that is what they do.
One day I had a phone call from someone telling me that they had seen a grey squirrel. Strange I thought we used to see them every morning in Clapham. However here it is slightly different the grey squirrel makes a tasty pie – apparently this is your next green and ethical morsel, protect the red and eat the grey. I then discovered that I have to report the sighting of the grey and record the sighting of the red. A man from save the reds is coming tomorrow to lay down traps. I now have to find out who makes the grey squirrel pies so that I can despatch any trapped offerings.
Yesterday I got back into the house to see the most beautiful bird trying to get out of the sheet of glass on the landing. I had a bit of difficulty trying to show our visitor the door, so to speak. Waving my arms wildly I tried to move the bird on. Taking courage I grabbed a scarf, avian flu not being too distant a memory, I picked the little creature in my hands and had a good look. I have to admit it was a bit scary - imagine being about 100 times bigger in size and being scared. No doubt the bird was more scared than me. Having set the creature free, I looked it up and it was a swallow. I never knew they were so beautiful.
The local stables owner asked if she could use our field for her mare Josie and the new foal Toby. We were all very excited. Then Toby was attacked by one of the horses at the stable. I also saw horses biting a new comer just to make her welcome and put her in her place. Reminded me of what it was like at one of my old workplaces. Better not say anymore.
Poor Toby has a gash at the side of his neck that is still oozing. Looking onto a Mare and Foal on one side and the lake on the other, well it does feel a bit like heaven.