Happily Ever After

Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running

Earlier posts can be found on Adventures of a Lone Bass Player, where this blog began life. Recent entries can be found here.


I May Be Some Time...

by admin - 18:55 on 28 November 2010

Matchgirl can be too conscientious. On the afternoon of another day of snow and sub-zero temperatures she slithered down The Rural Retreat's driveway inside Agent Cooper and set out for Inverness Airport and the plane to Shetland.

It took her fifteen minutes to get up the modest hill not far from the cottage, I learned later, and she had several exciting moments before she got off the Black Isle and on to better roads. I don't look forward to trying the same in overweight Mr Ford.

The flight was delayed, which was fortunate – this gave her time to contact her business partners in Lerwick and learn that conditions there were even worse, most appointments had been cancelled and half the staff wouldn't make it to the office tomorrow.

Then her flight was cancelled too; fate had spoken. She'll spend the night in Inverness and come home to her loving husband and her couldn't-care-less cat tomorrow.

I did manage to leave the Retreat once today, when Andrew picked me up in his 4x4 to attend the latest literary summit meeting, held at Dolphin James' residence. There we admired our personal proof copies of The Bumper Book of Black Isle Snappery, agreed a few changes in text, axed a couple of snaps and found replacements, and confirmed the price and the size of the initial print run. It's 200, since you ask.

My hectic schedule tomorrow includes a trip to Dingwall for a chat with Norman, at Dingwall Printers, and a return to Cromarty where we hope to secure some definite orders. That's if the weather allows, of course.

The garden's feathered freeloaders have found the snow hard going too. The number of visitors and the variety of species have increased noticeably. Yellowhammers and greenfinches were seen today for the first time this winter, as was a bumbling flock of a dozen woodpigeons. Great spotted woodpeckers, collared doves and dunnocks have become more regular in their visits, and at one point I could see five robins among the usual bickering crowd of coal, blue and great tits, chaffinches and sparrows. Keeping a magisterial eye on them all was Mr Pheasant.

Snappery took place but I've not yet got around to sorting wheat from chaff. Maybe tomorrow.

Bess has become a keen birdwatcher too. She spent the morning on the interior windowsill, muttering to herself while she watched the action around and beneath the nearest feeder, and feigning unconcern when a blue tit or a great tit fluttered into the window or pecked up seed six inches from her nose.

They knew they were safe. When there's snow on the ground there's only one place our moggy wants to be – keeping her paws warm indoors.

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