Dig, dig, dig. After a weekend’s exertion, the vegetable garden is now fully prepared for sowing and planting. It is immensely satisfying. The grass has been attacked with my full armoury of gadgets, including a Flymo, a sit-on mower and various edging machines.

The jackdaws have been kindly picking up the leftover trimmings from the hedge cutting, as well as pulling out the moss from the lawn to make their nest-unfortunately-in one of the chimneys.

The bird feeders have been cleaned and put away-we mustn’t let peanuts become the crack cocaine of the avian world. Dependency on humans for food isn’t good for birds, and, in the summer months, it’s better to encourage them to forage in their natural way. Besides, there have been some worrying statistics in the past week of bird feeders transmitting disease. We may be killing with kindness, particularly greenfinches.

Now, I long to hear the cuckoo and welcome back the whizzing house martins, but, with the first bluebells out, the hedges edging towards green and the glorious month of May but a fortnight away, there is so much to look forward to. Heaven, at present, is in the countryside.

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