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Today was beautiful again.

We went swimming in the morning but as the day wore on it got nicer and nicer and by the time we came out of the pool it was gorgeous.
Sadly we had to go shopping for food, the cupboards were very bare for breakfast following our return to the house.

An hour in Falmouth’s finest monster supermarket gave us the necessary supplies and me the infuriated irritation that meant we would not have to go back for another week.
People.
Shopping trollies.
I mean, really.

We arrived home after lunch.
There was still work to do on the insect house after yesterday’s foiled attempts to re home the invertebrate population of Redruth.
I also felt like today was the day to unpick the compostable nappy question.
The compost bins stand like sentinels of doom at the end of the garden, visible from my chair as I have breakfast.
I used to see them as pillars of hope, slowly but surely churning vegetation into compost.
Since they were utilised to process the organic nappies and results of Prole2’s digestive system the delicate balance of the four compost bins has been ruined and now they just stand there, on rainy days they leak an oozy jelly like substance.

The compost bins need solving.

I decided to dig a big hole and use the old pallets we had made the insect house out of to shutter round it.
I emptied the contents of three of the bins into this new space and then covered over with topsoil and a couple of handfuls of grass seed.
Then I stacked the remaining pallets by the hawthorn tree and got the Proles to fit them out as an insect house again.

I made that sound quite breezy but of course when mankind tries to get close to nature it never goes quite to plan.

The Man Who Digs The Garden ‘borrowed’ my wheel barrow about four years ago.
He is bringing it back.
He tells me he is so it must be true.
For now I know it is in another friend’s garden in Truro.
I sometimes go and visit it.

Without a wheel barrow I was forced to use a laundry tub to shift Prole2’s produce from the old compost bins to the new resting place.
The fork would pick them up but would not let them go again so in the end the simplest way to get the elderly nappies into the tub was to kneel down and pull them out by hand.

Kneeling in the remains of a compost bin and knowing that the compost had been created by worms digesting what my son had previously digested was a little too close to nature for my liking.
The process took about forty five minutes but it seemed…well I was a different person by the end.

The Proles had been encouraged to help in the garden.

Prole1 had been convinced that the garden was a good place but was ‘a little tired from swimming to do any work’.

Prole2 whole heartedly agreed with his brother.

They were no averse to being outside and they made it very clear they fully supported my decision to work in the garden and if at any point they could offer moral support or advice they were more than happy to do so.

I reckoned that being outside on a glorious day was better than inside so I kept on picking and shovelling while Prole2 built a lego car and Prole1 read Tin Tin.

Close to nature is better than away from nature I suppose.

After an hour or so when everything looked like it might be coming together I was just wondering if the Proles might like to come and help when there was an explosion of pigeons from next door’s garden.

The cats had been mooching about all day, occasionally proving that their digestive systems could make a contribution to the garden eco system as well and I assumed it was one of them causing trouble.
A couple of weeks ago it would have been my tabby cat but since she went bald she does not go out much.
I say bald. Bald in places.
I thought the bird scare could have come from the big black tom but he has difficulty jumping onto the washing machine since The Man Who Digs The Garden fed him last week.

The birds flapped and thwacked away over head, right over where I was standing.
I was just turning to see if the Proles had taken any notice of this display of wildlife when the air in front of me became a tangle of wings and flying feathers.
It was over in a second, a flapping white dove pinned to the ground beside my shovel.
A sleek brown shadow above it.
I saw the hawk at about the moment it saw me and we both realised how close we were.

The hawk and the dove leapt away skywards again and the dove fought up with the last of the pigeon flock.
The hawk peeled away and swept low past the garden and was gone across the houses.

I was breathless and disorientated, it had been fast and close, I had adrenaline in my mouth.
There were a scattering of white downey feathers and one large white flight feather landed, twisting in the grass.

I looked across to the Proles.

Prole1 was looking at me.

Prole1: Dad!

Me: Yes?

Prole1: Tin Tin’s dog can talk to him, well it comes out in speech bubbles, but Tin Tin can’t understand him.

Me: Did you see the birds?

Prole1 looks back at his book and then back at me.

Prole1: Which story are they in?

 

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