Of Birds, Domesticity, Sleep and Good Catteries

Breakfasted with the lark this morning. Or, more accurately with the blackbird. There may be larks in this patch of London, but I have not heard them. The blackbirds, Mr and Mrs, are increasingly strutting their territorial stuff, reminding all comers, whether human, avian or cat, that this is their manor. There’s a lot of proprietorial sitting together on walls. As they haven’t dive bombed MasterB, I’d say they don’t have eggs yet. The bossy wren who did not conform to the bird book’s description of a shy bird, is nowhere to be seen, or indeed heard. I think he had his singing lessons from the local corvids, and they are strangely quiet this week too. Normally the waist coated chuck of the magpies accompanies each day, while the crows laugh and chatter high in the trees by the railway line.
I have two new domestic challenges today: vacuuming and ironing. Octavia lent me a rather fab fluffy duster on a handle. It made me feel I should be wearing pearls and a day dress whole I floated it gently over the bibelots. By the end of my labours I was a bit doubtful. She gave me a snowy white duster that now looks very grubby. I am tempted to buy my own, but it isn’t very environmentally friendly. The instructions say you can ‘just throw it away’ and install a new one. Maybe not. Getting the vacuum cleaner out of the cupboard, attaching the hose shouldn’t take more than an hour, and it will be good to remove fur and crumbs from the floors. The ironing poses more of a problem. Those of you, like Cousin, with utility rooms where the iron and ironing board are in a state of constant readiness, may not understand the difficulty. I reckon I can iron with my left hand, but setting up the board, uncoiling the iron from its home on the wall, and more significantly returning it there, feels like my own personal Everest. Honestly, I take my hat off to Nelson. Though maybe someone else did his ironing. Continue reading