First of all to my avid readers (there must be someone out there) and to anyone else who by some mishap stumbles on this blog - "Happy New Year" to you! As is my customary practice I did not go out on New Year's Eve, it's one of those things that is meaningless for me personally. As usual fireworks were let off from midnight onwards, I think that they were popping and banging for 20 to 25 minutes but, as noted 12 months ago, they don't seem to be as noisy as they used to be.
Today dawned bright and cold and, making use of the little warmth there was after lunch, we went for a relatively short walk: a stroll along the lower road towards Calstock and then down the 'cul-de-sac' lane that drops down to the forgotten quay at Slimeford. Returning the same way we enjoyed our perambulation - one of its joys being the lack of traffic and other noises. On 1st January 2009 we had walked over to Cotehele with a picnic lunch so our effort today was far more modest. In our defence I have to point out that my companion was just getting over a bad cold whilst I'm a bit out of practice doing decent length of walks! Nice to be out however and we both enjoyed that clarity of vision one can get on a winter's day - definitely no heat haze to spoil things!
Once clear of the main body of our village one passes the odd house or cottage and it's amazing to see how many birds flock to the feeders in people's gardens, at this time of year especially. My friend bemoaned the fact that birds hardly ever turn up at her own feeding stations and we both reckon it's down to ... cats! Whereas in our immediate locality one can hardly move for moggies, the more isolated properties we passed always seem to be happily devoid of felines. Although my friend has neither cat nor dog her garden gets visited by many examples of the former and she has seen them take birds. There is a relatively recent addition to the cat population in my Row and, although I don't have proof, he is the prime suspect concerning the 'murder' of a male blackbird whose dead body adorned my lawn recently. A very cheeky cat incidentally - he had the audacity to use the cat flap in the front door of a neighbour's cottage and eat the food in the resident cat's dish while it was asleep!!
Apart from this bad relationship with our feathered friends the other bit of unwelcome behaviour from the local cats is their tendency to poo in one's garden! Not very nice. I would be very happy to see far fewer cats around the neighbourhood.