Today is bright, sunny and began very frosty and cold. Mercifully we haven’t had any snow – I am quite ambivalent about snow – I like to when it lays deep and crisp and even but after a day or so I just want it to go. It will be a short entry today because I have had a bit of a reaction to the vaccination. Nothing to be a drama queen about but I am feeling somewhat ‘under the weather’.
It began last evening when I was watching the television in rather casual fashion not really taking note of what was flickering away on the screen. I began to feel cold and shivery but put it down to getting very cold at the Airport and particularly when I had to sit for fifteen minutes in a sort of tourist viewing place on a very hard plastic chair. It was my own fault I reasoned, despite it being very cold outside I had taken off my sweater in the car and had gone in wearing only a short sleeve polo shirt and a fleece. I wanted to make it as easy as possible for the administers of the jab to do their job. By the time I went to bed, even with a hot water bottle, I couldn’t get warm. Inexplicably too my back ached and try as I might I just couldn’t find a position to lie in that was comfortable. I turned one way and then another, twinges shot down my leg, just for. second searing pain pulled at my lower back. Perhaps lying flat on my back but no that didn’t work, on my side then but no because on one side that was where the injection had been and it was getting quite sore, sitting propped up was the only answer and so I slowly nodded off gradually sliding down the pillows until when I eventually awoke I was lying prone, no longer held in a sitting position. The leaflet suggested that if necessary the taking of paracetamol was a useful way forward and after taking one I did manage to sleep. This morning I felt a bit groggy and for the rest of the day so far I have been a bit headachy, chilly, and lethargic. Fair to say I feel a bit as though I have got a mild attack of flu. Thinking that siting reading my latest novel might be a way forward that wouldn’t be too arduous etc I sat beside a radiator and started to read. Suddenly the book fell to the floor and I awoke with a jerk. I tried again and the same thing happened. I shall finish writing this and then maybe go and watch some TV and probably fall asleep!
When I wrote yesterday’s piece I forgot to include the fact that the eight before I had looked out of the window when I went to bed and the sky was star spangled, Orion’s belt was clearly visible but also a number of other individual stars shone diamond bright and above it all a waxing gibbous moon silver and bright. The frost that had already formed on the grass, branches and twigs and that had iced over the puddles in the plough field glittered white.
I was interested to read in today’s paper that in the latest survey of garden birds there was a decline in many of those birds that one might think would be around in all gardens. Apparently Blue Tits, Sparrows and Starlings are in short supply. Perhaps because we live out in the countryside where there is an abundance of bushes and trees etc we have not seen such a dropping off of numbers in these species. In fact the Sparrow population has increased at the feeders in the past few weeks and Blue Tits and Great Tits are always around. We also see Starlings on a regular basis but in no great quantities. I have, however, not seen any Long Tailed Tits this year and this is a shame. The Robin arrives every day and after perching in the bush nearby he lands on the ground below the feeders and pecks up the pieces that there drop. Each day, too, the fat pigeon arrives along with the two Magpies that scavenge on then garage roof.
In ‘normal’ times we would often see aircraft trails in the sky and hear the dull hum of them as they flew to distant lands. Since the ‘lockdowns’ there have been very few but as I glanced out of the window I saw the white contra trail and high in the sky the silver mechanical bird flying high above.As quickly as it came it disappeared as though it had never been. Strange how seeing a plane is now noteworthy, something to comment on. It must be cold out still because the large saucer like bowl I have used as a birdbath is still frozen over.
I have always been fascinated by the patterns ice and frost make on windows. Ever since, as a small child, I woke to find ferns of sparkling whiteness obscuring the light I have wondered at this natural phenomena. Yesterday the conservatory windows were covered in delicate vertical ice stems each encrusted with myriad stars for flowers. Defying the cold I went into the conservatory to take some pictures and I have added them below.