We're all still receiving congratulations - that is, Ro the Sage and I - on his leaving home. I'm a bit puzzled - it sounds as if people think that either we've been keeping him here and that he's been wanting to leave, or that he's been a nuisance to us. I don't think either is the case, but observers can know best.
I was really upset this morning. Having gone to the church at 7.30 to get ready for the early service, I found all the doors open. I mentioned some months ago that we suspected someone was sleeping in there, and was certainly turning the heating on, until I put a stop to that by turning the boiler off altogether. But there are all sorts of things, just little items that make it clear that someone is still going in and wants us to know he is, and that he is proprietorial about the place. That this is done in slightly disturbing and yet harmless and quite childish ways (putting the number 666 on the hymn board, but leaving it on the floor propped in its usual weekday place rather than hanging it up, for example, or turning all the fuse switches off on the power board) - but working out how to bypass the lock to the church rooms, which was how he was able to turn the heating on, was another matter. A new bolt has finally been fitted, after a few teething problems. Leaving the doors open seems harmless, but then birds come in at dusk to roost and they can't find their way out again. It's impossible to catch them, and they inevitably die.
This morning, a pair of swallows was flying from one end of the church to the other, calling to each other. It was terribly upsetting. I think I was more upset than anyone, because most people didn't realise that they will die. It's made me very angry with the arrogance of the complete dickhead who thinks that he's proving some sort of stupid point, in staking his claim to the church (which isn't an argument, it's for all and always has been as far as I'm concerned, and you don't have to be a Christian or a believer for your village church to be yours if you care for it to be) and as part of the fallout, in a way he doesn't understand - because he doesn't deign to come and treat us as reasonable human beings - he kills birds that have flown to Africa and back, and will die of thirst looking out of a church window. Over the top reaction? Sure. Sodding dickhead. I will go while he's there one day, and I'll explain reasonably. Indeed, I have put a note on the door (I hate notices because they are officious, but what to do?) This is it, please excuse the capitals -
PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ALL THE DOORS OPEN, PARTICULARLY THE OUTER MESH DOOR. BIRDS COME IN TO ROOST AND WE CANNOT CATCH THEM AS THEY FLY UP TO THE ROOF. THEY ARE UNABLE TO FIND THEIR WAY OUT AND THEY DIE.
THIS CHURCH IS UNLOCKED AND EVERYONE IS WELCOME HERE. HOWEVER, PLEASE LEAVE THE CHURCH AS YOU FIND IT AND BE CONSIDERATE TO THE PEOPLE WHO LOOK AFTER IT.
Later, I watched a blackbird pecking over a patch of ground that has been newly dug and watered, ready to have black membrane put over (I don't weed) and squashes grown on it. He is quite tame and didn't fly away when I approached. When I went back to the house, I heard a songthrush. I looked up and he was singing on the apex of the roof.
In other news, the Sage has cooked dinner again tonight. I am astonished. And awfully pleased, that he can surprise me after all these years.
And I've been coughing all day. I think it's hayfever, because my eyes were prickly earlier in the day. I never had hayfever when we lived by the coast, but it grew on me in my 40s. It hasn't been a problem in the last few years, but the weather has been very dry. We've hardly had any rain for weeks and weeks. A little on Friday, but it's been a lovely day today. However, the garden needs to be watered from now on. Our sand on gravel soil, once dried out, would need rain all summer to keep the vegetables from dying of drought.