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Date: 21/08/05

Everything In The Garden...

During last winter, I promised myself that I'd spend more time out of doors this summer.

Well, I've managed to keep that promise to some extent, which is one of the reasons why updates to this site have been a bit rare lately (the other reasons being laziness and lack of energy after the day's work).

This morning, I had some things to do in the house. Like, cleaning out the CPU fan and heatsink on this here PC (Yuk!), and doing a bit of minor cleaning around the place while self-same PC was being put through its fortnightly routine of adware- and spyware-scanning, virus-scanning (where the hell did those Trojans come from?) and a defrag.

It was the perfect late-summer's day - sunshine, but a pleasant light breeze to take the blunt edge off the warmth - so I decided to spend some time sitting in the garden. I dragged my somewhat uncomfortable deck-chair out and sat in the shade of the hedge - the one I'd spent all of yesterday cutting.

It's a nice place to sit. As I say, it's in the shade, and because there's a thick hedge between me and the pavement outside, no-one passing knows that I'm there. Not that I ever hear anything revelatory, mind. But I live in hope of that someday.

I read a little. I tried to push on through one of the more difficult parts of Stanisław Lem's Imaginary Magnitude, but reality kept intruding. 'Reality' in this case meaning a wide variety of extraneous noise: the small cement mixer being run by the guy across the road as he adds yet another strange structure to his backyard; the skirling of someone's hedge-trimmer somewhere round the back; the patter-patter-patter of the obnoxious, verminous dachshunds who inhabit the house behind mine, and who make my life a trial with their incessant yapping, as they pad around inside the large shed which constitutes their living room, play area and (for all I know) brothel; the sound of nine- and ten-year-old boys pretending to be police as they dash around on their bikes and scooters (not a realistic game, this - none of them has shot a Brazilian electrician as far as I know); and, of course, the cars. Mostly sad little eighteen-year-old needledicks who try to cover the inadequacies of themselves and their vehicles (elderly Vauxhalls and Peugeots usually) by playing rap very loudly (as a projection of an 'image', it's about as credible as Tim Westwood).

After a while, I gave up on the literature and sat watching the bees and butterflies as they buzzed and fluttered around the buddleia, which in turn was giving off a faint but beguiling perfume. I saw what was either a honey bee or a rather large fly land on a leaf of the cotoneaster (I think that's what it's called; my usual term of reference for it is 'bloody thing that won't stop growing') just behind me, and sit there grooming itself for some minutes. Agile creature: being able to use one's front legs to scratch one's back must be considered quite a plus. At least, I assume it was just fettling itself: I don't have enough in-depth knowledge regarding the prevalence of auto-eroticism amongst insects.

I carried on watching the buddleia, and got the thought that it might be nice to have a few photographs of the butterflies, to keep as a reminder of warmer days during the winter months. So I dashed inside for my camera, put the batteries in, and plonked myself down in my chair again...

...and didn't see another butterfly thereafter. Fickle creatures!

After about half an hour, I gave up and brought the camera and the chair back indoors.

The weather's about to turn. It's going to rain for a few days, and be pretty windy with it by all accounts (though not for too long, I hope; there's a wedding in the family next Saturday). At least I took advantage of it while I could.