I was sound asleep at 5 o’clock this morning, but LT wasn’t and nor was Eloise cat, and she was the culprit. She was chasing a mouse – I don’t know whether this was a very stupid house mouse or one that she had caught outside, brought in and dropped, but she managed to dispose of it, after some excited running around. So Tim got up to put it in the bin. I reluctantly and slowly became aware of him leaving the room, returning, leaving again and then coming back to bed.
That was the end of the night’s sound sleep, we dozed on and off after that. And Eloise cat came back to greet us about 8 o’clock, when we were contemplating getting up, walked across Tim and onto the table to drink from her glass of water. A few minutes later, I heard a tumbling, flapping sound.
“I think a bird has fallen down the chimney.” Tim thought it might have been Eloise, who was jumping on and off the chaise longue and the chest of drawers but, a few minutes later when she’d gone downstairs with him, I heard more flapping.
The chimney pot is very tall, about six foot and it’s tempting for birds to sit on. But birds are not always as gracefully agile as they give the impression of being and it’s not that unusual for one to lose its footing and tumble. Once in the very wide chimney, they can’t manage to fly up the chimney pot and get out. There’s a board in front of the fireplace, as it would be extremely draughty otherwise (a working fireplace in the bedroom is absolutely lovely, but impractical even from my romantic viewpoint) and a chest of drawers in front of that.
We were lucky though. After breakfast, we went up and shifted the chest of drawers, pulled away the board and, rather than the pigeon I expected to see, there was a rook. It could have been a crow but it looked like a rook to me. We’d drawn all but one curtain and opened a window. It swooped around the room a few times, having a false start by thinking the cheval mirror was open space, and then flew away.
The rest of the morning was less eventful. Stevo has finished roofing the shed and made a start on replacing missing boards from the sides. We had the celery soup I made yesterday for lunch and then met Roses and Lawrence in Norwich to hear a concert. The star turn was Emma Johnson, playing the world premiere of a concerto by Patrick Hawes, which was very fine and whose showiness I can never aspire to play. It ended on the top note that can be played on the clarinet, the highest C, which I used to know how was played, but I’m not sure if I ever hit it myself. The composer was in the audience and took a bow, of course – I’ve been to at least three premieres with the composer present, I always think how absolutely magical it must feel to have your composition performed in public for the first time.
So a day that started somewhat jaggedly is ending well. A gin and tonic is in front of me, as well as some rather nice Spicy Peas from the Exotic Supermarket. Duck breast with sprouting broccoli and mushrooms for dinner, and the Aga is having its annual service tomorrow. So the ducks seem to be lining up nicely at the Zedary.