A solitary crow, flapping his wings like a metronome, makes steady progress across the skyline. By contrast, the swallows dart in and out of the stables and then fly loop-the-loop with casual daring just for the fun of it. The blackbird below seems to have two wives and looks rather dishevelled by it all.
The news this week is that I have backache which is the curse of all gardeners. I have no idea how I managed to hurt my back, the pain was just there one day and seems to have no intention of leaving. I do try to look after myself and always seek help from Charlie and Bones if anything heavy needs lifting.
I feel fine when I am up and walking about but when I sit down then my back seizes up. I have become a character in a Greek tragedy, doomed to spend the rest of eternity walking the earth unable to rest for even a moment. My wife is fed up with all my moaning and groaning and has booked me an appointment with the doctor.
The appointment is at the inconvenient time of midday causing me to make a mad dash from work, shower and smart clothes and then on to the surgery.
The receptionist looks up with a disgruntled look that tells me I am disturbing her. She points with a sigh to a machine on the wall by the door that I failed to notice when I came in. I touch the screen and the machine asks my date of birth and sex and then welcomes me to the surgery and invites me to take a seat and wait. Medical science has clearly advanced in leaps and bounds since I was last here.
My usual doctor is a pleasantly chubby fellow with the ruddy complexion that comes from drinking copious amounts of fine wine. But unbeknown to me my wife has booked me with a young female doctor who now beckons me into her office with a bent finger. I enter with trepidation.
Having explained my predicament she invites me to strip to my underpants. It has certainly been a long time since a young lady has asked me to undress. Thank goodness I changed knickers. I comply obediently.
She asks me to bend down and touch my toes. I reach down slowly and get within spitting distance of them. It has been a long time since I have seen these fine toe fellows. She prods my spine with her fingertips.
Then she has me on her couch and lifts up my knee and bashes it with a hammer.
Apparently all is well, just some bruised muscles. Nowt is broken. I leave gingerly with a relieved heart.
By the time you read this letter I should be on my way with the missus down the A303 heading for Cornwall for the weekend.. My back feels better already. Will send you a post-card. Promise!