Today, and yesterday, have been filled with DIY. We have floored a bedroom, fitted toddler gates, window limiters and planted lots of plants amongst other things. When doing such tasks we find that the hours whirl past. The last job of the day found me on ladders cleaning out the guttering. I filled two buckets with the detritus that accumulates over what must be a couple of years. When I started the job a pair of house sparrows seemed very perturbed that I was interfering with their nest building. They seemed to have found a small cavity in the corner of the eves just big enough to start a family in. As the task progressed I discovered that the corner cavity was not unique and by the end of the job I had disturbed four couples of sparrows that correspond to all four corners of the cottage. I hope that tomorrow they have found it within themselves to forgive me and return to build their homes.

Tonight I did not even have time to put away the tools tidily before it was time for the little man’s bed time. After his feed and his cuddle-to-sleep, the lovely Sharon and I decided to have dinner outside. We used to have dinner ‘al fresco’ a lot in our old house in temperatures regarded as insane for most people we could be found in our fleeces at our patio table. Since the move to the culchieside we have not found the time to dine outside until now. To be honest the preparation time required seems no different.

Tonight there was one obvious difference to this evening’s dining when compared to our usual outside dining; the monitor. A 25meter extension cable and a video baby monitor provided us with a constant update on the little man’s snoozing. While he slept we enjoyed our meal under a clear blue sky. Instead of watching television we had a conversation. We talked about the day, about our family, about life and about the nature that seemed vibrant all around us. We started by watching the swallows dart about manically plucking chains of insects on the wing. After the meal we consulted some cooking books and I boldly committed to making a lovely Italian themed meal for tomorrow evening (I think the wine and the fresh air were kicking in at this point).

After the sun had set and the sky had slowly darkened we began to see the stars slowly appear. We vowed that we would not retire to the cottage until we had spotted our first bat in our new home. This gave us enough time to spot Capella, the twins of Gemini and then the plough starting to take over the sky. Eventually a bat did arrive and swoop around hunting. It was just in time for us as the chill was setting in and a roaring wood stove was inviting us in from the dark.