Sunday afternoon . The enthusiastic curtain woman arrives , unannounced , to deliver two cushions for the benches in the hallway . " I was just passing " her opening line . What should take two minutes , max , turns into half an hour of trilling and arm waving . Wilf and yours truly go for a walk to escape this soft furnishing lunacy .
A beautiful Monday morning .Why is it nature is always at its best when you have to go travelling ? The lavender beds covered in scores of fluttering Purple Emperors and Cabbage Whites . Half a dozen exotically plumed hoopoes wandering , haeds down , across the lawn looking for insects . Beside us in the lime trees a chattering Piccadillly Circus of redshanks, orioles , and a blue and yellow bird with a name name I don't know but which looks gloriously foreign to Scottish eyes. Best of all three baby wrens. Tiny things . Exhausted after an early morning flying lesson, they perch on the side of the breakfast table. The sight of the croissant overriding their mothers noisome fear .Wilf holds close . Somehow , he knows I'm off . There's just enough time for a serious mano a mano on the lawn with an old family fellow who can't believe anyone would want to leave him .