Three holes in the ground, as my old granny was wont to say.
"Well, where have you been?" I hear you ask. (Well - and that's the second one - I don't really but it's as good a way as any of letting you know that I'm still here.)
Well (and that's the last one) actually I'm back. I've been back for over a week but have been enormously busy.
Can one be 'enormously' busy? I'm not at all sure that one can, but I've been busy. Let's just leave it at that.
We (that's the Old Bat and me - or I if you prefer) did have a week in France. And very restful it was, especially on the two mornings when we were able to sit in the courtyard and soak up the sun. But since we got back it's been go,go,go all the time and this afternoon is the first opportunity I have had to bore you all rigid.
I must say there are times when I wish we were back in our village without newspapers or, especially, television. Watching the goings on across the pond makes me very glad I'm not an American and as certain as one can be that one of two presidential wannabes will be forced upon me. Choosing between those two seems very much like choosing the lesser of two evils.
On the other hand, I was delighted the other afternoon to see that there are still harebells in bloom in the Ladies Mile nature reserve. In mid-October! They surely should have finished before now. And as I was walking across 39 Acres another day, a bird flashed past very fast, much too fast for me to identify it. I was pretty sure that it was a falcon; body shape, wing shape and flight pattern were right. But all I could really say apart from that was that it was grey or brown on the back and paler underneath, smaller than a kestrel but larger than a blackbird. Hobby or merlin seem the most likely candidates - but I have never seen either breed and don't know that they are South Downs regulars - although if it was a hobby it could be on migration.
Just another of those insoluble mysteries.