Mr and Mrs Duck have returned to the pond. We’re not sure if it’s the same female as last year, but in all likelihood it is. After all, last year’s duck successfully raised a brood of eleven ducklings.

The kitchen woodstove has started smoking whenever there’s a gust of wind; in between showers of rain, I fetched the double ladder, leaned it against the kitchen wall, and climbed up to the top to have a look at the rotating cowl on top of the chimney. It appears to be home-made, and the problem is that the support bracket has rusted and sagged, so the cowl itself is now off-centre and no longer rotates fully. It is binding on the side of the chimney pipe. I removed it, and this seems to have cured the smoking problem. I’ll need to make another support bracket; one more item for the “To Do” list.

We had a storm yesterday, which deposited a layer of hail; this blocked one of the gutters so I had to go out in the downpour to clear it. I was not a happy bunny. Google also started annoying me; they deleted my other blog yesterday because their automated system considered it to be spam. I requested a review, they apologised, and re-instated it. This morning they deleted it again. So I have now given up on Blogger and instead moved that one to self-hosted WordPress as well.

Wildlife diary: A pair of blue tits have decided they want to come into the house, presumably wanting to make a nest somewhere dry after all this rain. They fly onto the window sill, or cling precariously to the wall at the side of the window, then flutter around in front of the glass. Getting tired of this, they perch on the bottom of the PVC window frame and peck hopefully at the glass as though they’re knocking to come in. Taptaptaptaptap. Taptaptaptaptap. But irritatingly, when you go over to open the window and say “Yes? Who is it?” they fly away. The down-side of this charming behaviour is that we now have muddy kitty paw-prints all over the inside of the window glass, as Cat could not fail to notice their behaviour. “Ooooh, yes, come in, do. Home Food Delivery, now that’s what I call service.”

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