Lawns all freshly mulched. Alsteomerias and kniphofias giving the borders a Jackson Pollock look. Bamboos exploding from the earth with phallic promise. The new grasses border paying out a handsome dividend for last year's careful pre-planting preparations. The garden pool as busy as Morrisons, with two Canada Goose families, a Mallard family and eight little cootlets bombing around.
Two black spots in this idyllic heaven. First, the bloody rabbits are eating the echinaceas. Which makes me wonder what sort of mad person would have stolen a rabbit hutch from outside a pet shop in Welshpool last week (reported in today's Montgomeryshire County Times). Since Smokey died, we have been overrun and they've even started to stretch out on the lawns like sun worshippers on these £5 holidays in Crete that are being advertised. Don't house them - shoot them I say.
And secondly, Hoppity has started to attack the postman. This is Hoppity, the pheasant with a limp - not Hoppity the wife who is making fantastic progress after a prosthetic knee replacement three weeks ago.Hoppity is a 'cock' pheasant - a word I use in defiance of the RSPB. It seems, according to the Mail and the Telegraph that I should be referring to Hoppity as Daddy Pheasant to avoid causing offence. What is going to happen when I post something like "On this cold winter's day, there were a pair of blue tits frolicking outside the window, visiting upon my senses a pleasure that can only be described as sensual". I might easily have posted such a line in all innocence.
All this wonderment is my escape. But there must be something to escape from. My month of quiet reflection, free from political pressures, is almost over - rather the same as if I had been elected last May 3rd! Last weekend I subjected myself to the judgement of the Conservative Party's Parliamentary Assessment Board, where assessors decided whether I'm a suitable person to be placed on the Approved Candidate's List for the next General Election. And if I have managed to surmount this hurdle, I will have to decide whether I tackle the next big hurdle, by throwing my hat into the ring, seeking consideration for selection as Parliamentary Candidate for my beloved Montgomeryshire. And what else should I do to advance the cause of our modern 'Welsh' Conservative Party - and to indulge my passion for the 'countryside'.
Ah well, its back outside to face the aggressive Daddy Pheasant and put some chicken wire around the echinaceas - and mental preparation for a week of decisions coming up.