Motivation has been a bit lacking too, mooching about and relying on the cricket commentary for entertainment. Today dawned bright and clear, which only ramped up the frustration at my exile from the outside world.
I offer this as a possible explanation for what happened next. I'm embarrassed to admit that I started birdwatching our Christmas cards. Perched around the lounge were numerous images of winter scenes, which I methodically studied for ornithological interest. Predictably, you will not be too surprised to read, there were loads of Robins, from the twee cartoon types to the superbly-photographed one, sat amongst frost-laden twigs. However, two cards stood out from the background noise of red, white and brown ruddockness.
The first was an RSPB card showing an almost lifesize Goldcrest on a branch, set against a dark starry sky. In the painting, the buds on the branch and the bird's legs are picked out in gold, which contrasts nicely with the black background. Thanks, J, that really cheered me up.
The other card was much smaller, only 11cm square, from my RSPCA supporting in-laws. The painting on the front is entitled Winter Wildlife by Avril Haynes, published by Otter House.
Please feel free to correct any errors in my list: pair of Blue Tits, Song Thrush, pair of Robins, Wren, Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, Collared Dove, pair of Chaffinches, Coal Tit, Great Tit, House Sparrow, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Starling, Goldcrest, Bullfinch, Long-tailed Tit, Nuthatch, pair of Goldfinches, Jay, (domesticated dove), Tree Creeper, Greenfinch, Magpie, Grey Partridge, and a pair of Pheasants. Rounding off the scene: 2 Rabbits, 3 Hedgehogs, 1 Grey Squirrel and 2 Dormice.
Between the card watching and the blogging, it's been a pleasant morning, and I've just noticed a Black Grouse on the sideboard, adorning a bottle of blended Scotch whisky. Cheers!