Tuesday 7 July

Like many other people, I have been trying out new recipes during lockdown. Today it was Delia Smith’s quiche lorraine, which we had for lunch. It was extremely good, but with double cream and extra egg yolk, I guess it would be. She also had a tip of putting the pastry case in the freezer for half an hour before 15 minutes of baking blind, and I have to say the pastry was much crisper and not at all soggy, which can happen with a large quiche. So good experiment.

I have found a good use for old Edexcel CDs I tie them to the plum tree to scare away the birds and squirrels, or that’s the theory anyway. They twirl and twinkle in the sunshine and the hope is that the flashing light is a deterrent. The pigeons told me they’d prefer a bit of Michael Jackson of course.

Outside our house is a speed bump. I never cease to be amazed at the number of cars which just crash over it regardless. The sound of scraping undercarriage is a daily event. Can they really afford to replace their exhaust on a regular basis? Trucks with planks and bits of metal on board don’t scrape over the bumps but merely bounce, so the entire contents rattle about like the contents of a kaleidoscope. Oh we see life here.

This afternoon Rod and I returned to Ashburnham Place. The cafe has now reopened but only Wednesday to Saturday so I had to do without an amazing cake. Rod fished the middle lake this time, and was rewarded with some fantastic tench, 9 in all. They are truly good-looking fish, and these ones are in wonderful condition. I am not an angler, but it is interesting to watch a well-informed enthusiast. Rod knows so much about the habitat and behaviour of fish, and points out the bubbles which the tench create as they stick their noses down into the silt. They are a golden olive colour, very shiny, with a wide tail like a paddle. I had a walk around the Capability designed grounds, managing 3 miles in all.

This is the so-called Reservoir Pond at the top. There are bulrushes and pretty vegetation at the margins. It was overcast today, which is good angling weather I am told. It certainly was for Rod, the only angler there.

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