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Friday, February 24, 2012

Nicholas Rhea, February 2012

Am feeling good today Ė Iíve just posted the re-write of my latest book to my agent. Now Iíll have a nail-biting few weeks while she considers whether itís good enough this time round for submission to a publisher. Getting work into print is becoming more and more difficult in this economic climate, but if this one is rejected I donít think I could face another re-write.

In the meantime, Iíll have a few days respite Ė maybe a trip up the Dales Ė a favourite haunt - and then, when I feel refreshed, Iíll decide whether to pick up other manuscripts that need revision or start on something entirely new. Fortunately, Iím never short of ideas Ė just short of time to work on them.

Like most of the country we had 6Ē or so of snow the first weekend of February and I was kept busy for most of Sunday morning shoveling snow from the drive. Then I had to clear a path to the log store, another to the greenhouse and the compost bins, not forgetting a path to the front door for the newspaper boy. All this effort got my circulation going and I was really looking forward to a nice mug of cocoa and a read of the Sunday papers. Unfortunately, I was thwarted as the usually reliable delivery boy didnít make it through the snow, so I had to haul myself out of my comfy chair and dash down to the local shop before they sold out. Sunday is not Sunday without a pile of papers to wade through.

Today, however, is an unseasonably warm winterís day and Iíve just had a very pleasant wander around the garden in the sunshine. The plants put on considerable growth during the mild weather we had at the turn of the year and the garden never did take on that dreary Ďback-endí look. Winter pansies and primulas have bloomed continuously and now weíre getting all the delights of spring bulbs.
We always put out food for the birds and have been delighted to see a cock pheasant and a green woodpecker as well as the usual visitors. We took part in the RSPB big garden birdwatch at the end of January and realised that weíve not seen the many greenfinches or house sparrows this winter and no siskins at all. But we have had visits from a grey squirrel and no matter where we hang the feeders he always manages to get to them. Weíve also had a mysterious visitor around the compost bins but have been unable to identify it. We empty our hoover bags into one of the bins and some determined creature has been dragging this fluffy waste material out from under this open-bottom bin and depositing it on the footpath. Now I know a fox trots through this area each night so could he have been scavenging for scraps, or is it the wily grey squirrel? Itís a puzzle and Iím would be interested to know what other gardeners have to say about it.

Sarah is coming this afternoon for logs from the local sawmill to feed her new wood-burning stove. I guess Iíll get roped in to help load up her car boot but a bit of exercise wonít do me any harm. In the meantime Iím going to find a nice sheltered spot in the garden and enjoy a cup of tea outdoors in the sunshine.

Posted by Peter N. Walker @ 05:54 PM GMT [Link]

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