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A BLACKBIRD explodes in indignation from a hawthorn. A few gulls paddle at the edge of a temporary pool in the field. Behind them a cock Pheasant strides towards the river.
Apart from the distant drone of traffic it is quiet in the valley today.
I'm pausing on my way back from the corner shop with a fresh supply of aspirins. After the traditional seasonal gatherings in warm rooms it's time for Barbara and I to have a dose of 'flu.