On the Cusp

Stuck inside with the rain, wind and the promise of snow means that the observations of the pond life are drive-by shots. Some of the birds are trying to make the best of it, but many are spending time on the banks negotiating with each other for early options on nest sites, none of which are binding at this stage of course. The logs have been left with solitary cormorant sentries that are sitting stoically wet as it’s no use hanging their wings out to dry in driving rain.

However, a quick look at the weather elsewhere in the world makes it clear how fortunate we are in this spot as we see floods in Australia, Europe frozen and even the south-east US getting frigid; why even the manatees in Florida are eschewing their seagrass beds for the warm outflows from a large power plant. Going hungry to spend time in a hot tub sounds a little like one of the celebrity diets that are hitting the magazines as we edge our big toe up to the cusp of the next decade. Lots of warnings against unhealthy diets abound and this seems to have been a longstanding tradition. Recent research indicates that the Neanderthalers ate their veggies cooked – I can hear it now – “You don’t get down from this rock until you eat all your veggies; do you hear me!” It seems that the old theory that they died out because they relied solely on a meat diet is no longer valid. Fanatical vegans will no longer be able to comment about my eating habits by blaming my Neanderthal lineage.

The next few days are traditionally stressful as New Year resolutions are made, broken, remade and finally abandoned. They are best summed up by this quote from Oscar Wilde: “New Year resolutions go in one year and out the other.”

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