When I was a child (many moons ago) I used to play ‘knock-a-door-run’ with my friends (much to the delight of our neighbours). I did feel a bit naughty doing it, so didn’t play it that often. But for the record, I’m really sorry, neighbours of old. For those of you who haven’t played this before, you basically sneak up to someone’s front door, knock on it and then run and hide. It’s not the most complex game but it kept us entertained for about ten minutes in the six-week summer holidays.

Here in Suffolk it’s not children who play this game, but birds: Long-tailed tits, to be precise. Mr G and I were sat working when we heard a knocking on the front door. We both looked but nobody was there. It happened a few times and eventually we caught the culprit – a very cute, long-tailed tit, balancing on the edge of the window in the door and tapping on the glass with his beak. He has a couple of friends who now join in and they knock on both the front and back doors. We are now familiar with their ‘knock’ so no longer get up to answer the door. And I have forgiven them for disturbing us, as they are super-cute.

Bird_2 PortraitThe birds have been ‘playing’ this game for over a fortnight now and don’t seem to be getting bored of it. So I can at least be assured that my brain is slightly larger than that of a bird as I played this for about ten minutes before running into Mum declaring that I was “Boooooooored” for the millionth time that summer holiday.

I am now fully aware of how irritating it is to hear those words from your child when you know they have a bedroom full of toys, not to mention the stack in the shed!

And so I find myself sounding just like my Mum all those years ago, repeating to Amelie exactly what Mum used to say to me and my brother “How can you be bored when you have all of those toys”. And then I go on to say how we didn’t have game consoles, only had four TV channels (what!?), tablets were a solid form of medicine and ‘Mr Google’ hadn’t been born! My goodness, no wonder I was playing knock-a-door-run to help fill the holidays.


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. . . _ _ _ . . . (SOS)

One of the reasons we moved to the Suffolk countryside was to escape the hustle and bustle of town life. To enjoy the simple things in life, including the peace and quiet. I’ve mentioned before that you could hear a pin drop here it’s so quiet, especially at night. If there is no wind then all around is quiet and still.

Owls and bats as we know, like to fly around at night. This is all lovely until they fly past the security light sensors, as they trigger them to come on. During the night the outside lights can sometimes flash on and off like the owls are communicating through Morse Code!

To add to the array of security features on our house, Mr G has bought an outdoor security camera kit. This is great, but considering we get on average about three cars a day down our lane – the likelihood of one of them being a burglar is slim. But, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

He has been busy setting it all up and getting very excited about being able to watch the pitch black of night on the TV in the lounge. To be fair it can be a welcome relief to the trash telly we sometimes sit and watch! Of course, the kit comes with a little booklet full of all sorts of interesting facts and settings for the camera kit. One of which is if the cameras pick up movement outside it will ‘helpfully’ send Mr G an email to alert him.

Let me just explain a little about Mr G’s mobile phone. He has many a useful App on there, all of which come with their own little noises and alerts. If there is a setting for a noise to type, to give an alert, a reminder, or to just open the App Mr G will turn that on. He is also a person who has kissed the pen and paper goodbye and literally does everything on his phone/tablet. I on the other hand have a love/hate relationship with technology. It’s great when it works but without a doubt it will let you down when you most need it. Like when I’m lost (daily) somewhere in the countryside and need to call someone who can tell me where to go. This is why I still use my trusted paper diary and notebook on a daily basis. All of my To-Do lists are on paper – from my house admin, work tasks, Christmas lists and the general daily To-Dos. Crossing tasks off on paper is much more satisfying than deleting them on your mobile phone/tablet. You can cross them off with much more of a flourish on paper.

As Mr G’s life is on his phone, it is constantly binging, bonging, ringing, whistling and screaming reminders and alerts all day and all night. I swear it happens that often I think it’s reminding him to breathe in and out. He’s like a one-man band with that phone. So when he reads me the helpful little feature that the camera kit will send him an email (which will have it’s own little ‘binging’ noise) to alert him of movement outside the house, I am less than overjoyed. As well as the lights flashing on and off through the night, I’m also going to have his phone binging every time an owl or bat flies past the cameras!

So yes, apparently we moved here for the peace and quiet!!!

Big bad wolf

I was outside saying goodnight to Muffin (our pet bunny) and closing his hutch up for the night. Basically putting him to bed and making sure he was nice and cosy. As I was chatting to him (he’s a good listener) I heard a loud rustling. At first I thought it was Muffin until it dawned on me he wasn’t moving. I then realised the loud rustling sound was coming from behind his hutch in the space between the hutch and the fence.

I feel I need to set the scene so you can fully understand my nervousness. It’s pitch black here at night as there isn’t any light pollution. It is also very quiet, eerily so sometimes (I’m sure I’ll get used to it), so the rustling seemed very loud. I assumed (imagination running a tad wild at this point) that it was some sort of huge (possibly killer) animal out to get me. I was a good mummy and made sure Muffin was OK and locked up before legging it back inside to shout Mr G to come and ‘sort out’ the wild animal that was prowling around outside.

He could hear the tremor and urgency in my voice and came running, grabbed the torch and gingerly looked round the back of the hutch. Then, something happened that totally stunned me – he laughed!!! I couldn’t believe he was laughing when faced with the wild (and deadly) animal. He bent down and when he stood up he had something in his hand. A toad. He was scrambling about on the gravel which in the silence and the pitch-black of night seemed much more sinister. It did!


After Mr G had eventually stopped laughing (at me) Mr Toad was set free in the garden so he could go off and terrorise other poor unsuspecting country folk. I went inside and had a glass of wine to steady my nerves.