Thursday, 14 May 2009

It's official - Great Somerford's long-awaited cuckoo is back. As far as I know, it hasn't been spotted yet, but I'm reliably informed by two villagers that they've both heard its unmistakable call whilst out walking towards the Red Hatches over by Peter's Wood yesterday. Perhaps summer really is on it's way... Although not if the weatherman on the lunchtime news is to be believed. He tells us we're in for gales and deluges over the next 24 hours...

Mind you, we do need some rain. I don't think it's rained properly for about six or seven weeks and the river's the lowest I've ever seen it. Sid Jevons got a call last night to say that the best part of a herd of cows had waded across and were now in his meadow. Apparently it often happens when the water's low. The fishing club have done their best to take out most of the branches that fell into the river during last week's high winds, but it's still not very much more than a trickle coming down over the wier.

"I've heard they're taking water out at Malmesbury," someone whispered to me, conspiratorially while I was out on a dog walk the other day (unfortunately, like the river, I cannot reveal my source). I nodded sagely, giving my nose a knowing tap for good measure thinking it probably best to humour such eccentricity - but apparently it's true. Malmesbury is allowed to extract a certain amount of water upstream from us. They obviously don't have the same problems with cows.

There's still enough water for a dog to take a dip - just.

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