My husband, having done good kind, husbandly deeds, such as getting up first and releasing the hens and making some tea, opened the door to the bedroom and groaned.
‘Guess what?’ he said and looked out of the windows that faced onto the lane ‘Oh no!’ I said, ‘not them?’
‘Yes, I heard the first cuckoo, they’re back…’
The cuckoos. They may be rare in the UK, but here, in Galicia there is no shortage of them and once they start, they keep on calling for hours, all day, everyday day until September. They are, like the wild boar, very difficult to spot. I have never seen a cuckoo, or a wild boar, but I suspect the boar can hear me, whistling along to my iPod as I wander through the woods and stay hidden.
We’ve already seen the first swallows arrive. Sometimes they stop over and rest, before they disappear again, but we usually see about six or seven pairs swooping over the house. They nest nearby and their babies, once fledged roost, perched on top of the inside of one of our huge front doors and have done so for the two hundred years or so, since the house was built.
Our small orange and white cat, (mistakenly named ‘Lisa’), a name that he answers to now, despite becoming a young gentleman cat, whose yowling last week, proved to us that he would be better named ‘Randy Ron’, has bird fever.
He (see previous posts, HeSheIt) would like to catch one of the many species that are nesting in the hollows of the roof tiles, excavating the insulating foam and squabbling noisily.
First to build nests, were the sparrows and finches and then the starlings arrived, excavating a nest in a gap of the wall that was previously used by pigeons.
The pigeons were a pest and were easily discouraged with a few shots from an air rifle. They were wily birds and could spot the barrel of an air rifle from quite a distance and smart enough to move on to another house.
The blackbirds also nest under the roof tiles and are far more territorial than any others – even the robins. Lisa would like to catch a blackbird, but hasn’t managed to work out that inside the bedroom is not a place to catch birds.
He jumps on the waist-high dividing wall that separates our bathroom from the bedroom and watches the drama of the starlings chasing away the blackbirds and vice versa with great concentration. Then, convinced that he has found a solution, makes a gigantic leap onto the nearest supporting beam. He runs along the beam, convinced that this is a magic doorway onto the roof itself and then realising his error, nonchalantly makes the leap back onto the wall.
Our other cat, Lucky is on the bed, poised to repel the ginger invader and then we see the swallows swooping around. Time to get up and as usual, my knees protest at this.
I’ve had problems with my knees since 1999. Multiple Sclerosis affected the nerve endings, which would have sent a ‘stop this NOW’ message to my brain, when I was learning to play tennis and one day, I found that I couldn’t bend my right leg.
Now, after two arthroscopies, orthotic insoles and lots of physiotherapy, I can bend my right leg a little more. The problem is, that I have little meniscal cartilage left to support my patellas and arthritis pain.
I had been given some injections of Synvisc, a hyaluronic acid injection into the knee space, which supplements the cartilage. The second injection into my left knee (5th in total) caused a violent reaction and as a result, I spent a week in hospital, in agony as the synovial fluid inside the knee joint felt like battery acid.
Ever since, I’ve had odd problems with my left knee – this is supposed to be my ‘good’ knee. It moves vertically, which is a partial dislocation, which can be painless and happens without warning. This happened last week, a sudden crunch as the patella moved and absolute white-hot agony.
My leg is swollen up above the patella, but a good sports support has helped, as has rest, but the stress has exacerbated familiar MS symptoms, fatigue, nerve pain and stress. Pain causes stress, that’s for sure, but injury pain is different, being acute pain and it’s no fun.
I have been left with an odd feeling of premonition of a relapse (aka an MS attack). I hope I’m wrong. I would really like to be totally and absolutely, stonkingly wrong. Watch this space…