I looked out so see that my adversary, old Slinky Paws, the squirrel, had mounted a dawn raid on my bird feeders. He'd made off with not one, but three fat balls that had been strung to the branches of the plum tree. Now if he'd taken one I'd have shrugged my shoulders and said Fair enough, Slinky. You've got to live too. But the greedy fluffster had snaffled three balls, and only eaten two of them, leaving the third one lying on the ground. In the fullness of time it was retrieved by Maxi the Wonder Dog. Of course he duly gorged on and this new and exotic delight, and made himself very, very sick indeed.
Well ... that was a bridge too far.
By 9:00 a.m. the Wonder Dog was projectile vomiting, and the only vaguely cheerful thought that occurred to me was that if he managed to clear his stomach, messy though the process was, I wouldn't have to worry about the other end of his digestive tract suffering a similar affliction. Happy Days!
Invoking curses on old Slinkers and all his descendants, I did what the Tough habitually do when the going gets rough: I went shopping.
I cruised down to the local garden centre and loaded up with a couple of squirrel-resistant feeders. I would say squirrel-proof, but that would feel like I was tempting fate. I'm sure old Slinkers has, by this stage, grown a pair of opposable thumbs, and is working on his Mensa application as I type. He'll probably get his fluffy little head around the various locking mechanisms that I'm depending on in a thrice, and, with his manual dexterity and teeth that can gnaw through concrete, there's nothing outside of a nuclear bunker that's going to be totally Slinky-proof.
Anyway, by the time I got back to the ranch, the Wonder Dog was looking a bit more chipper, and I slowly started to feel optimistic about my chances of wresting control of my back garden from my nemesis, the Slinkster. I filled my shiny new bird feeders and strung them up on the plum tree, wondering all the while when he'd show up to do battle again.
Retiring indoors to survey how much the new installations were being appreciated by my little feathered friends I was suddenly hit by an attack of the mid-morning munchies. I'd had breakfast, but clearly not enough breakfast to carry me through all the drama of the morning. These days I am beginning to feel vaguely concerned about fitting into my beach-wear again come the sunny days of the Costa Brava springtime so the biscuit tin, my usual mid-morning nosebag, is firmly off limits.
Instead I made a blueberry smoothie.
It was perfect, hitting the spot and leaving me feeling just a tiny, little bit virtuous as I sat in the sunshine, waiting for old Slinky Paws to put in an appearance.
If you'd like to make one for yourself it's about as easy as tripping over your shoe laces. You'll need 100 g of frozen blueberries, 150 g of Greek yoghurt and 100 ml of milk. If you're feeling decadent you could mix in a cheeky swig of Cassis as well. Blitz it all in the food processor, pour into a glass and enjoy with some sunshine and a dash of smugness for being so healthy.
And strange to say, but Slinky was conspicuous by his absence all day. If there's any justice in this world he's been lying in his burrow with his paws pointing up to heaven, feeling as healthy as the Wonder Dog did.
All the best for now,