I have been looking at the fruit trees and think we may well have a good apple crop. The Laxton Superb tree which has sometimes been barren has plenty of fruit - it is a lovely crisp eating apple. The pears and damsons look good too but the Victoria plum has lost many of its leaves and is not happy. It used to be a reliable heavy cropper but has recently died back.
But my greatest surprise is the peach tree. It is quite young - maybe 6 or 7 years old - and for the last couple of years has suffered from peach leaf curl - I think that's what it's called. This year the same thing happened but now it seems to have grown through it and looks quite healthy. And best of all it has a crop of peaches. I hope they will grow big enough to be edible!
The fig tree continues to produce a few more leaves but is still looking bare, as is part of the privet hedge. We are eating our radishes and have eaten some of the pak choi. It is a new crop for me but has a good flavour and seems to grow well in these dry conditions.
Two nights ago my daughter saw a barn owl, gliding like a ghost along the road outside the house. I had heard that barn owls had suffered heavy losses in the bad winter so it was good to know they are still around here.
And finally a few words about Norman. He is still a lonely bird, unable to keep his wives with him and spending the afternoons wandering about on his own. I have taken to feeding him bits of bread near the house - probably a mistake but I feel sorry for him.
Norman the cockerel