Everything was thoroughly grumpy yesterday.   Everything that is usually quite tranquil and fairly mellow seemed to be in a funk.   

I went out for my walk with Daisy and came across ‘man with psychotic dog’, I think the owner lives in the adjacent village.  His dog is large and on the odd occasion where our paths have crossed has made it quite clear that he, the dog that is, regards Daisy as lunch potentially if  he is ever allowed to get at her.    Fortunately I think the owner is aware of  his dogs tendencies and consequently  Hannibal Lecter like provision has been made to ensure this does not happen.       When we are spotted dog and owner generally change course and head off manfully in the other direction!  

The squirrels  who live in the canopy of the numerous beech trees above where I usually take a tranquil five minute break to watch the cows, sad I know, were hissing at each other and generally behaving like petulant three years old.  There is obviously little decorum in the squirrel world and whatever caused the squabble both parties had well and truly thrown their toys out of the pram.    There was a lot of  jumping about, shouting and tail wagging going on. It could all have ended quite easily in bloodshed and tears.     Unfortunately, they sound remarkably like angry ducks when they indulge in squirrel  fisticuffs.  They simply quack at each other which, if you are male squirrel, may be something of a handicap in the machismo stakes.    Would it impress the ladies?     

The squirrels are being quite entertaining at the moment, duck imitations aside.   They run back and forth along the overhead telephone wires.   At the moment they are stripping the chestnut trees.     They dash along with the big green seed pods in their mouths and then launch themselves into the tree canopy.   Great acrobats.    Daisy and I sat in the window the other day watching one rummaging about for chestnuts in my neighbours garden.

My other grumpy encounter was of the bovine kind.   The cows, who are generally quite laid back and more intent in chewing the cud and rubbing their bottoms against the nearest available fence post or tree, decided to take exception to my being in their field collecting leaves.   I have done this numerous times before and usually I am ignored.  But not yesterday.

Having ensured that they were at the furthest end of the field away from me I went quietly about my business only to look up after a little while to see them making their way enmasse towards me at a fair old turn of speed I may add.   I know cows are quite nosy and will stand and watch you for an eternity  from previous experience and they may have just wanted to know what I was up to.   However, Pav the Bull was bellowing fit to burst and his ladies were doing a pretty impressive hundred yard dash.  I, therefore, felt that discretion was the better part of valour and hopped over the nearest fence with Daisy in tow. 

Perhaps my best and nicest cattle encounter was when I worked many years ago for a certain water authority as a soil sampler.   This meant wandering around large fields on a daily basis.  On one occasion I was so intent on my work that I didnt realise  I was being surrounded by a herd of young bullocks until I received a slimy very wet lick up the ear from one of them.   Not suprisingly I stood up sharpish and off they went like bullets from a gun.   No sooner did I resume my work than they were back, noses down, bottoms in the air, watching my every move.     They proceeded to follow me round the field.  It was actually quite nice to have some company!

Today all was calm once more Pav and the ladies were chilling out in the middle of the field probably still recovering from their slightly madcap dash of yesterday and the squirrels were no where to be seen.   The beech wood was tranquilly silent which is just how I like it!