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More Notes from The Orchard for November 2019


Almost on time!  I think this will be published on 5th November, an appropriate date after the bombshell announcement that we’re in for yet another election.  This has been proposed for probably two main possible reasons:  (i) A chance for Boris to get his hands more firmly clutched around the keys of No.10 and (ii) it might do something to free up the present Brexit- inspired log jam, currently putting a halt to normal parliamentary operation.  Yes, November 5th seems as good a date as any!


It is all very well to be flippant over what is going on in Westminster but it is the way fools talk when they can’t think of anything better to say to solve the very serious  problems at present hanging not only over Westminster and our country but the world at large.  David Attenborough’s new series underlines the plight of the animals and plants and the latest episode which concentrated on Asia leaves little hope for enough room for us together with all the animals. But I suppose we should be thankful that little hope is better than none. . . All we can do is get to our knees and pray to God to help us – yet again!


While on the subject of animals I shall be writing a letter of protest after viewing the latest series of David’s Attenborough’s on the continents and their wild life.  At 6.15 on an early winter’s evening when parents might take a break with their children to enjoy a programme about animals of the world, I certainly felt that the BBC should definitely have given a warning that the content may not be suitable for young children.   Having brought up five children I am very much of the opinion there are times when the cruelty of nature should not be revealed to children under 12 say, especially when they realize there is nothing they can do about it.


But for me at any rate the news isn’t all bad!  I had a little up-to-now totally unknown visitor this week.  I was sitting at my computer when a small furry animal stood on its back legs and used its front paws to try attracting my attention on the window – well, full-paned glass door.  I thought I knew what it was and how useful it is to have Google to check.  It was as I’d thought, a little stoat.  What a charming little creature it looked, not a bit how I imagined from the description in ‘Wind in the Willows’!  Google’s details and pictures were exactly like my visitor.  Oh, dear, another creature to worry about as it faces the storms of winter!  It is the only time I have ever seen a stoat and as I am now very aged I doubt I shall ever see another one in my life time.  What struck me most was the beautiful rich colour brown of his back against the white of his – or her – underparts.


That was great, and now, thank goodness, there is the lovely feast of Christmas to look forward to . . .




Sarah Bell


Little Stoat