Thursday 26 January 2012: Young birch
A very busy day today - I don't really seem to have had a chance to stop and think. I agreed to drive Alex to Huntingdon this morning, which wasn't much fun thanks to the steady rain and spray from all the lorries. Then it was back home and into Peterborough to pay the year's tax. I don't think I shall ever understand the tax system. Overall HMRC owes me money, but I still have to pay them, and eventually I'll receive a refund...seems a rather tortuous way to sort it out!!
I then took the plunge and replaced my very aged mobile phone, whose battery had stopped charging properly, and which had so much dust inside that it was hard to read the screen in sunlight. The salesperson was a keen photographer, and we spent quite a bit of time talking about lenses, techniques, processing etc. I think he was a bit surprised that a plump, middle-aged woman knew quite so much :))
At lunchtime I took the dogs for a quick walk, and on my way round spotted these young birch trunks highlighted by the winter sun. I love birches at this time of year, when the young twigs seem to develop a purplish sheen. Part of our normal walk was roped off as the Nene Park Trust are felling a whole row of mature white willows, which they feel are a safety risk. I understand that the wood will be used to make cricket bats, but it's a shame they didn't just pollard them, which is the traditional management of riverside willows around here.
Ben and I then headed off to see some friends who have just moved house, and we both spent a pleasant afternoon catching up over tea and cake. Time passed quickly and before I knew it, it was time to pick Alex up from the station. Unfortunately he hadn't had such a good day - he was given six assignments - a result of an administrative cock-up at the college. At least two of them are strictly supposed to be done almost immediately. I assume they'll be given a reasonable amount of time to do them, but it's anyone's guess!!