By Veronica


These little birds were swooping and diving in pursuit of each other around the garden. The covered terrace makes a kind of hide if you sit still, but half an hour or more with my longest lens was in vain, they were so fast. Can anyone identify it from this distant picture? I think it might be a redstart -- though you can't see it very well here the underside of its tail is orangey red, flashing beautifully as it flew. Mystère watched them too, but he clearly knew pursuit was hopeless and remained reclining on his purple throne, which he loves.

It was another bank holiday ... we had a lazy day, another lunch at the local pizzeria. I made a token gesture to Christmas by making some mince pies. On impulse I'd bought the mincemeat in the local Spar -- can't remember the last time I didn't make my own. I won't be buying it again, it is disgustingly sweet.

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