Pictorial blethers

By blethers

Close to home

After yesterday's exertions I took a couple of Ibuprofen last night and was very dozy this morning - lying in bed thinking about whether to buy a new gas fire rather than getting up and starting the day. We have to decide, however - the electric fires we looked at in the catalogue simply don't give out as much heat, nor are they as good for the fabric of the house (I know: better for the fabric of the planet. Don't tell me. You're not helping.)

The morning then seemed to flash past in a welter of small tasks: washing towels and hanging them out (aka don't waste a dry sunny day); cleaning the kitchen sink; poaching pears; sorting flowers from Mother's day - still some survivors; sweeping the more unspeakable bits of the kitchen floor. That kind of thing. Variety was provided by a sudden loud noise overhead - a helicopter? It turned out to be an extraordinary plane, a Bell-Boeing Osprey, looking like nothing I'd ever seen in my life. And suddenly it was lunch time, and then we went out. Walking again...

Which is when I took this photo. You may recognise the place - it's Knockdow, at Ardyne, and I've taken so many photos of the lake in its different guises and seasons. We've not been there as much recently as it's been just a bit too far for Himself's sore back/knee/whatever. But I don't think I've ever said much about it. It belongs to a Russian oligarch, Monaco-based Yevgeniy Strzhalkovskiy – whose multi-millionaire father Vladimir is a close associate of President Putin. I don't know what's happened to him or to the house, but the gate was well chained up and there was no sign of life. The grass, however, has recently been cut and the little lake tidied up. As we walked back over the hill to where we'd left the car, we passed a farmhouse up above the road where a flagpole carried two flags, flying together: The Saltire and the blue and yellow of Ukraine. 

All these reminders on our doorstep.of a conflict a continent away.

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