Thursday 13th May, brilliant blue morning sky, a little warmer today.
Cold and grey, cold and grey. Just before six, yesterday evening, I shut up shop and went down to the garden; knelt on the cold wet grass at the margin of the fish pool to see what I could see. Three brown and gold mottled frogs, in different spots, crouched on the bottom and among the roots of the yellow flag, looking as if they'd been gently flattened. Not doing much. The two newts, walking around at a leisurely pace, the male's crest clearly visible. Peter says they might have been coming here for years, and we just never spotted them. The flag roots make a wonderful tangled underwater cavern, now I can see them, and until last year there was the water lily (which we got rid of in the end, it was taking up too much space, tho' I liked bringing the lilies indoors). He could be right. Far overhead, one swift came tossing and fluttering out from above the houses, and then vanished again. I said the swifts are here, they're not really. I saw a tiny band of them arrive, at the end of April; since then only fleeting glimpses. I'm afraid the population, in my neighbourhood at least, has diminished beyond the point of no return. They will be gone, like the sparrows.
Did you know, newts can live for 20 or 30 years. The smooth newt's family name is Triturus vulgaris / Lissotriton vulgaris. I have two Tritons staying in my garden. Did you know, male newts lay eggs, (spermatopheres, hope that's spelled right) which the female newt fertilises in her cloaca? Now there's a neat model for reproductive sex role reversal, wonder if anyone has used it?
In the garden at Number 10, two fresh-faced public schoolboys stand behind lecterns. They already have their act worked out, but it's a bit crude as yet. Cameron speaks. Clegg turns toward him, adopting a faintly Byronic pose, and gazes soulfully for a count of eight, nine, ten seconds, then glances modestly away; then gazes again. The blushing bride. When Clegg speaks, Cameron does exactly the same thing: adopts the pose, gazes soulfully (he doesn't have to look up, however), glances aside, resumes his shy adoring gaze. The bashful swain.
Clegg has to do a lot more of the gazing and glancing part: which I suppose is fair.
I wonder if Cameron really will cancel the third runway at Heathrow. I think the Lib Dems are going to be eaten alive, they'll help the Tories to be better people the way gut bacteria aid digestion.
No, I think the Lib Dems are going to be like Hove, actually. More respectable, but just, well, not Brighton. The bit tagged on the end.