Pandemic diary 46: And that's how you manage noisy neighbours

Yet another day in the garden, bees buzzing, blackbirds singing and rabbit judging me silently.

I woke up to the sound of someone playing a flute. It was lovely. Whoever was playing was pretty competent. We live in a kind of big quadrangle of terrace houses so sound really carries. It's pretty considerate, considering.

With a whole day off, I wanted to do another chunk of writing. I went out into the garden after the VE Day silence at 11am and did all the setup: put up sunshade tarp and parasol, moved chairs, uncovered the beanbag, moved the upstairs wifi router outdoors, untangled the extension lead, let the rabbit out, made a tea, fetched the lappie, hat and the sun cream. It takes a while.

I flung myself down in the beanbag ready to start tapping.

That's when the drumming started, somewhere behind me.

Bit early.

Bit noisy.

What happened to Vera Lynn and Glenn Miller?

Anyway I didn't pack up after all the set up but persevered. But when The Who's 'Won't get Fooled Again' started, I plucked up the courage to stand on a bench and shout loudly at my neighbours.

"I like this one. It's a good 'un!" And stuck my thumbs up.

And after that the music improved dramatically. A bit of encouragement in the right direction you might say.

I learned that one from living in London share houses and flats. Ask someone to turn the music down at 2 in the morning on a school night and they turn it up. The psychology of noisy neighbours is contrary to what you might expect.

Thank you bees!

Today I am thankful for the bees who are coming in their hundreds daily to pillage the ceanothus for pollen.

Here is my one minute sweep of the ceanothus plant, which is currently top of the garden hit parade – jump to the last few seconds to see it in all its glory.

Some of the bees seem to be popping into our nearby bug hotel. I need to find out what that's about. What are they doing there? Resting? Dropping off supplies? Living there instead of a hive/nest?

Pete took 30 minutes of footage of the bug hotel yesterday. There's a dramatic moment four minutes in when two little bees get caught in some web and a spider appears but both get away! [link here]

We're still trying to get pano and slo-mo footage of the squirrels who run up and down the Squirrel Highway all day – but never when you are looking.

Oh and last night around 1am, I heard a hedgehog snorting loudly outside the bedroom window. It literally sounds like a quieter version of a pig.

Isn't nature grand?

Commission/hire me: fiona [at]