Work hard, play hard.


Work hard, play hard.

Now the winter is finally over, once or twice a week we escape with a picnic - I cannot think of many other things I'd rather do than set off with Andy, a simple bundle of food, the open road and the prospect of a few miles ahead; especially in May, when the lanes are drifting with Queen Anne's Lace and the mild wind is scented with oilseed rape.


Work hard, play hard.

The weather is changeable and though we may set off in bright sunshine, dark clouds bounce across from the West, threatening rain. The new leafage glows against the grey skies - that is the joy of an English spring; the moist, fresh, greeness which never fails to fill me with hope and happiness.


Work hard, play hard.

As we were tramping the edges of the fields this week, we spotted...


Work hard, play hard.

Can you see it? No? Come closer. I can see it, because I know where it is - hidden tightly - there's the clue.


Work hard, play hard.

Ah, he's been rumbled - there he goes!


Work hard, play hard.

Mr Hare, you are a shy fellow - but now we know exactly where you are!


Work hard, play hard.


Choosing the right picnic spot depends on the mood of the weather. Sometimes it is best just to find a sheltered spot and watch the rain clouds roll in. There must be good eggs, and a thermos of watery hot chocolate which tastes ever-so-slightly of mildew.




Work hard, play hard.Work hard, play hard.

We shared our breadcrumbs with an excited ant, who had never seen such riches in his microcosmic world. He staggered off, his little back laden with this wonderful new bounty. Somewhere below the earth, in a patch of West Oxfordshire, a new religion has been born. Centred around bread.


Turning the circle of our walk, we headed into the reserve. It is a bumper bluebell year in the UK - our woods are carpeted with acres of them stretching out of eye's reach. And I would hate to be the only British blogger not to show a picture of them.


Work hard, play hard.

The woodlands never sound so pretty as in Spring, when the birds are singing their hearts out and the cuckoo is doing what all respectable cuckoos should do.






After a good four hours, it's home to a small queue of impatient geese, demanding crowns. This mega order is almost done and they go off for their photoshoot next Friday. There are little gangs of animals dotted around the studio, waiting to be packed. At times I feel as if they are plotting something.



Work hard, play hard.

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