Low-key day today. Spent the morning at our guest house catching up trip diary and sorting pictures since this really been the first chance to do this. Drove to a farm for lunch, poked around the countryside then back home. A longish drive tomorrow, 5 or 6 hours so am glad for a day off. In the middle of Montagu, which is after all only 7 or 8 streets in substance, there is a spring -fed pond the water of which, thankfully, is constantly being refreshed. The pond is surrounded by 4 or 5 large trees and these are covered with ibises, herons, cranes, and dotted amongst them, weaver bird nests that look like grassy softballs, each suspended from branches by a grassy rope. The other birds, ibises in particular nest and roost there year-round and while the majority of them have day-jobs and go off to work and return to the tree on the 17:30 train, many of them seem simply to spend their days hanging around the trees, on the avian dole. Lots of activity and loud squabbling and very powerful bird smells; can’t imagine what it would be like without the fresh water that renews the pond. Pleasant dinner at Jessica's Restaurant, inventive cooking, nice outdoor table on a patio under the stars. Downside of this however is that there was no railing around the patio which was raised about 18 inches above the cobblestoned back garden. Dinner finished I pushed back my chair to relax and one of the chair’s legs went over the edge of the patio, quickly followed in rapid succession by the chair and then me. Landed clumsily on my side but the virtue of a couple of glasses of red wine is the ability to land effectively if not elegantly. Most surprising reaction was from the waitress who said that she had warned me when we sat down; perhaps she did, no recollection of it but the thought remains that she is very lucky that I am not a litigious North American; the lawyers would lick their chops!
Nightcap in the garden talking with a very nice dutch couple and the Milky Way within reach overhead, and so to bed.