I was surrounded by birds yesterday. We’ve got those feeder things in the garden and it attracts an extremely wide variety of our feathered friends – I think in the summer we counted over 25 different sorts of bird. We get loads of starlings of course – but our main bird feeder is sort of spring loaded so if more than one bird the size of a starling gets on the contraption it closes so they can’t woof down al the seeds. We get hordes of dunnocks and half a dozen sorts of tit and finches; we get wagtails (yellow and grey) even woodpeckers, thrushes and fieldfares; sparrows of course and blackbirds, but our favourite is the gold finch. We get a special black seed in a separate feeder and we get loads of them – sometimes up to twenty of them at a time. In fact I think we are single-handedly keeping the local gold finch population up to strength. It’s great sitting in the conservatory watching dozens of birds just a few feet away. We back right on to farmland, so we often see birds of prey too in the skies above – I suppose in a way we keep them fed too!

Talking of birds, my dear friend Tina Cullen called round yesterday for coffee – she’s got lovely macaroons you know…she makes them herself and brought a little offering here with her. Later two more callers – a “Carer Support Worker” came round to offer all sorts of help and advice as we go through the process of dealing with my disease – I’m even going to get one of those blue disabled parking stickers. Ha ha! It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good. And then later the Macmillan nurse called too – with more helpful hints and suggestions. So – whatever people may say about the NHS, I am certainly getting a good service.

And I have just heard (Wednesday 1500) from the hospital in Bristol that I am invited to attend a clinic next Tuesday at 1530 to see an oncologist when I will find out more about what’s happening next – presumably details of radio therapy – where and when. So, that’s another step along the way.

Tonight is New Year’s Eve – got some great long-standing pals, Peter and Penny Farrell and Clive and Pauline Parnell-Hopkinson arriving for dinner and some seasonal fizz and we’ll see in the New Year together.

I wish for you what I wish for myself as we go into 2009. Health, Peace and Contentedness and of course…God’s blessing on you and your family.