Well, we are as long as you consider our age modulo n (for suitable n) then we are six (obviously I am using the royal, or authorial, we here; there will be no republican micturition on this blog).
That’s right, yesterday the earth returned to broadly the same position relative to the sun as was the case on my release date (or “impact” date, as I believe it is now known in the music industry). Given that this has now occurred on more occasions than I have fingers, I tend to largely ignore it – as evidence of which, I spent the whole of yesterday evening in a committee meeting (oh yes, I know how to have fun – I just chose not to).
The rest of yesterday was more fun (well, it would more-or-less have to be): a trip to the gym, a singing lesson in the Georgian splendour of New Square and a period instrument-based, baroque lunchtime concert from the Collegium Musicum under its leader, Maggie Faultless (which always strikes me as a very challenging name to live with).
As I cycled around, spring was in the air: snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils in bloom, and the birdies singing in the hope of love (though the skylarks seem to have been providing musical accompaniment to my peregrinations through most of the winter). As well as the usual avian suspects, my inner twitcher was happy to spot a redwing and a yellowhammer. My journeys to and from Cambridge now pass a brand new duck pond: complete with a growing complement of ducks. I think this pond must be one of the more counter-intuitive consequences of the current severe drought: according to the local paper, even worse than 1976.
The fields to the east of Trumpington are being redeveloped to permit the construction of an entire city’s worth of new housing. A huge swathe has been stripped of vegetation and levelled (rather badly it would seem), and are now permanently covered in vast, shallow lakes of water (presumably from all the rain we aren’t receiving). Potential buyers in Trumpington Meadows beware: I’d insist my new house was built on stilts, if I were you (if the site is this wet in what is alleged to be the driest year ever recorded, how deep will the water be in a normal year?).
In another field, a new lake or reservoir has been deliberately created by man – and this just about manages to maintain a little water in the bottom. In the corner of the field next to this purpose-built lake, is a dip in the ground. This has been permanently filled with deep water for months, and is now home to a thriving community of mallards.
It does make me wonder if the human race has even the vaguest idea how to collect rain water (or, indeed, to prevent its collection). Perhaps the water companies should start hiring a few ducks…