Since the weather here has been considerably better than that in other parts of the country, I thought it would be a good idea last weekend to tidy my garden. Last Thursday we had quite a bit of wind and rain, and in the evening a thunderstorm, with hail thrown in for good measure. Consequently there were bits of tree lying on the lawn, the lid off the compost bin was stuck in the hedge after it blew off, and felt from the shed roof was flapping in the wind.
This latter problem was the first to be fixed, since there are few things worse than standing in the shed and feeling a drip. As I propped the ladder against the side of the shed ready to climb up to asses the damage, I noticed a walnut lying on the ground. Since we don't have a walnut tree, nor do any of our neighbours, I was a little puzzled by this.
An hour later, having reattached the felt to the shed roof and had a break for a cup of tea and to assess the damage to my thumb caused by one too many hammer blows missing the head of the nail, I ventured out to pick the debris off the lawn and came across another walnut. It wasn't just lying there, it was well and truly embedded. A third walnut was found in the bird bath. This whole situation was starting to cause me a certain amount of anguish. It was quite clear that someone has been throwing walnuts at my garden? But who? And why?
First on the suspect list were the local youths (aren't they always?) My sometimes over active imagination developed the idea of a gang of young men prowling the district, their heads covered by the obligatory hoodies, throwing whole, unshelled walnuts into the gardens of unsuspecting residents.
It wasn't until I moved on to the front garden to clear some leaves that I noticed, nestling contentedly under the lilac, two more walnuts. And there was another one in a plant pot, firmly embedded between a rotting dahlia and the remains of a couple of trailing lobelias. (You will gather by now that gardening is not my strong point.)..
The biggest clue to where these walnuts had come from came when I was raking leaves off the lawn. I found yet another, and this one was well and truly embedded into the front lawn, just as the one in the back lawn had been. However, it got there, it was obvious that it had come down with considerable force.
Theory number one, the anti social local hoodies, was quickly dismissed. After all, throwing them is one thing, but would they really bother to come into the garden and tread them in?
No. Remembering my geography lessons at school, I quickly formulated the theory that the said walnuts had actually fallen from the sky, probably in the hail storm.
Anyway, I collected them up and took them into the house. Within minutes I had cracked one open and eaten it. And very nice it was too, so nice in fact that I had another, and another.
Now, I don't know whether you are into science fiction films or not, but I do vaguely remember a film called "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". It is about an alien race whose own planet is dying, and they come to earth and take over human bodies in order to try to set up a new, tightly organised society where everyone conforms. They do this by the means of spreading seed pods which have pink flowers on them. People take them into their homes, and then the aliens take over.
I only say this because my walnuts, although very nice, did not really taste like walnuts, and now my wife says that I am behaving strangely. Evidently I'm being really really nice to her for a change, although I have to say that I haven't noticed any difference.
I've also got a rumbling in my stomach, as though there is something in there wanting to get out. A few nights ago I watched the film "Alien", and now I'm wondering whether or not I should really have eaten the walnuts at all. But they tasted so nice, so good, and there are still three left and I was going to leave then for Christmas, but I don't know whether or not I can resist them.
Of course, none of the above has got anything to do with the Lake District tourism industry. This post is well and truly off subject, but since it is my blog I don't really care. It's just that it seemed to be such a strange weekend that I thought I'd share it with you. And now I'm off for a walk, to get some fresh Lake District air, and see if I can find any more walnuts.