Friday 11th June 2021

 This is not going to go down in the annals of history as one of the most successful weeks in the life of Jonathan Downes. It started off with a half fledged blackbird brought into the house by one of the cats, But although we did everything we could, and the bird hospital in Bude was on standby for us, like 90% of creatures brought in by cats, it died.

Yesterday, Carl found one of the hens was in distress. He originally thought it had prolapsed, but when Graham and he took her to the vets in Bude (which is ironically where the lady who runs the bird hospital works) it turned out that she had an untreatable tumour which had become infected. So sadly she was put to sleep.

Now today, we have the latest part of the saga of the plumber.

Plumbers! Don’t talk to me about plumbers.

I have been trying to get a plumber to come here to fix or replace my immersion heater since February. It was arranged finally, After months of faffing about, and for different plumbers failing to turn up for arranged appointments, plumber number four was the most impressive, and eventually arranged to come at 8:30 this morning.

Because my bedroom is at the end of the corridor, and the faulty boiler is in the corridor, or rather in a cupboard halfway down the corridor, it was decided that I could get up early so as not to be disconvenienced by the plumber doing his thing whilst I was doing mine. Or, even worse, barricaded into my bedroom for several hours by the activities of a hairy handed man of toil.

As always seems to be the same when I am trying to get up early, I had a terrible night’s sleep. But I finally got to sleep at about 4:30. And like a good soldier, I was up with a fairly disgruntled lark, had done my ablutions, and was halfway down the stairs when Graham called to me to tell me that the bloody plumber had cancelled. Now he is allegedly coming sometime next week, and we will have to go through the whole bloody rigmarole again.


Jonathan Downes
Cryptozoologist, naturalist, musician, singer, composer, poet, novelist and Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology since 1992. Jon was born in Portsmouth in 1959 and spent his infancy in Nigeria and his childhood in Hong Kong. His wife Corinna died of cancer in 2020, leaving him with two stepdaughters and a six year old granddaughter called Evelyn.