"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)


The Unexpected Guest


A few days back we were joined by an unexpected guest.

I had seen a stray hen wandering in the lane on the previous evening.
Somehow she must have crossed our six-foot gate and wandered into the yard.

No one came looking for her, so Anu has put out water and scattered uncooked rice for her each day.
At night she spontaneously settles on an old piece of sacking in the open store-room of our out-house.

Today she provided us with a gift:


My first entirely home-grown meal and a variation, of sorts, on Bed & Breakfast:
I give her a bed, and she gives me a breakfast…

With plentiful ripe mangos and tender-coconuts falling daily from our trees, we seem to be more self-sufficient by the month.



I can hear our visiting hen now, still happy in the yard and gently clucking outside the window, as I write.



The Good Life was a very popular BBC TV situation comedy in the 1970s.
Pathé News was a British cinema newsreel producer
Picture of our guesting hen taken in the front yard.

Come Fly With Me..?

The sight of a man on his bicycle is not at all unusual here in Cochin.

But it’s not often that an unfledged sea-eagle is perched on the handlebars..

The encounter was a little surreal, bordering perhaps on the Putin-esque.

Quite what I witnessed remains a mystery to me.

Unexpected Guests

I receive frequent visits from welcome but unexpected guests:
sparrows who fly in from the yard.

Like most Indian homes, during daylight hours I usually keep the yard gates closed but the house doors wide open.
The birds would previously fly in and out through the ventilation gaps in our coving.
But, since moving in, I have had these gaps meshed, to keep the mosquitoes out.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The birds, like everyone else, now have to use the main doors,
though they still check-out their old access-points.