This afternoon, it being an amazingly balmy Spring day, I put my crumpled hat on my head and a straw in my mouth, and went to the kissing gate outside my garden, anent the footpath, and leant on it, yokel style, in the hope of engaging unwary walkers in conversation.
Frogs was my mission in fact. Below my hedge there is a dyke, water-filled after the rains, and a great place for amphibians. I had heard a sort of purring, reminiscent of Turtle Dove, but too early for them, so I knew it would be frogs in the dyke indulging in their usual chat-up routines.
And sure enough, in no time at all, a citizen in wellies came by with a border collie in tow. I have learned to dispense with the preliminaries (Lovely day, isn't it? What a nice dog! All that stuff). Instead, I plunged straight in:
"Funny things, frogs. Croon like Bing Sinatra when they're roused. Can you hear them?" says I.
I got a funny look.
But then, it was an incomer to the village, not used to our country ways.