Thursday, 29 April 2010

Vole questing

I've noticed the village has got a new attraction (most of the attractions round here are very old, so it really is news). Increasingly, people are visiting the village on water vole-spotting tours.

Apparently there are two colonies of voles: one is located directly in front of the shop, nestled beneath the fourteenth-century 'clapper' bridge, and the other is upstream in front of the Swan Hotel.

When people come into the shop and say they've seen a water vole I can't help asking them if they're sure that it wasn't a rat. It appears that people can be divided into two camps: those who see a small rodent in the river and call it a vole and those who see a small rodent in the river and call it a rat. Sort of half-a-glass full versus half-a-glass empty.

Sad to admit, I'm in the latter camp although I am told that these two colonies are in fact voles. They were nearly driven to exctinction by the mink which now itself has been eradicated, partly by another returnee, the otter. Leaving rats, sorry voles, aside, otters back and mink gone: even a half-glass empty sort of person like me is cheered by that.

Water Voles versus Rats: How to Tell the Difference
(or is it all in the eye of the beholder?)


Hello there and welcome to my blog.

I thought I'd set it up so I can share the various bits and bobs that occur to me whilst I'm working away in my shop, often looking dreamily out onto a stream and some cottages, one of the nicer bits of what is reputedly one of the most beautiful villages in England.

Through my post office counter I interact with most of the people who live around here. Through my shop, which sells gifts and refreshments, I get to meet a lot of the tourists who come to Bibury from all over the world. When I'm not working here I'm at my farm just upstream from the village, where I keep sheep along with a few chickens, a veg garden, a couple of dogs and a cat. And last but most importantly I have a lovely wife and two little girls.

Which is all by way of introducing myself as well as letting you know what sort of topics you can expect to find here. Other than that I've no idea what I'll post and even less idea whether it will interest anyone. But here goes anyway!