This time next week we should, should I repeat, be in Scotland. Two years now since we fished on the River Dionard and Loch Dionard. A loch we have fished for nearly thirty years and where I caught my first salmon. We brought it home, frozen solid from being kept in the freezer for the rest of the holiday, and it is now on display in the end sitting room. Suitably stuffed , mounted and in a glass case. If we had eaten my salmon, or had it smoked, it would be just a tasty memory. Now it is there in full view for me to brag about.

Our week has been put on hold by the estate as they have honoured the booking. As has Gillie, the owner of the holiday cottage where we stay. I don’t think the extension to the easing of the lockdown will affect us as no-one else is booked to fish the river that week, and, as we are self catering, we shall not be mixing with other people. The fishing huts along the river will be locked, so it is lunch sat in our own vehicle, as the estate Land Rover is also out of bounds. Luckily our’s is also a 4WD, so it can cope with the wash outs and steep gradients of the river track.

Meanwhile at home, all will be in the capable care of our friend Mike. As I have mentioned before, a man who has been a pilot on the Queen’s flight, a television personality when flying holiday makers on Easyjet and a stalwart of reunions from when I lived in Malta.

His responsibilities have increased slightly with the arrival of a clutch of guinea fowl keets. I was keeping my fingers crossed that they would arrive before we left, and, luckily, they have. I have never known chicks make such an easy job of hatching. And virtually simultaneously too. Not every egg hatched, but the seven that have out of the ten, all arrived within an hour of each other. And each keet is lively, left a clean egg shell, and was straight into the bow of chick crumbs I put out for them. As there is not a broody hen to take care of them, they will be under a heat lamp for the next fortnight, with the heat gradually being reduced to just night time use. Another note for Mike to read and absorb.

The heat lamp had been turned off completely for the ducklings in an adjoining run. They have found though, that if they huddle together at the periphery of their run where it adjoins the guinea fowl’s enclosure, they can bask in some reflected light.