The squirrel sat on the bird table stuffing its face full of nuts. An obese wood pigeon waddled around below. Indefinable tranquility. Nature at its best, a thieving grey squirrel and an overweight pigeon.
Squirrel and pigeon flee for their lives chased by my wife's granddad, shuffling after them brandishing his air rifle.
Welcome to Yorkshire.
The long drive up was soul-destroying, although this was to be expected, with most of the trip spent on England's two worst roads, the M25 and the M1.
The M25 is the World's worst motorway, a playground for the World's worst drivers, gibbonoids who should never have been granted a license, gimpgrandchildren whose driving experience should have been halted when at the age of three they crashed their little plastic buggies into beds of stinging nettles, loathsome incompetents who inflict moral and intellectual damage on the rest of us.
The M25 is exhausting to drive on, you don't just have to be on your toes, you have to exercise the extreme levels of concentration required by a surgeon performing a triple-heart-bypass operation on a flea.
At least the flea would be anaesthetised, unlike the brainless oafs that appear out of nowhere and force you out of the fast lane with the imbecilic recklessness of a four-year-old on a sugar high.
And then there are the insouciant drivers who stubbornly stay in the middle lane, otherwise known as "road hogs" or "middle lane morons". The Highway Code is simple, keep left unless overtaking. Rather than suffering from a simple venial lapse, these canaries spend their lives cruising the middle lane, encouraging undertaking and needlessly forcing you to overtake in the fast lane. You overtake in the fast lane, only to be forced out seconds later by some gimp hitting 100 mph in a Merc.
Transit vans are the worst, pulling right up to your rear bumper in that contemptible way that only transits do, they then overtake, before cutting back across all lanes at the last moment. To be fair, it's not that surprising given that most transit drivers have the mental age of nine. To borrow from Wodehouse, if a transit van driver's brain was constructed of silk, "he would have been hard put to find sufficient material to make a canary a pair of cami-knickers.”
Fortunately I'm such a patient, graceful sort of chap, so none of this bothered me.
The phone rang. My wife's granddad wearily got up and shuffled over to the phone. "It'll be another bloody call abou' creditors", he moaned.
"Ah don' 've no creditors," he yelled down the phone. "Now bugger off!"
Like I said, welcome to Yorkshire.