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Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary,  Thursday,  16th April 2009

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WHILE BARBARA & the mums navigate the aisles of Morrisons supermarket, I’ve found an island of calm in MacDonald’s. I came here because the view is more inspiring than the one of the car park from Morrisons café but, I have to say, the Kenco coffee here is much more to my taste than the sort you get out of the machine there (and Kenco support Rainforest Alliance, which sounds good).


I’ve been worrying a lot recently and, when I haven’t been worrying, I’ve been caught up in a variety of tasks connected with work and home, so I’ve missed out on drawing. Sitting with my sketchbook with a large latté at a quiet corner table seems like the best therapy.


It seems to work; despite drinking all that coffee, when I walk to the nearby surgery for my blood pressure check, I’m delighted to find that it’s gone down again - to a perfectly normal 130/82.



Barbara has read that chives and artichoke can help reduce blood pressure. We’ve never tried growing artichokes but chives grow like weeds right outside the kitchen window, so she’s been chopping them into salads and dips recently. But my guess is that getting lost in a drawing for short period and putting my worries on hold must be equally good for my blood pressure.

At the edge of MacDonald’s car park, one dunnock shadows the other, keeping a hunched pose as it does so. The bird being followed pecks here and there as dunnocks normally do, pausing only once to make its stalker keep its distance. I guess that it’s a male following a female.