My parents - G & D - are out from the UK at the moment; here for another ten days or so. Earlier this week, my SA cousin's daughter P surprised us with a text from her Magic Bus to say she'd be arriving in Dunedin on Wednesday and would love a bed for a night or three - or five? Yes. Yes, I said. Life's calling for wriggle-room and spontaneity these days. My eccentric old house is bulging at the seams and enjoying every minute of it.
And the birds have never had it so good; dear Father (a bird nut if ever there was one, bless him) tops up their drinking chalice with sugar water twice a day, pounds raw peanuts to a pulp for the small-beaked wax-eyes and finches, talks to the hoardes from the front steps, whistles their little riffs back at them...
The tuis brush our shoulders when they come down to feed these days and the wax-eyes stay right where they are on the bird-feeder when we decide it's time for a top-up.
The garden footpath's taking a bit of a hammering with all this activity - sunflower seed husks and no-holds-barred guano attesting to the birds' delight. It's fast becoming a hazard patch of exuberant black and white.
Bring it on, I say. Bring it on.