...it was the results at Cheltenham.  A winning day with friends in the Cotswold sunshine - and more to come.  Well, more friends, more sunshine but we'll see how Sizing Europe does in the Champion Chase.

I am staying with friends in David Cameron's Witney constituency and he wants to know what makes you happy.  In an earlier blog I provided the link to the Office of National Statistics consultation on quality of life.  And it seems that some of you responded as the ONS contacted us to say that there had been a sudden increase in the number of responses mentioning bird song.  So they asked me to write something for their website and here is the link.

If you haven't told Mr Cameron that the natural world makes you happy then why not do it right now?

Mr Cameron, I guess, is in London but here in his constituency I awoke happy this morning, partly because of the pile of £20 notes that I had taken away from the races (but there are another three days to go) but partly because the song thrushes were singing early and then the blackbirds joined in.  A bit later today I will pass by Adlestrop, the scene of Edward Thomas's poem, where 'for that minute a blackbird sang close by, and round him, mistier, farther and farther, all the birds of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.' and that's what it is like this morning. 

This blog would like to thank Realt Dubh, Bensalem, Oscar Whisky and some Oxfordshire blackbirds for making me happy

  • What made me happy today.  I am sitting here reading your blog and listening to the news at the same time.  I suddenly pick up an announcement that later this year I will be living in a town known as "Royal Wootton Bassett".  Whilst I am pleased, what a strange feeling this is and I can't quite get me head around it.  

    So, apart from having to get a longer letter heading, what can I expect.  I presume that the quality of birds I get in and around my garden will improve.  A few more red kites would be nice.

    It is more likely that everything will change and nothing will be any different.  The locals will still refer to the town as 'Bassett' and life will carry on as normal and that is the way it should be.

  • You're not far from the Oriental (rufous) Turtle dove, which was still showing well yesterday in the same garden in Chipping Norton! Householder offering access today for a fiver!

  • Enjoy your day Mark , my son lives in Witney so I know it well , lovely part of the country .