Every so often one's quiet little home town becomes for a few days the focus of the world's media. It happened to Budleigh Salterton in March this year with those tragic images flashed around the globe of the poor starfish, washed up in their thousands on our pebble beach for some mysterious reason as I recorded at http://budleighbrewsterunited.blogspot.com/2010/03/starring-role-for-budleigh_4295.html
I never did discover the true reason for their demise. Was it really an appetite for Budleigh mussels, as the Environment Agency suggested? Or had the sex-starved little creatures planned a great big orgy on the beach, part of which is set aside as a naturist zone? The headlines got really quite lurid, culminating in a horrid story of how they ended up in a Chinese takeaway. http://services.devon24.co.uk/FORUMS/DEVON24/CS/forums/2059251/ShowPost.aspx
This time, it's the turn of our American sister-town of Brewster to be in the spotlight with the extraordinary story of 75-year-old Ron Sveden's lung "tumor" which turned out to be a pea sprout. Doctors had originally thought that the dark mass revealed by an X-ray after Mr Sveden's symptons of heavy coughing could only be malignant and discovered the truth only after a bronchoscope was used to investigate the lung. After successful surgery to remove the pea sprout the patient has apparently recovered well, which is a happier conclusion than the story of the starfish.
Well, that story appeared not just in Massachusetts media but as a news item published in a newspaper which I learnt appears in 17 languages in 33 countries across five continents. Brewster could well by now be even more famous than Budleigh Salterton. The best part of the story is that it's got me blogging again after a long silence which I have to blame on the fine weather and the call of the garden.
Now that I've finished planting all the rhododendrons that I'd been dreaming about before I relocated to an acidic soil area I'm dabbling with fruit-growing. But of course things like blueberries are bird-magnets. So building my DIY fruit cage, made out of recycled material, has been yet another time-consuming but enjoyable project which has kept me off the keyboard. Our British summer arrived a few days ago, so you should be hearing from me more regularly.