I just realised that it’s almost 12 months since launching myself into the blogosphere, and that fiftyyearsandcounting has been quiet for several months.  I’ve been gathering a few ideas, but – to be honest – inspiration has been hard to come by.  Too many other things have been taking up my time, some of which I’ll get round to documenting before too long.  Stay tuned, folks.

Fortunately, a couple of days ago, this chap arrived on our balcony floor and I felt moved to tell the world:


S/he was barely alive, but it was still a bit of a shock to find such a large insect on the floor.  At first, I assumed it was a cockroach (it was pretty dark out there) but then I realised it was something slightly less repellent.  We hear them all the time out here, but rarely get to see them; I’m reliably informed that it’s a cicada.

Christopher was quite interested and insisted that the bug spend some time at the table during dinner.

The cicada’s arrival also reminded me that a few months ago we had a close encounter with this little beauty:


It’s a bit of a crap photograph, hastily snapped on my mobile, but I’m pretty sure that it’s a Chinese cobra.  I should say, I’m pretty sure that it’s a highly venomous Chinese cobra.  It was lurking at the bottom of some steps which we (me and Christopher) had just descended, and it could easily have struck as we stepped over it in all our innocence/naivety.

To summarise, there’s some wildlife out here that you won’t find in Leicestershire.

I’ll keep it at that for now, but will be back later with another short post.

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