Henrietta is thirteen and an Eagle Owl. She could live to be fifty in captivity. I just love her expression, slightly miffed and forbearing for the present. That's teenagers for you.
I have been many many times to York, as had my friend, when we met up for a day out there. Neither of us, though, in our entire lives, in my case lengthier, had gone on a day when it was fit for a trip on the river. This day it was, to such
an extent that we didn't even have to don our cardies against the Ouse breeze. I learnt that the name of Minster, originally, had nothing to do with being a Cathedral of note but simply meant that it was some kind of church by a stream. There were
students frantically practising their competitive rowing skills as we drifted by and happy drinkers unable to believe their luck that they could sit by the river on a sunny day, which we joined in with afterwards. There were owls, hand reared, in the
old Abbey grounds, which for a fee you could have your picture taken with. The owls, though, were old hands at refusing a photo opportunity, having heads they can turn 360 degrees at will, so try as you might, if they don't feel like it, they simply
will not face front.