Birdbaths are, of course, the ultimate water feature: they're useful certainly, and they're excellent to watch, too. I appreciate that birds are just doing what their evolutionary programming is telling them to do - but nothing beats looking up out of a window and watching a thrush sitting in the middle of a birdbath chucking water around in a reckless and euphoric fashion: it's probably not really 'enjoying' itself in any human-relatable way - but it sure looks as if it is.

Birds queue up to use birdbaths too, almost like humans in a shower block. I've watched three or four blackbirds sit patiently (almost with towels over their wings and a soap bag clutched in each beak) while a sparrow metaphorically rubs soap over its chest.

If you're feeling glum - forget the TV: get a birdbath.