29th March, 2020 and still health workers are not able to get the kit they need to stay safe and nurse the sick.
Lions, Lionesses and the Clown can be read here.
Too much time on my hands
Sorting out photos
You came back into view
From a time we shared focus
With vision now sharper
Fog lifted from lens
I see something was wrong
Even back then
British Summer Time, the forward shift of clocks by an hour, has blown in on a gale straight off the North Sea. Hailstones are spat at the window. Some of the ice pellets stick before slipping slowly; disintegrating as they slide, leaving a tear stain on the pane.
The hazel bush flexes in the gusts, before springing back to a position south of upright, unable to fully right itself.
Blue tits make brisk trips to the jangling feeders dangling on the frame. Flights are brief hops. No stopping for rest as rest is impossible when balance so precarious.
The wind strokes the pasture. The grass becomes fluid; water running up hill.
Briefly outside, but I’m driven back by the falling temperature. The grey sky gave way to blue eventually, but there was no warmth in the sunbeams.
There seems little enthusiasm today in the birds’ calls. The greenfinches are the only ones heard throughout the day, but even they lack energy.
A picture is sent by my son of his two children leaning over the top rail of a fence by a bluebell wood stream. They missed the kingfisher’s fly by, but watching a gurgling stream is magic enough.
During the afternoon and evening messages flow gently across the English Channel. It’s been an enjoyable day.
Quiet descends. Cold and dark thicken beyond the curtains.
Awoken at 04:30 hrs. First dim light of the new day.
A stag bellows from the wood on the hill.
Tree branches, unsteady in the stiffening northerly wind, emit a low, irregular moan.
Behind this lies the slow-motion rush of heavy waves breaking hard on the shingle. Then the long draw as the sea inhales before the next swell rolls in.
I am lulled back to sleep
Unclouded skies of these past five days have stimulated rapid growth of shoots. What were twiggy branches, bushes, shrubs are now thick with green.
So many variations of green unfold from so many buds. Here we have more greens than words for “green.” Perhaps, like the Inuit with all their words for snow, the English should work harder on finding more adjectives for greenery.
Birds have not lost enthusiasm for song, but they seem to be less competitive. Instead of a wall of sound, the day is calmer, the air less congested. There is now space to hear individual contributions.
A musician would call a pause in the score, “fermata”. A fermata is written on the stave as a “bird’s eye”. Today is filled with these bird’s eyes, seasoning the musical soup from the burgeoning bushes.
Sparrows are constant in their tweeting and goldfinches in their chirruping. Other species seem to have become more contained, confining their orations to the early chorus.
Today is Friday, I had to have it confirmed. Days are becoming similar, simpler. Spring is happening around us. Our reduced circumstances slow us so that the changes the season brings are more easily apparent. With less to do there is more to be seen.
It was warm that early April Sunday
We ‘d set out to the coast on foot
Ignoring the mosaics
Shunning the churches
We headed east
Seeking swishing pines stood in sand
A first sight of the Adriatic
Progress was erratic
Heading east for a beach?
My pigeon brain unable to compute
For me the sea is the English Channel, the Solent, the Western Approaches
South or south-by-south-west ingrained
So when we finally found the road “al mare”
It was time to rest on a daisy carpet
We shared water
Unwrapped silver foil to take a snack
The pink-tinged flowers tickling our legs
You cross-legged, summer dress tucked up to bare your knees to Sun
I sprawled, pressed my gangly silhouette into the flowers
We two temporary distractions
To hover-flies and bees