Day 37

I am out after supper. The light is fading earlier than previous evenings because of the spreading high-cloud cover. Venus is high in the west.

Everything is calmer. The wind dropping, the sea smoother, the air warmer. Birds have settled into their pairs. Nests are built. A swan sits on a massive mesh of reeds; a mallard drake on a nest, while the duck waddles off with a girlfriend.

A small array of starlings is collecting on a telephone line, but there is no sign of the swallows. Blackbirds seem to be taking the lead for the evening chorus. Much of the rest of the avian cast have bedded down for an early night.

Above, thin, steely cloud cover catches the sunset in two patches. One illuminated area lies low to the sea and holds hints of orange; the higher patch, over the marshes, resembles rose-pink quilt-work. The light red hue from the underside of the clouds then reflects again from the surfaces of the pools amongst the reeds. The flat sea melts from a mercury sheen to the same soft pink. It is all quite beautiful.

There is not one other person to be seen. I am the only person walking the twelve kilometres of beach.

As I make my way back to the road, the shallowest part of the low-lying pasture is lighter, whiter, misty. The dyke that runs parallel to the road, is steaming slightly. The grass on the green behind the bus shelter, is disappearing in a wispy, milky layer of chilled air.

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Christopher Perry

23rd April, 2020

Day 35

Cycling west along the coast road to the next village this morning took about half the time of any previous trip. The east wind pushed me along as I pedalled furiously to take full advantage.

It was thrilling to travel so fast without wind rushing in my ears, without battling to make progress. It reminded me of running with the wind on a yacht; no wind noise, just the bows cutting through the water. Today all I hear is the spinning of the chain, the tyres on the road and the sound of birds singing.

I return by climbing the rise to the heath at the top of the hill. This route back shields me from the easterly blow because the road is below the brow, is hedged and then runs through oak woodland until the summit of Bard Hill. From there home no pedalling required, just the brakes.

The bluebells are yet to feature under those oaks, but the little nubs of blue are forming in the clumps of shiny, leaves that sprout through the leaf litter. They are readying themselves to break out any day now. They are not alone in that.

Uninterrupted sunshine is forecast to be with us for the next few days. The temperature will be about average for this time of year, but the sunshine offers false hope of greater warmth. I am accepting of weather – it happens; its expectations that need managing.

Wireless connectivity problems shorten our conversation in the morning; weariness and appetite shorten it in the evening. All understandable and reasonable, as long as reserves of reason and understanding remain.

I am disappointed to miss a mid-afternoon call from my son. I was sitting outside having a cup of tea in the cosmetic sunlight.

Elsewhere, mother and baby, (and father) are doing fine.

.

Christopher Perry

21st April, 2020

on the line

The year’s first swallow is here

Just the one

Balanced quite comfortably

On the telephone wire

A bright summery note on a four line stave

Flown in on the warm south wind

It sits, calling for the others

It can’t eat all these midges and mosquitos alone

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Christopher Perry

15th April, 2020