On Numbers 6

A social sextet,

multiplied by two metres:

twelve square metres


n.b. I think that you’ll find pub tables ain’t quite that big…not that anyone is counting, so “one metre plus” is fine as well. I checked with the BBC.

The scientific evidence for physical distancing is published in the British Medical Journal, but it suggests we are not far enough apart. Which makes sense when you realise you can smell someone exhaling strawberry fumes from an electronic smoking device from a car park and a half distant. (What is it about those things? Why not just suck a lolly pop?).


CLP 21/10/2020

Day 10

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.


CLP 27/03/2020

Day 3

Early to the heath accompanied by birds in full song. A red kite hangs above the oak trees trying to get a fix on breakfast despite the gusting northerly.

Three other birds of prey wheel, hover, patrol the ridge.

From the still sodden fields curlews agitated cries cut through melodies of dunnocks and robins; contrast with the squeaky rhythm of great tits welcoming spring.

A Muntjac deer with its back legs caught in the fence wire, hangs head down, front legs limp, its rear torn open by a fox, crimson.

On the way back down the lane my attention is held by a movement on the verge. I see a mouse, its tiny marble-black eyes glint from beneath celandine leaves. We spend moments staring at each other. The mouse loses interest first and scrambles off leaving wavering plants in its wake.

By evening the bitter wind from the north sweeps up the hill from the sea, over the head of a red deer hind with her fawn nibbling at crumbs left by goats from their plastic bucket.

The spectacular yellow blooms of gorse purses are open for business. A bumble bee passes loudly, yet unseen.

I go to bed.

“Night night”

“Good night, dear friend.”

It has been Friday.


CLP  20/03/2020


Day 2

Immersed in work online while your day with formal interaction progresses from tense to harrowing.

Here grey, gloomy sky with occasional rain.

I empty the compost bin into the black plastic Dalek composter that is alive with a tangle of fine, writhing, pink worms.

Night comes early. Good night wishes exchanged by text.


CLP  19/03/2020