As you might have seen from my last post I have been watching birds! Not exactly bird watching in any real sense but as we have been driving around, walking and cycling all about our little village I have been noticing the birds more and more.
Now I don’t know if it’s just me but there seems to be a bit of a resurgence in the number of species.
I used to bird watch when I was a kid – I had the eye spy books on both British birds and their eggs! I have forgotten most of it, never really paid it much attention after hitting puberty!
But when my oldest son was starting to show an interest in wildlife I thought it would be a good way to fan those flames, and it rekindled an old love for me.
This was a few years ago and when we tried it seemed we saw very little variety, just sparrows, thrushes and blackbirds. That didn’t really interest a five-year-old much and it got dropped a bit.
However this year I have noticed a change. We have seen all kinds of the kind that I used to get excited about – especially the more colourful ones. We have seen pied wagtails, chaffinches, goldfinches, blue tits and even a few woodpeckers. Today, while out cycling, at the top of the hill we saw a large bird of prey soaring and being mobbed by crows or ravens. I couldn’t tell you what it was – I would hazard it was a buzzard – but was big!
I wonder if there are any ornithological experts out there who could tell me whether this is really a trend or is just I am opening my eyes properly for the first time in a long time?
A rustle of brown
A song trilling in the trees
A fine spread of delicate feathers
High, in a clear blue sky, a buzzard soars
Mobbed and harried by dark ravens
The red and gold darting finch
The woodpecker drill
The hooting owl
Is life just spin the bottle
As the bottle maker laughs
Or a game of hopscotch
Lines drawn in shifting sand
Children’s games and distractions
Carried over time
Methods and controllers
A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.
Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.
Trapped. In a world where everything is measured and control pervades every area of life, four people begin to break down. Instead, they break through the walls of deceit and propaganda and into a world of revolution.
Each, in their way, vow to overthrow the established order. They embark on a journey against the forces arraigned against them, forces of state and self-doubt.
Ultimately their paths converge on a dangerous road and the discovery of an ancient secret.
One one level this is a story about how different people react the ever growing and relentless pressure of everyday oppression. It explores their journeys as they are broken and rebuilt and investigates their modes and motivations for rebelling.
At another level it is a critique on the darker side of capitalism and free markets and how that has driven us further and further away from the evolutionary advantage that gave us supremacy in the first place. It questions whether the human race has doomed itself or whether we still have the capacity to wrench ourselves from the track we have so tightly committed our society upon.