So far I've spent six days learning to sail and dreaming of Swallows and Amazons & The Famous Five. I am a slow learner and not hugely brave or confident - Peggy or Anne depending on the series. Covered in scrapes and bruises but feeling good. Quite good at rigging, crewing & balancing the boat; getting a feel for the wind, hopeless steering has improved slightly. Dozens of kids swarming over the smallest craft like water rats, showing no fear whatsoever and learning about five times faster than me. Have developed a keen interest in wetsuits, rash vests and buoyancy aids and spent the w/end in Christchurch yacht watching in addition to the usual people watching. Found a v interesting link to Arthur Ransome. Was he or was he not a communist double agent? Not sure whether to reread the Swallows books next or Ransome's biography 'The Last Englishman' by Roland Chambers.
Currently reading 'March' by Geraldine Brooks। Loosely written around the father of 'Little Women', the first book I ever bought. Nostalgia.The promise is ably delivered by a writer worth reading.
Where have all the swallows gone? And the swifts and the martins? They seem to have left early this year। For two weeks now there have been only a couple in the skies where earlier in the month there were a dozen or so circling and swooping। I have heard this has happened in other localities and that it could be the erratic weather affecting the insect population, the hatching or the broods. It has been wonderful to have buzzards nesting close by for the first time I can remember, waking us each morning with their shrill calls and the babies still crying for food at dusk, but could they have seen off the swallows? We also seem to have a growing magpie population: they eat the chicken feed and set the bantams squawking with a vengeance. Nature should be more peaceful!
Soon I will need to change the header but I love this picture. At first the crop was a mystery, then an Andy Goldsworthy, changing by the hour, the weather and the day. Linseed or flax, I should ask the farmer to plant it again next year.