#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 26
The idea of a collection of daily words describing how you felt for 30 days of social distancing and isolation feels really meaningful to me and something that I think I’d really appreciate having in 10 years. Think outside the box of what you might typically write!— NaNoWriMo (@NaNoWriMo) March 31, 2020
I listen to more stories at the virtual Cycle Touring Festival today. It reminds me of how little I’ve toured the last couple of years. I have missed it.
I was going to rectify that this year, pick up tea in Monmouth, check out the see at Fishguard, and cycle quiet lanes of Wiltshire to start with.
I bring my attention back to the screen. Outside pigeons are cooing. I have never quite realised how many pigeons live around our house. Over the last couple of days I’ve noticed a particular couple that keeps returning to the tree by our fence.
The words of the speaker go unheard, my attention elsewhere. I find it difficult to focus. I pick up my phone, check Twitter and WhatsApp yet again. Nothing has changed. I turn my laptop off and pick up my Nintendo Switch. I explore Hyrule for a while in search of shrines and a cooking pot but all too soon the battery runs out.
Outside pigeons are still cooing. I think of the chaffinches in the bush in the alleyway between my house and that of my friend. I miss my friend. We talk via messages every now and again but it’s not our long philosophical discussions. It’s not laughs shared over our movie night.
I head downstairs to put the Switch on charge and watch another cycle touring film. It kills time but does not soothe me. Maybe the festival wasn’t such a good idea for me. Memories have invaded the forefront of my mind and I find it hard to live in the now.
‘Do you want to go for a walk,’ my partner asks.
I grab my camera and we step out. I think of the starling I spotted the day before, its black feathers beautifully streaked with colours. It had not minded me looking at it and I wonder if we’ll meet again today.
We don’t. Instead there are birds I don’t see but hear. I don’t know what they are but it is of little importance. We follow our longest loop, past the deserted train station, and via the shadowed path by the brook. I haven’t checked my phone for a while.
Back home, we prepare a couple of gin and tonic with with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. We sit in the garden and play a game of cards. We’ve missed the 6 o’clock gathering of gulls on the roof facing our garden. The pigeons are still there, nestled in the tree. One of them keeps cooing softly. I wonder if there’s a nest but I don’t dare get too close.
I cook dinner and we eat watching an old episode of the Pretender. Our resident blackbird pays us a visit halfway through and I know it is 8 o’clock. It hops on the fence surveying its territory. I forget about the television.
In bed, an hour later, I read Journey To Portugal by José Saramago. I drink in his words, savouring the descriptions of Aveiro’s lagoon and the wines he drank. I am both here and there.
One thing I miss about my house in France is that we have a family of “merles” (I’m too lazy to go and search what the name is in English even though I probably know it). There aren’t as many trees and as many birds where I live. I hope I’ll get to move somewhere with more trees and birds soon.
That would be nice 🙂 Can you have bird feeders by a window? Birds are so lovely to look at. I’m loving the blackbird that visits everyday. We haven’t done any work in the garden since moving in, but as soon as we can, adding things for birds (and other wildlife) will be a priority for the it.
I sadly cannot add anything to my window, nothing holds. Hopefully in the next few months, I’ll manage to move and be able to install all the things I’ve been unable to have for the past few years.