Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Birds, postmen and Guildford Writers

Forgot to say (or perhaps I’m too ashamed to confess it), but Lord H and I bought a birdsong CD at the end of last week’s holiday, so we could wow our friends with our amazing ability to distinguish a woodpecker from a sparrow. However, there are 99 tracks on it, plus a booklet (which unfortunately doesn’t include pictures of said birds, which might have been more useful), and we’re so far only up to track 12. Well, there’s only so much constant tweeting you can take really. But I do think I have recognised a blackbird since listening to one on the CD. And I now know that if you’re walking in woodland and hear something you haven’t heard before (birdsong, people, birdsong …!), then it’s probably a great tit (as it were), as they have a notes range so vast that no-one can log it all. It also surprised me that birds of the same species can sound so different, as they’re all little individuals. Just like people really. Astonishing. A statement which probably goes to show just how birdist I have been in my life.

This morning, Lord H performed another of his shapeshifting tricks – he left the flat looking entirely like his usual self but, by the time I was waving him off down the path, he’d changed into the postman. Suspicious, eh … I fear the mother-ship may be calling him home. However, fear not as, once the postman had vanished next door, Lord H turned up as himself again, pointing helpfully to his head so I could know it was him. Mornings in downtown Godalming are so exciting, you know.

Oh, and on the radio this morning, I heard a lovely song – “Grace” – by someone called Simon Webbe (whom I’ve never heard of, which probably just goes to show how ignorant I am). Sorry. Anyway, must get the CD sometime – I loved it.

It’s a bit flat at work at the moment. Yesterday’s flurry of activity has obviously stunned all my usual correspondents into silence. I’m waiting on a barrel-load of people to reply to my pleas for attention, but am held in a vacuum until they do. Welcome to the Secretarial World, eh? ’Twas ever thus.

Took my usual stroll round campus at lunchtime, and stopped in at the new exhibition at the art gallery. Sat by the lake for a while too – it’s such a good place to think in (if you get my meaning). Watched the coot (or are they moorhens? Who can tell?…) family – the youngsters were picking grasses from the parent bird, when really they should be old enough to do it themselves by now. Hmm, we obviously have more in common with the bird world than we thought. And there was also a grey squirrel rolling in a soil bath at the bottom of a nearby tree – perhaps we should all do this occasionally? It certainly looked like fun. Oh, and I thought I heard a tweeting from the bush behind me that I’m sure I’ve heard on the birdsong CD– but just couldn’t remember which of the tweeters it might be. Darn it. I think all this nature rambling must be due to age - when I turned 30, I suddenly developed an undying love for Dutch flower paintings (which I'd always hated before) - now I can't get enough of them. Give me a Dutch flower painting - even a postcard will do - and I'm your friend for life. In the same way, I think my 40s will be the decade of the bird. You have been warned ...

On the PR front, the Goldenford (http://www.goldenford.co.uk) article that appeared in The Guildford Times a couple of weeks ago has also apparently appeared in The Cranleigh Times, so our fame is spreading … Today Cranleigh, tomorrow the world.

Oh, and I’ve written a poem – which is something of a relief as I haven’t written one for a while and was getting twitchy. Again.

Shedding the skin

These days
I want to do less
and my pleasure lies in saying no.

While others fill their days
with lunches, hobbies, evenings out,
an ever-widening circle of friends,
my first and strongest instinct
is to open the closed fist
spread the fingers wide
and simply let it all go.

Watching my life
spin outwards to nothing,
a distant echo
of who I used to be
comes back to me
but I don’t remember her now.

If to be myself,
I have to release
what I thought I was
or might be once
then maybe that’s what I’ll do

Double joy - the A Dangerous Man reviews from Erastes (http://www.myspace.com/erastesdotcom) and Becky (http://www.myspace.com/edie1964) have finally turned up on Amazon and can be found here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dangerous-Man-Anne-Brooke/dp/0954594568/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/202-0915331-5590251?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181061968&sr=8-1. Many thanks, guys, I'm really grateful!

Tonight, there’s Guildford Writers (http://www.guildfordwriters.net), so that should be fun. Am planning to take the first page of The Bones of Summer along and get some feedback on that. I suspect I’ll be asked what my plans are for the book, as somebody usually asks me that whenever I start something. Um, and my answer is always the same – I’ll know when I write it, as it’s just as much of a mystery to me as it is to everyone else. It’s all done by smoke and mirrors, you know. That said, as usual I do have an end scene in mind, though I haven’t written it yet. I need to get the guys some way nearer it before I do that one (and even then no doubt it’ll change when I finally get there myself).

Today’s nice things:

1. Amazon reviews
2. Writing a poem
3. Guildford Writers

Anne Brooke


Cathy said...

Simon Webbe used to be in the boyband, Blue. But you've probably already googled him and found that out!

Anne Brooke said...

Ooh, haven't done that yet, Cathy - so thank you! Not that I've heard of Blue either - but what did you expect?!



Peter said...

Sue got me me one of those CD for Christmas last year. Its great.

Great Tits are easy to identify from their sound as most of the time they just say Teacher, Teacher, Teacher

Lord B-I-L

Anne Brooke said...

Great tits are indeed the professors of the tweeting world, Lord B-I-L!!!



Jackie Luben said...

Agree with you completely about the birdsong, Anne. They've had some programme on Radio 4 telling you which is which, but by the time I get out into the garden, I've forgotten.

The CD is a good idea, except (being in the dark ages) we haven't got a CD player.

Anne Brooke said...

We'll obviously have to form a secret birdlover group, Jackie ...

Time to get a CD player!!!



Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Guildford! Glad you enjoyed the blog ...