Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Things you sometimes see from your writing desk VI

I took a photo of the view I had most days from my window in Wales, but I must have accidentally deleted it. It showed the cloud right outside the window and the nearby trees ghostly, which was very nice in a way: I felt cosily shut in with the world of my novel, and I made good progress, although the overall progress is pretty slow, I'm finding. Like Nuala Ni Chonchuir, who visited this blog recently, I seem to be a more contemplative writer these days, and I think it's bearing fruit...

Anyway, before I went away, the view from my Manchester window was filled with shrieking swifts teaching their young to fly. They kept swooping past in gangs inches from the glass, but they were impossible to catch with the camera, I found: by the time I'd clicked, the window was empty again. This was my best shot: the very last swift about to fly out of view.


And now I'm back and the swifts have gone. They come for such a short time: they don't arrive until the first week in May and they've already gone by the end of the first week of August, and in that time they've nested and their young are fit to fly south. And their departure is so striking: right up until they go the neighbourhood rings with their screaming, and then you wake up one morning and there's silence, they've gone, and you can't help thinking of the end of summer, even though the school holidays have not long begun and the corn's not yet ripe, as we could see at close quarters when the footpath we were following one afternoon in Wales suddenly went right through a cornfield:


On the other hand, the blackbirds are still busy with their belated nest outside my Manchester window, I'm glad to say.

And here's the latest ambitious window display in Palas Print, the Caernarfon bookshop: a display of camping and travel books:

4 comments:

Rachel Fenton said...

I know exactly what you mean about swifts - least they got the right name!

The window display made me smile - camping seems so lovely - until you've spent three miserable nights in a leaky tent in the coldest snap of weather of the whole summer and pulled on your miserably wet trolleys to discover a family of ground beetles in there...ah, memories...I'll just take the books thank you!

Elizabeth Baines said...

And it's a window display best looked at on a warm sunny day, I think...

katebrown said...

In Berlin, it's red squirrels and swallows I see when I get up in the morning and look out of the window. I get so excited when I see a red squirrel thinking 'extinct, extinct...' only they're not here, obviously...

Elizabeth Baines said...

Oh that's fabulous. The last red squirrel I saw was in Prague.

Hope you're settling down well in Berlin...