Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Nest clearing and brown bananas

Nest in a hat - allotment shed
Wandered to the shop this morning for eggs and bread because Brendan was coming for a bath - his boiler's broken. So breakfast, then, too and Giya was off back to Newport, having put me through some interesting trials for her latest project. The most painful involved putting my feet into the freezing cold pond on the allotment, the most exposing was standing in my swimsuit pretending to dive into the water butt. Am I really looking forward to seeing the photos?

When I got back with the bread and eggs - loving the brightness of the morning, golden sun despite the frost - I noticed feathers and straw under the porch and by the side of the front door. Sparrows have made their home in a hole in the eaves and I reckon they've started noticing the dirt and dust with this sun, too. Either that or a rat's got to them, but I don't think so, I hope not, they were in the fuschia bush yesterday fussing a lot and making so much noise the wren joined them temporarily.

Brendan's good at emphasising the positive so the phrase of the morning was it's better to be here than in the other place and indeed it is, especially when there's a glow from the window rather than grey and I haven't even needed the sunlamp that dear Fiver lent me before she went away.

In fact, Brendan's visit was well-timed as the postie had delivered another batch of rejected poems and  he'll always put the poetry world into perspective, or rather, be quite clear about his place and mine. An Archers for us poets might be reassurance of some kind that acceptance is far more unusual than rejection. Or perhaps just a poet in the Archers, as a character, the way that Downton made the Dowager's butler a secret writer (played by my great friend Jeremy Swift btw, who did his best once many years ago to teach me bass, well enough anyway so I could appear on stage). So far, that particular mailing (3 batches in the post) hasn't been successful. I blame the time of year I sent them out - beginning of November, not particularly auspicious. How polite, though, Maurice Riordan is, with a nice little handwritten note.

We're not in the premiere league, says Brendan, and they probably get far too much through the post anyway. And he's right, on both counts, but what else is there to do but write and hope that people will find the poems when they need them. Although for that to happen they have to be somewhere other than just on my desktop and in a black folder by my window. So they will go pinging out again, now that I have some more stamps.

Much more to the point is that Giya's hard drive, her second in a matter of months, has failed and her logic board needs replacing and her macbook's not even three years old yet. Fortunately she has a warrantee but has to pay more than £100 for her data to be recovered and reinstalled on the new hard drive.  So we were talking about that on the phone - her on the train back, me trying to do some planning for a workshop and choosing poems - this afternoon. Two weeks now without her laptop, or maybe more, and her most recent and brilliant project at risk….

I can hear the sparrows outside again. I can't imagine how a rat would be able to get into the eaves. I've never heard any scurrying in the loft. No, I reckon they're spring cleaning. It's this glorious sun and now the sky's glowing pink which is good enough reason for another wander down the road - preparation done for Saturday, emails answered, PDFs made and printouts printed. Kids outside the house are on their way home from school, discussing brown bananas and for some reason that's also a prompt for a cup of lapsang. What first, a wander or lapsang?