Sunday, 22 May 2011

Ritual Smugness....

A Jackdaw lands on the roof.

Hullo ma wee blog,

Mornings, especially early mornings, are my time in the house. This is particularly true for Sunday mornings like today when I wake rested and ready to go at 5.15am. Today the sun glints soft gold into the bedroom through the bottom of the cracked open velux window. Birds are singing and there is a definite feel of freshness and vitality to the air. Despite this I try to resist the allure of morning as I've had a rare settled night and have slept for at least 6 hours, which is luxury. I reach out and touch the soft skin of the Lovely G lying fast asleep beside me and lie for a moment or two connected by this touch before brushing a few strands of her thick black hair away from her face. I see her pout in her dreams and am content for several long minutes to just watch her sleep before gently easing myself out from under the covers and, collecting my clothes from the untidy, half-heartedly semi-folded pile at the side of the bed, make my way out to the hall where I head for the bathroom to get dressed and do the usual morning routine.

Heading down the stairs to the hall the light is soft through the gauze of the curtain at the foot of the stair until I fold it back and the light changes to a warmer hue. The birds are already out in force, seven or eight jackdaws strutting around beneath the apple trees until they see my shape at the window and they leap into the air and depart complaining loudly. The local sparrows who live in our back hedge are already busy with the remnants of yesterdays filling of feeders hanging on the two apple trees, excitedly clearing the way for the morning refill. I go through the door beside me into the kitchen and turn on the computer before filling the kettle and flicking the switch. Both will be ready for me by the time I'm finished with the birds. I pick up the large tub of birdseed with one hand as I roll open the patio door with the other and step out into the morning.

By the time I've taken my first step to cross the small patio towards the grass at the far side my bare feet have registered the depth of cold from the concrete slabs, a hint of night-time rain and a gossamer spider web. As I pass the small rough wooden bench table I put down the tub and a few steps on the chill of concrete changes for the soft dampness of grass, a refreshing cold rather than the hard cold of the patio behind me. I always smile when I do this. I love walking out here in my bare feet, almost regardless of the weather. I might be just a bit strange but as I walk to the first feeder with a small pot of seed to fill, I'm actually laughing quietly out loud, partly in exuberance and partly in expression of the shock of the cold on my toes. I go through my routine, filling one, two, three, four feeders and then I empty and wipe the two water dishes before refilling them with clean water and putting them back down, one on the small table where the seed tub is and one for the ground feeders which I leave at the edge of the patio. I pick up the seed tub and scatter a handful of seeds beside the newly filled water dish at my feet before walking back onto the grass and along the length of the house, past my neighbours softly clucking half dozen hens in their wire run through the slatted wooden fence. I pause there for a moment and we eye each other amiably as we do most mornings unless rain or wind forces us to concentrate only on the task at hand. This morning, bucket still in hand, I make them watch my impression of a chicken - nodding head, soft clucking, jerky movements - but can tell they're less than impressed. Nothing unusual there then.

Breakfast.
Beyond the hen run, at the end of the fence where our garden drops down a metre or so to the lowest part, I pass the plum trees and turn back around the front of the house away from the younger pear trees and walk across to my favourite part of the garden, the old pear tree which sits at the edge of the drive right in front of the house. I often wonder what changes this old tree has seen here over the last hundred years as it's watched the space change from orchard to building site to garden. Once it had many companions but now it's the last of its kind, solitary until two new trees were planted nearby. As I often do, I run a hand on its rough bark and pluck a few dry twigs from a branch here and there as I fill the feeder that hangs from the stout finger that's all that remains of a branch clipped by other hands perhaps generations ago. All around the garden here there is birdsong and eager squeaks and squawks from birds excited by the morning sun at the front of the house and the prospect of breakfast being laid out before them. I walk back across the lawn dropping yet another handful of seed by the stone pillar of the bird bath and stop to fill the two window feeders that are in front of the kitchen and the library.
The tree on the hill opposite.
I've spent more time out here this week than anytime so far this year, the garden is looking good - for me anyway - things that should have been gone a while back have been lifted and taken to be recycled or dumped and there is an air of order and control about the place. Grass is short, borders are neat and tidy, things are as things perhaps should be more often. I decide that the computer can wait until later and I'm going to bring my coffee round here to the sunshine. I'll sit on the step and be smug for a while and enjoy what may be the last bit of sun for a few days.
see you later.
listening to

10 comments:

The Scudder said...

Hey birdman ,, glad to see you back .,.,
Did you get your old pal resuscitated or are you making the aquaintance of a new friend .,., or still borrowing from the lovely G ?
Anyway summer is almost with us so much more time in the garden ( for you ) .,.,on the golf course for me !

Alistair said...

I'm still on the borrowing caper until I get the insurance sorted out.......

I'm not much of a gardener but I'm a worse golfer!

Hope we can catch up soon......

TwistedScottishBastard said...

Nice post Alistair, although with all those birds you're feeding, I'd be a bit nervous about walking around in bare feet. I stepped in duck poo once and I'll never forget the horrible sensation.
Ilike the idea of looking at a nicely arranged garden. After I've done my lawns and borders, I'll sometimes just stare out the window at early dawn, just admiring my handiwork.

coastkid said...

Feeling so awake at that time on a Sunday morning maybe you should be a Greenkeeper too Al!,
I am a morning person and grew up with my dad telling me `miss the morning and you miss the day`, so true, esp if you want to enjoy the coastline here to yourself,
lovely wee bit of writing there...

dbs said...

A few days a go I spent the entire day outside: yardwork, planting, organizing, cleaning, etc. Early in the day I spotted a broken branch on our apple tree. My daughter's rabbit likes to chew apple branches so I put it in my pocket and periodically it would poke me throughout the day. I kept it like a secret until the end of they day. This post hearkens to those perfect days that others might ignore or not be in the frame of mind to really enjoy. These days are like secrets in your pockets. And only you can describe them so well.

Alistair said...

TSB - practical as always! Not something I'd thought of so I'll have a look in the morning, but I don't think its too bad.

C-K - I might be an early bird but it's not always by choice.

dbs - I like the idea of secrets in your pocket - and compliments like that will make my head swell!

Cheers gents......

Nicky said...

Alistair, your photos are lovely! And you know, your words would give Macaig a run for his money! Very poetic commentary!

Alistair said...

Aw Jings! {blush}

Anonymous said...

Lazarus - you know when that will be played for me..... :-)

Alistair said...

Yes my Lovely G, I know.

The Sunday Posts 2017/ Hush Hush

Hush, hush, time tae be sleepin'. Hush, hush, dreams come a-creepin'; Dreams of peace and of freedom, So smile in your sleep,...