Let’s get out of the city …

28/01/2012 at 19:24 (Personal) (, , )

.. and get a haircut. After an extensive country hike, of course. Red kites mandatory. Mud, prolific and varied in texture. Slips and slides, anticipated (weary legs – much barre work and stretching required thereafter.)

The kites came quick and fast; at least three shapely individuals with full plumage and hooked wings, and a family of Ma, Pa (B-52 size) and two teens, with their unique stubby wings and mottled brown colouration. Their cries to one another carried on the striking east wind. I got a crick in my neck watching them as we crested the barrows, heading for the quarry, and almost went arse over tit on a mudslide. If I had, I’d probably have gone the whole hog in otter-style, belly to the ground and giggling until my teeth went chequered.

I love how, at the Visitor’s centre, their advisory plaques detail the local wildlife’s activity thus: “If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to spot a red kite.” This was relevant in 201h0, perhaps. Now, you’d have to be bat-blind to miss their V-shape, lazy thermal glide and distinctive keening whine.

One of the greatest sights I’ve yet experienced, was a kite divebombing a pidgeon straight from the sky. Stillness of a pewter sky, lightly swaying treetops as I rounded a corner on a walk past a local farm, suddenly became an explosion of feathers – red blood scattering down in droplets to the road – a snarling shriek – and a kite, bearing a tattered lump of gristle away in its formidable talons. I stood for almost ten minutes on the road (thankfully a quiet one), assimilating all the details of that scenario without airbrushing, to relate later. Cue awed voice.

Watching true predators, almost makes me want to quit being vegetarian, out of solidarity to an ancient, instinctive need. Almost.



If I should ever come across someone mistreating these birds, I won’t be held responsible for my actions, because my temper will become an entirely seperate entity.

On another predatory note – this is Kaiser:

He is a red-point Birman, almost 5 years old, currently living with my Ma until I can afford a larger flat with a lenient landlord. And he is a shitbag. He likes to snag toes which pass his nose, curl up around your head while you’re trying to sleep, and press his purring face against yours until the whisker-tickles become unavoidable, and sneezing ensues. He’s my baby. I miss his fur, his huge blue eyes that let me know when he’s in full shitbag mode (dilated pupils) and his way of sitting quietly wrapped around my shoulders as I write, occasionally offering an opinion in my ear. He was my official editor. Also, my greatest confidante.

I can’t stop listening to this song at the moment. I see the band, Camera Obscura, in shades of purple and magenta.

The novel is developing feet, which run away with themselves. The more I write, the larger the fictional world becomes. It encompasses a mishmash of my childhood in Germany, the dark days on the Dole, and my current tapestry of winding streets, vintage scruffles, work and old buildings/new faces. The more people I come to accept in my life, the more colours stream through to add texture to my writing. Pity I couldn’t look into that when I was younger.

If this novel is finished (I’m Queen Procrastinator), I’ll toast myself for just putting the last full stop in. I’m notoriously bad at wrapping things up / seeing projects through to the end. Whether it lands on an agent’s desk, is another matter entirely.

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