One of the magical events of the year is the passing to and fro overhead of the migratory birds,
which never ceases to move my heart.
Such tiny beings,
such a long way to go,
such danger to go through to survive,
and twice a year it happens.
We are lucky,
our telephone and electric wires seem to be an overnight stop,
for a particular flock of swifts on their way down to Africa.
Thousands of them.....
...... far too many to get on a photo....
.... all the overhead cables have swifts on them,
restless, fidgety, waiting for the signal to start the day,
waiting for the collective signal to leave.
And as I watched the magic of these birds
I thought of the months ahead until they come back up to Europe again,
six months of winter for us,
which I don't mind,
because we have lots to do which the busyness of the summer stops us from doing.
They will go fast, those months.
They are not to be wasted.
Being on the migratory pathway for several breeds of birds
always makes me conscious of time passing,
and that I should not put off things which I want to do.
Flip me, but I have been asked to play the piano to accompany the Maubourguet choir I used to sing with,
but left because they chatted too much during the rehearsal time,
and since it is a French choir,
they chatted away in French,
which is alright for half an hour or so,
but then my head used to seize up with the effort of having interpret what they were saying,
although each week I was able to pick out more and more words,
but at that time we had builders in,
and everything just got too much to cope with,
so I left.
But now it would seem that I am to return,
and I find myself hoping that they will keep up their habit of chatting,
because I really would like to be able to speak better French, and accompanying the choir will put me right in the thick of the talking,
because they will be talking to me as well,
which will make me have to talk in French,
which is good,
but a challenge,
because 1) first I have to manage to play the music,
some of which is difficult to say the least,
and 2) I have to listen, and talk, French.
I will be stretched on both counts.
Not to worry,
I'll have a go,
after all, I don't have to spread my wings and fly for thousands of miles across Europe and Africa,
I can stay put on the farm.
We have made a purchase of a tenor banjo for Lester.
He already has a violin, an electric violin (thanks Dad),
a guitar (thanks John), and a mandolin.
He can play all these instruments quite well,
without the need to do much practice.
I, on the other hand, am still spending at least an hour a day learning how to play the piano accordion I bought earlier on in the year,
and can now play a tune or two.
I shall persevere,
although often feel like throwing the accordion out of the window,
but it is an enjoyable challenge,
and I would like to be able to play it in public,
just to see if I can.
The kitchen is coming along, but I have taken over painting the walls because Lester needs to get the gates for the pig paddocks finished before winter sets in.
He has made two,
eight more to go.
Why so many?
Because we have put in several passageways so that the pigs can be easily moved between the paddocks,
and also will make capture of the pigs easier,
and then there are the blood tests we have to now have done,
and how one sticks a needle into a pig the size of Max, well we don't have the foggiest clue as to how we can do this,
but capturing him in one of the passageways is an idea which we hope will work.
We still have the seven piglets,
and we are keeping them this time,
six for the freezer,
one female possibly to be kept for breeding.
Things I have learnt:
- that watching little birds getting ready to do a very long migration makes one encouraged to continue on with the day to day journey through one's life...
- that sitting amongst French people, no matter that one cannot understand much of what they are saying, must be viewed as a blessing. Better to be here than where we used to be, back our old UK lifestyle, which was slowing killing the spirit of Lester and myself.
- that watching one's partner learn new things is a blessing to one's soul.
- that one must not worry about the possibility of the river rising up over the fields again, as it has done several times these last two winters past, because if it does it does, if it doesn't it doesn't. Things can't be changed by filling one's mind up with worry, all it does is spoil the day.
Maz and Blue having a tussle over a stick.