Tonights piece will be a jumble of bad punctuation and personal observation for which I apologise in advance: but if I dont write it down now, it will be swallowed by those areas of my brain where the synapses have given up the ghost. Its just that this is such a lovely time of year in this region, there is much to notice and impart. As you may have spotted already, I cant find the apostrophe on this infernal French notebooks keyboard…my other brand new pc being in for yet more modifications.
I was at the supermarket yesterday when I saw a small bird hopping on the grass with its beak wide open. A wide open beak means the bird is a fledgling. It had probably fallen from a nest, or been abandoned by its parents. It hopped some more, and then flapped about like some ancient footage of early human planes doomed to fall back to Earth. It will, almost certainly, be killed by a predator: but ones immediate instinct is to scoop it up and be of some help. I have seen dolphins display sympathy with other species, and I have seen older large dogs befriend small kittens. I wonder sometimes how widespread this instinct is, and why it exists.
The cherries are now more or less finished. My Dutch friend Tini made jam from some of my crop, and gave me a jar. I look forward to sampling it, but in the meantime I feel tonight like ancient Man discovering fire.
One of the great bonuses of travelling in Africa was the discovery of native fires or pits surrounded by large stones. Ive been a fan of them ever since: not only do they control the fire extremely well, there is something about sitting round a stone octagon of an evening while sipping at a sundowner that offers a joyous mixture of contentment and mild mind rearrangement.
As I expected, the demolition of an obviously man made mound here yielded up some beautiful limestone, and so one of the many uses of that haul has been the creation of a mini Stonehenge at the back of the property. By mistake last night, I added some rock hard pieces I assumed to be stone, but they turn out to have been clay. Following the fire I lit, this morning I discovered ruddy red fired pieces of crude pottery inside the pit. Lovely to look at, and with a superb wood essence to them. The next step is to soak some clay, form a shape, create another fire and see what emerges. For a person with a chronically low boredom threshold, I am remarkably easily amused.
For the first time in ten weeks, there is electric light in my home. This can be added to the hot water available in one bathroom and the kitchen. The stones I have hauled up to the pool surround are 95% in place. Slowly, the project is reaching some form of fruition. Within a month to six weeks, the garden will be serving up wild plums, and a few weeks after that I can expect mirabelles, greengages and damsons. As I type uncertainly tonight, a gentle whiff of woodsmoke is wafting through the motor home. There are far worse places than this to be in 2014.