Sunday, January 22, 2012

The view out my window. And also, SQUIRRELS

So I was going to do this post about an hour ago while it was still light, but now it's mostly dark and I will have to rely on memory.

I have quite a nice view out my window. I live in a terraced house about six metres (six yards?) wide and twelve metres long, with the garden extending to the back about the same length as the house. When you look at the street on Google Maps, all the sections look very long and skinny, and when I look out my window into the back garden I can see the back gardens of the house next door, and the one next to that, and the one next to that. At the end of our garden is a park with lots of trees and brambles (so you can't really get into it from our garden, unless you wear heavy spike-resistant clothing), and lots of green.

There's a NZ native cabbage tree in the next garden over, poking its spiky leaves in all directions, and behind that the skeletal branches of some English natives. The skeletal branches mean you can see where birds have set their nests, and sometimes movement catches my eye and I stare to see what's moving in the trees. (Today I stared for over two minutes trying to see if the small grey thing was a squirrel or not. It was a pigeon.) As the sun goes down, the scene takes on the qualities of a silhouette against the sky.

London has five airports, and one of them is quite near me so there are always planes going overhead and making tracks in the sky (as I write I've counted five in the past thirty seconds, though most of those are quite high and only sparkling lights). Birds sing in the mornings and I go past a small 'farm' with a rooster on the way to the bus. Invariably it's crowing mightily. I wouldn't like to live next door to it in summer, when the sun rises at a quarter to five.

I've got a nice sun crystal hanging in my window, which is a bit futile because the window is north-facing and the sun is unlikely to shine through the crystal and make pretty rainbows on my walls. The window itself is an old-style two-panel-with-panes where the bottom panel is on ropes and slides up. Of the twelve panes of glass in the windows, two are original or at least quite old (I can see because the glass is all squiggly) and it makes me wonder what happened to the other ten panes of glass that they had to be replaced.

I happened to look out my window yesterday and see a squirrel attempting a daring raid on next-door's bird feeder. It ran along the fence line and then spent quite a while climbing all around the bird feeder and inspecting it from every possible angle (twitch, freeze and stare, twitch, move, twitch, move, freeze and stare), trying to find chinks in the mesh armour. Another squirrel took exception, however, and entered from stage left with determined ferocity. The first squirrel gave up on the bird feeder and disappeared from my view.

The episode inspired a dream with two rival squirrels. One of the squirrels was luridly red and had a punk fur-cut.

My brain works in strange ways.

Have a good week!

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