All Change

It must be spring. I’ve been switching things around. The books are where the desk was

which was a dark and draughty corner,even with the lights on. The computer is in the window, so I have my knees next to the radiator and can watch the weather and the birds.

and the desk is where the books used to be.

The book you can see there is one I’ve just finished – The Leaping Hare a reissue of Gavin Ewart Evans David Thomson’s and book of the 70’s, a fascinating mix of natural history and folklore. Among other things, it tells me that the reason why I haven’t seen any hares lately might be more to do with the increase in rabbits than the change in farming practices. We certainly see more rabbits now than we used too, but also more buzzards, and even occasional foxes, so maybe things will balance out.

Apart from this I’ve been setting up for a very busy couple of months. I’ll be at The Scottish Federation of Writers Sudden Fame event,(Mitchell Library, Glasgow, 11th March, 7.30) as part of the Aye Write Festival and at StAnza on March 16th and 17th. There will be too many events to record, but I’m making a point of being at the Filmpoem (featuring Alastair Cook’s work)on Friday and the Happenstance showcase on Saturday,where my friend and fellow Working Poet, Richie McCaffery, is having a pamphlet launched.StAnza is a jewel of a festival – it will provide inspiration and energy for months, not just because of the scheduled events, but because you meet so many poets – it’s the only place to be, even if the wind is coming off the North Sea, and it’s wet and cold. I found myself in a coffee bar next to John Burnside once, but I was too frit to say anything to him. After a long time when I’ve been wrestling with ill-health – my own and everyone else’s – it’s lovely to be making new plans.

The weather is changing too. After the bright cold days we’ve had lately, a layer of cloud has blown in from the west, and everything has softened slightly in the damper air. There’s mist on the hill, and magpies mending their nests in the orchard. The visiting starlings and blackbirds are gathering to move north again, and I’m listening for the first oyster-catcher back from the coast. It must be spring!

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