Seasonal synaesthesia

We’re full into autumn now. The geese started flying in a few weeks ago, and Storm Callum took most of the leaves off our rowan trees. The berries have remained untouched by the starlings, who normally devour them before I can gather enough to make jelly. They may have suffered from this year’s prolonged drought. The dog is spending more time outdoors than in, which is our cue that winter is on its way. We have had days of phenomenal sunsets and dawns, which covered social media (if you happen to follow photography sites) with pictures of lenticular and mammatus …

Spotty raptors: not a moment’s peace

It’s fledgling time for the spotty raptors. “Oh hey wow. One of four, eh? Must be tough.” “Dude, you have no idea. It’s impossible to get any peace. It’s all ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME. I can’t even have a bath without one of the others wanting to get in too. Just five minutes, you know? That’s all. That’s all I want. Just five minutes. Or two. I’d settle for two. Or even one. Hell. Yeah. Let’s say one. One damn minute of peace. To chill, have a drink. Get some water up under the feathers. …

The Spotty Raptors – Mad Max causes a difference of opinion

SPOILER WARNING! “So, um, Mad Max, what did you think?” “Mumble-mmmf?” “Mad Max. The new one. Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron.” “Mmmm mmmf mmmf mumble mmf.” “Yeah, I know you went to see it last Thursday. That’s why I was asking.” “Mmmf gnnnngh mmhgnn mmf.” “It’s just, you know. I didn’t like it.” “Mmble?” “Everyone says it’s fantastic, euphoric, the best thing ever, and Furiosa might as well have been driving around a War Rig loaded with salty man tears, but it was stupid.” “Mmmf mmmble gnngh mmfngle!” “Really! They only take the thin, pretty girls, no water or food, …

Bathtime chat

“Do you think Hannibal uses TP or a bidet?” “Excuse me?” “He’s a serial killer, I know, ‘Don’t eat the rude’ and all that. But he’s, what, an aesthete, right?” “I really don’t know what you’re talking about.” “Hannibal Lecter. I just can’t imagine Hannibal Lecter using toilet paper. I mean, what brand would he buy? I don’t think he’d be won over by puppies. Does Claire Fontaine make toilet paper?” “Is this—” “Seriously. What’s the most expensive toilet paper you can buy? Also, do you think eating people makes a difference to the consistency of your poop? I can …

A Host of Sparrows

TODAY WE HAVE INTERNET. A ROO, A ROO, A ROOGA. Thus far in our new house, we have been adopted by the following garden birds: Edgar Allen Notacrow the blackbird and family, who observed us moving in and made sure we knew HE WAS HERE FIRST, SO MAKE SURE YOU BEHAVE BECAUSE HE WILL NOT STAND FOR ANY NONSENSE. Mr and Mrs Splashalot Songthrush. Mr Splashalot has Very Firm Ideas about what constitutes a proper bath. Mrs Splashalot is more restrained and thinks he’s an idiot. She REFUSES to bath with him because he GOES TOO FAR with all his …

House Moving Journal. Day 5

Text originally posted via mobile phone at Singularity on April 20th 2015. Day 5 of no internet and but intermittent mobile signal. Spiders, woodlice and centipedes have accompanied us on the move and already find new homes in the crevices and corners. Thus far no mice or rats. We have reason to believe the semi-feudal rodent society in our previous abode had reached the terminal stage of decadence. Chocolate and sunflower seeds turned gateway substances to pharmacy grade drugs, which proved, ultimately, to be too much for their tiny, furry bodies. All that remains is a stained skirting board and …

Autumn’s here

It’s that time of year again. I was moving wood from a delivery into the shed earlier, trug by painful trug (the weekend’s sea kayaking has broken me), and a long V of geese flew in overhead. I sometimes wonder why they talk to each other incessantly as they fly. It looks like so much effort to keep those big bodies up, wings incessantly flapping. There was a second, smaller V, and a couple of geese broke free from this as I watched, trying to join the larger one. I imagined them worrying about directions — they’re all following Jemima, …

International Book Day Shelfie

It was International Book Day yesterday, and I kind of missed it. I wish I had some writerly excuse, such as being too busy working on a story to guddle about on the interwebs, but the fact is I was engaged in rescuing my beloved from a collapsed freewheel, and then we both conked out on the sofa. We had a long day of whitewater survival training on Wednesday, and are both very tired and covered in bruises. Apparently the thing to do is to post a “shelfie” – rather than a badly focused, awkwardly-angled picture of one’s own mug, …

Synaesthesia

I have synaesthesia – not one of the easily explainable ones, like numbers have colours, but more of a whole-body topological sort of affair. It’s hard to explain, so I rarely bother trying. There are experiences, though, that are so overwhelming I occasionally attempt to share them. This evening, coming back from an afternoon out to Haddo House and Formartine’s, I noticed the sky as I parked the car. When I got out, the combination of the air temperature, the smell, the slight breeze and the distant sound of traffic on the A90 combined to give a synaesthetic overlay. Coincidentally, …