In the briefest of foot-notes, the last few weeks have been spent in frenzied anticipation of buying a new house. In all the commotion, it is now sinking in that we might actually have to leave this little cottage in the woods after two years of fantastic but ever-more cramped circumstances. It was never perfect and we were always going to grow out of the place, but it’s the house my wife and I bought on the week that we were married and there is some sentimental value in that alone.
Perhaps more significantly to this blog, the house is also the epicentre of a woodcock highway between two large deciduous woods on the edge of some wonderfully soggy farmland. On clear, cold winter evenings, it has been possible for my wife and I to sit on the front doorstep with a cup of coffee and watch the dark little shapes flit to and fro above our heads. Some nights there have been as many as twenty, but now that we’re into the spring the number is closer to five or six. In due course, those numbers will subside still further until the croaking begins and the resident birds begin to rode through the twilight – a gorgeous accompaniment to the hoarse complaints of tawny owl chicks.
As thrushes ladled rich gloops of lovely song over the dusk last night, I realised that no matter how bright and alluring the future could be, I’ll be sorry to leave this place.