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Spring Meeting


Spring in all its glory has sprung but where have all the robins gone? My tame robin last year could have been found sitting in this pink bush. It would wait until I had filled up the feeders then hopped across to greet me. I haven’t seen it in a while. Could it be because someone else has been feeding the birds each morning and it doesn’t want to say hello to them?

I’m going to make a conscious effort to be the one who goes out first thing and see if my little robin returns. I miss it following me around the garden. And it is not just me who has noticed it has gone. Someone else spotted it hasn’t been around. Do birds go in the huff I wonder?

I’m hoping the answer is quite simply that it is getting fed better quality food elsewhere. Of course, perhaps it may be sitting on a nest somewhere. Whatever the reason it is sadly missed from the garden. I seemed to have acquired a garden mouse instead.

We need contact with other species to ground and helps us appreciate the wonders of nature. I live in hope that the more we communicate with the natural world, the more we will take care of our planet and all that grows here. Maybe if everybody had a robin, or frog or squirrel that appeared to follow them around when they stepped outside we would grow in our empathy with nature. It certainly would make life interesting, especially if we no say in what befriended us.

Speaking of friends it has been strange yet enjoyable suddenly being able to meet and see others from different households. Walking up the street I could hear voices and laughter yesterday. I had forgotten what crowds sounded like.

It felt so strange walking past lots of small groups of people sitting outside a local pub, laughing and joking with each other. There was a joyful almost festival feeling of celebrations oozing out onto the pavement. However, it somehow felt particular seeing so many people. I had to stop myself from hurrying past. This is normal, I tried to persuade myself, at least it should be a normal occurrence but somehow it still felt odd.

I’m going to the big city this week. Ok, for some Inverness with its population of nearly 70,000 (if you add in the outer areas like Culloden that is at least another 64,000 on top) may not sound like a big city but compared to twenty years ago, it has grown considerably. That county town feel it once had has long disappeared. There is no getting away from it, Inverness is more like a city nowadays.

Anyway, I’m off to brave the experience of eating out. It is so long since I have done anything as rash as this. Leaving the countryside and entering an area of dense population. However, the person I am meeting up with is coming from an even more remote area.

There will be no hugs just a strange shrug of the shoulders and a smile I suppose. It actually feels quite decadent; the thought of eating somewhere that I not expected to either create the menu or indeed tidy up afterward. In many ways, I am looking forward to it.

Not least of which will be the conversation with another being I haven’t shared the same space with for over a year. As a writer, it is important to experience and observe people and events. We learn so much from real people's interactions. For many of us, we quite simply haven’t been able to do this. Lots of writers had found it difficult to develop ideas without some sort of social interaction.

If you take Terry Pratchett and his disc word for example. That whole world he created would not have been so funny or enjoyable without his satirical outlook on happenings in the real world. We may not have witches visiting on broomsticks here but much of their ‘headology’ came for his studying and understanding of human nature.

We writers often spend many hours alone in our heads or at computers working on our stories and plans. But there comes a time we need to seek out fellow human beings. Not in a bid to find new material but to share, laugh and enjoy a good blether. If we hear or see something that sparks that imaginary thought all the better.

I still haven’t seen the robin but I am determined to get up early, put out food and encourage him back. I may be visiting new friends this week but I am determined that my old acquaintances be their people or birds are still catered for.



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