But there are signs of spring everywhere here; newborn lambs wobbling around in the fields, the first strange buds of butterbur pushing up through the riverbank, and yesterday, driving across the fell road, a curlew flew low over the bonnet of the car, causing me to brake hard. They are amazing birds - the size of a large seagull, with a big wing span, long, articulated legs, and that curved beak almost equal to the length of their body. Every March they fly up from the Solway Estuary to nest on the fells and moors of the Lake District and their eerie warbling cry is part of the sound-scape of a Cumbrian spring.
Thanks to Betacygni for sharing this on YouTube.
But then there’s the dilemma. I’m madly trying to get my garden and the house and my life sorted in the next 7 days so that I can go out to Italy to see Neil for the Easter vacation. Neil is already back at work in his studio, having flown back from Cambridge last weekend. We both find all this travelling to and fro very disruptive (and expensive!), but we don’t have a home of our own in Italy. This means camping out in borrowed accommodation only available during the winter for a few months. Neil has moved most of his sculpture tools to his studio there, but to move all my books and writers’ paraphernalia would require a pantechnicon, and a more permanent base than we can find. The answer would be to move lock-stock-and-barrel to Italy and make our home there, but with the state of the property market as it is in England, we haven’t been able to sell our house here. So we seem to be trapped in this crazy, unsatisfactory existence. We’re determined not to spend any more of our lives apart, so a solution must be found.