Swifts usually leave for a warmer climate by the middle of August. Yesterday evening we watched and listened to a party of these acrobatic, screeching birds wheeling above the High Street. Behind them, over the Common, hovered a red kite - a flying toy and not the bird of prey.
Watermelons are at their most spectacular, after a slice has been removed, and the skin, with its pale green background and dark green strips, is contrasted with the abundant crimson flesh.
Some years ago I read Julian Barnes's novel Flaubert's Parrot for the first time quickly and with only moderate enjoyment. But it left its mark, and, prompted by it, I subsequently read or reread five of Flaubert's most important works and a selection of his letters. I read them with increasing pleasure and enlightenment, and now I'm rereading Flaubert's Parrot with increaing pleasure and enlightenment. It is relatively short but amounts to a critique of the great French novelist's work and life, while its own sparse plot unfolds. Thankyou Julian Barnes.