Grandson Josh sends me a poem called "If Only I could..." which he did recently for homework. It is about astronomy. "If only I could put a rocket in my pocket... " he begins and later
"...Help Orion chase the Great Bear,
Dodging our way
Through the defending stars..."
The last line is especially poignant because, a sturdy lad, he excels, apart from poetry, at rugby.
Standing in Calverley Precinct as the shop lights come on and it begins to get dark, I look up to see a flock of birds wheeling overhead. At first I think that they are starlings. Then I notice their long tails and distinctive swooping flight against the evening sky. And I remember a conversation on New Year's Eve two years ago when a neighbour told me that she used to see pied-wagtails roosting in the trees in Calverley Place. I have, from childhood, loved the way they swoop as they fly, as though from a consicious joy. But I had never thought until then of pied wagtails as sociable birds which gather in flocks. Now I can see them for myself.