Monday, 25 June 2018

For going out, I found, was really going in…

Yesterday – coupled with a developing desire to prove my brittle body once more able – the weather beckoned me far beyond the longing windows of home: with the high-cloud-shrouded sun at my back, and a sluggish breeze easing its surging heat. My first thought upon fastening the garden gate was of the church as objective; but primal instinct pushed me further – to revisit last year’s iterative ascent through Tysoe Hangings, and onwards to Upton House. With every initially uncertain step taken with conscious pain and caution, I crossed the main road close to Church Farm Court; eased my rucksacked self through the metal gate; and prayed that my body (and resolve) would be resilient enough. All I could do was walk, and discover if I could also achieve my heart’s desire….

Where, last year, there had been wheat, was now linseed (and where there was linseed – on the plateau beyond Sugarswell Cottages – I would find wheat): a four- to five-year rotation that seems increasingly fashionable and profitable. Sandy soil under this brilliant cobalt crop was beginning to fissure, though; and the meadow’s margins were dune-like in their desiccation. (Even in so sparse a crop, skylarks nested: their sweet purling such a soothing soundtrack.)

Friday, 22 June 2018

Eat, prey, fluff…

It is an overwhelming and life-affirming privilege to share the existence of another sentient creature: one devoted to you, and dependent on you, to such a large extent that the alliance rapidly becomes symbiotic. Such a relationship has to be based on mutual trust, as well as love, though; and both parties have to be frank as to what to expect from each other; what they will need; and how much time and affection they are able and willing to give. That so much of this goes (and has to go) unsaid should be no impediment (in fact, to some, this may seem to strengthen the bond…) – even though many would preach the value of constant open communication in cementing any such connection.

For those who respect and love animals there can be no bigger thrill than one coming to you of its own free will, understanding what you are trying to communicate, and trusting you not to harm it.
– Claire Bessant: The Cat Whisperer

That I am writing about the association of human and feline may well prompt derision from some quarters; but the majority, I hope, will innately grasp the truth at the heart of this hypothesis. [As I type, Felix, the characterful dark tabby who prompted the above, is curled up tightly next to me, dreaming: as genial and graceful a proof of vulnerability, faith, and commitment, as I think you may find. He knows no hurt will come to him here; and his credence and company, in return, both comfort and calm me – despite the plethora of hairs wisping over my keyboard and screen…. He is therefore the ideal companion for someone as disabled as myself: especially as I am currently confined to home (even) more than what passes for usual, fighting (and perhaps finally starting to subdue) a variety of maladies….]