I'm just back from a week in the South of France, so now I'll be posting again - but right now, even after just one week, struggling to get up to date with e-mails and so on. Thus I'm not really ready to continue the Odanglesex Chronicles with episode 5 of the Agile Stationery Strategy or with anything profound on politics, religion, philosophy, cricket, things like that. Tomorrow I hope I can get on with Odanglesex.
For now, something from my holiday.
The vehicle has driven up a bumpy track into the old quarry, where hills of loose scree are being colonised by pines. We wait. The Mediterranean dusk falls quickly. A few late birds sing. One by one they fall silent. Nothing happens. Tension grows. We look at one another. There are no town sounds, no traffic, no aircraft, no dogs. Then, from somewhere, a deep, soft sound: OOOOOOH. It is repeated. It comes from a different place. One answers the other. Still nothing shows. Then - a vast silhouette on the rim of the quarry. It disappears. Then powerful, silent wings move in. The great owl sits in the crown of the pine, quite close, and looks down at us, calling. There is still enough light to see plumage. It turns when the sound comes from elsewhere. It replies. It stares at us again. It stays. We leave. It is dark.