Well I had thought that by sneaking off to my studio at 7.30 on Saturday morning I would be guaranteed some peace and quiet to catch up on some deadlines. It started off well. Just me and a soulful cello sonata on the radio.
Then the announcer declared it was the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch weekend. My studio sits rather like a hide in the middle of our garden and my desk faces the window so I was perfectly placed to join in the survey. I simply had to jot down all the garden birds, on the RSPB list, that I saw in one hour. Easy, I could paint and keep an eye and an ear open at the same time.
As the sun rose two opinionated mallards insisted on settling a noisy and lengthy argument on the pond. Then two hundred chattering fieldfares stopped by on the Dawn Redwood to discuss their day in great detail while a couple of blue tits showed off deft pirouettes on the contorted willow. Chickens didn’t count, but they were zipping back and forth across the lawn desperate to be involved, causing me to look up needlessly from my palette. I heard two collared doves romancing one another in the seclusion of the beech hedge. Quite charming, except that got me singing, I’m embarrassed to say, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”...... four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves. Watch out it’s a catchy tune!
Frankly I was quite glad when the hour was up.