Sunday 19 August 2018


On the happy day when I retired (a little over three years ago now) I had a list of things I was going to do with the new-found leisure I was fondly expecting to enjoy. Some of them I have managed, including, I'm happy to say, 'get more sleep'. However, 'stare vacantly into the middle distance' is one that I've not often achieved – in fact I probably did more of that in my working years, from sheer exhaustion / boredom. Retirement has turned out to be pretty much as busy as work was, just busy in wholly different ways, mostly familial, domestic and hedonic (under which title I include research for my book). Which is all by way of explaining why this blog tends to fall silent more often now than in my hard-pressed working days. 
  Never mind. Today I can report that, happily, the swifts have not left after all – or not all of them. Though their screams – the true sound of summer – are no longer to be heard, there are still stragglers up there. I saw one over the garden on Monday, then another over the road the next day – and today, sitting in the garden after (granddaughter) Summer's birthday party, I looked up and saw another – then another, and another, three flying together, lazily circling while drifting generally southward, to Africa. Come to think, I might well have been staring vacantly into the middle distance when I saw them – but upwards, at the sky.

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