Saturday, November 25, 2006

Birds in the rain

As I washed up this morning, I looked out of the kitchen window and saw a perfect rainbow arcing over the park against a sky the indigo of a thumping bruise. J and I set off to walk Jane's dog - and then got a text that he was all right and had already been for a walk, which was a good thing because the rain was starting again; within seconds it was full-face, can't-see with-glasses-on spray and we rushed back home again after going 500 yards, laughing and swearing . I will go out later for the papers, and food for the fish, and to the butchers to get more lamb-scrag-end for a casserole ( last night's first attempt was a huge success, we fell asleep early, stupified with rich beer and vegetable gravy, stuffed with lamb that could be cut with a spoon. I'm doing it all again for a Sunday feast with friends.)

But now, the skies are opening.

I am sitting in the study, my face still-tingling from the rain, looking out of the window. It is full-power-shower blast, coming almost horizontally, now it is crashing straight down as the wind suddenly drops. There was a drum roll of thunder and a cymbal-clash of lightning, and the small brown birds who peep and fuss all day in the ivy on the derelict garage at the end of my yard all suddenly flew up and went and sat on the chimney pots of my neighbours house. Twelve chimney pots, ten birds, all determinedly facing the rain and angling their bodies to the geometery of the weather, lifting up their beaks as the water poured off their tails. The storm made their feathers flutter and shiver, sometimes they almost over-balanced and had to grip with their claws, or were lifted up by gusts, but instead of hiding behind the chimney pots, they deliberately put themselves into the path of the elements.

I wonder what it is that makes them leave the shelter of the ivy-smothered roof and stand together to face the oncoming storm? Perhaps if you know you are going to get drenched and buffetted you might as well enjoy the excitement of it with friends rather than cower and mope alone.

The worst of the wind and rain has passed for now, and the birds have flown away. The sky is the grey of prisoner's sweats, of once-white washing that went in with dark jeans. The geranium petals are glowing, and there are no birds to be seen or birdsong to be heard, only the drip of rain falling from shining leaves.


Anonymous Graham O'Mara said...

Very descriptive, reminds me of some of the writings of Douglas Adams (This I assure you is a "good thing" [TM] as I rate him as one of the best authors) - the section on the colour of the skies after the rain is very imaginative

I can just imagine the birds sitting on the chimney pots, given the weather their collective "bird"

"Stuff you weather, we enjoy this!"

Keep it up! (And can I get invited over for a casserole? As it sounds lovely! Or perhaps you can start a resturant?)

November 25, 2006 3:49 pm  
Blogger Anthony said...

Artful description. Makes me want to be there in the rain, or at least watching the birds.

November 25, 2006 4:53 pm  
Blogger The CEO said...

I agree, I enjoy the descriptions.

I also was thinking, maybe the birds were enjoying a group shower and telling jokes, why else would they stay there?

November 25, 2006 8:54 pm  
Anonymous seth said...

hi rachel,

sounds like a very late fall-early winter day in london.its very inspiring- the beginning of the conclusion of one year,and getting ready for the next-i cant believe that in six weeks and one day it will be 2007.

btw i did see "casino royale" earlier today and it was great-very different from previous james bond films. daniel craig is a very good james bond,and the opening sequences are totally different as well. there was a lot of action,no dull scenes and some great stunts.

take care and be well.

seth :)

November 27, 2006 3:02 am  
Anonymous Maria said...

Wow, you took me right there! I love stormy weather. We get a lot here in Oregon. Last week it was lovely for Thanksgiving. My son had the great idea to have next year's feast at the top of Table Rock, a local landmark. If the weather is as beautiful as it was last week, I think that's a fabulous idea! It was chilly but sunny, a gorgeous golden Autumn afternoon, and we watched wild turkeys come flying out of the pear orchards and up into the pasture - dozens and dozens of them! I didn't even know turkeys could fly! Typically for this time of year in Oregon, it went from golden but chilly, to soggy and freezing in about 24 hours, and today it snowed! There was a huge double-rainbow, and I took a picture of it against the dramatically dark sky.(I wish I knew how to upload or whatever it's called. I'd love for you to see that picture!) Anyway, keep writing! I really enjoy what you write. And I love reading about what you cook, too!
Maria in Oregon

November 28, 2006 1:24 am  
Blogger granny p said...

Good stuff fellow writer - I finally made my way to your recent posts. Congratulations on all of it. What a year.

November 29, 2006 5:27 pm  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home