Swift fever – a hopeless case

ST ALBANS, April 24 – Forget the election, there are far more important matters afoot cross the heartlands of Britain right now. Spring is bursting all around us in a riot of natural vigour. And it has been a good one so far this year with masses of blossom.

Above all though, the swifts will soon be back in our skies, screeching their hearts out as they zip around like happy banshees.

So here is a little curtain-raiser to their arrival. I hesitate to quote from my own writing but confess that the cockayne of heady expectation has me in its grip. I have a bad case of swift fever, no less. It happens every year at this time.

And so, this from the first chapter of ‘One Swift Summer’, by yours truly:

‘They’ll soon be back. The swifts that is.

What did you think I meant…not the tourists, surely not the tourists? Though they will be winging in as well soon from your Osakas, Maines and Melbornes, though not to nest – entirely different migratory patters and purposes – though a good number will certainly mate while they’re among us.

Meanwhile, here we are, you and I, thrown together on the cusp of summer, you with your camera, me with me pad and pencils, watching, waiting, wanting, set apart from life’s mainstream by our curiosity perhaps. A curious thing curiosity. I wonder what you are looking for? Do you even know? Are you a question or an answer?

The first swift. That’s what I’m looking for. And he’s getting closer as we speak, arrowing through the blue over Spain perhaps, sharp wings slashing the air. Look at that sky. I sense it’s going to be a vintage swift summer. This deckchair weather’s perfect, mercury rising, sky full of food, aerial plankton. When I look at the sky I see life, which is why the early May sky is the most becoming of skies with all its inspiring freshness and promise. Two more days to May and I can come alive again…………’

Best not give too much away.

You will find the full story here:  myBook.to/OneSwiftSummer  – thank you.

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