Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Owl post

“What you need there is an owl box,” suggests Gerald, looking at our poor paint-peeling excuse for a garage door. He’s right – up by the roof pitch just under the bit where the ivy hasn’t quite reached there’s a space that’s just the right size for small-ish owl.

What Gerald didn’t know at that point is that we actually have an owl. I heard him to-whit to-woohing in the small hours the other night when I couldn’t get to sleep. (I know it’s a him, because he just does the “to-whooh” bit. The object of his to-woohing, however, seems to elude him, since there is no hint of an answering to-whit. Perhaps if he had a des res, perfectly placed in the pitch of our garage roof, he might find himself more popular with owls of the opposite persuasion, gender-wise).

I saw him, too. The other night when Paul rang me to say his bike had broken down and would I drive over to Chippenham to pick him up, he flew out of the hedgerow just in front of the car and I found myself following him for a few yards. It was one of those perfect moments just as dusk was settling in for the night, in the silent hour when everything on the radio is rubbish (it’s either a totally unfunny Radio 4 “comedy” show, The Archers or some football phone-in programme featuring a lot of northern men who clearly should have all been football club managers, but for the fact that they woz robbed) so for once in the car, it’s silent. A milky white form, silent wings carving the still night air, claws poised, eyes peeled...

I must find out what you need to do to make an owl box.

* * *

I haven’t posted for a while because – as well as being away for a few days (Belgium. On Eurostar. Very nice, thank you, although not nearly enough chips or chocolate for my taste) – I’ve been suffering from writers’ block. Which is rather inconvenient when you’re a writer.

Although I can’t say I’ve actually found my mojo yet, I think I know where it is. I’ve just got find a good time to pull out the sofa and have a proper rummage under all the cushions…


  1. Don't you just love the owls? I count it as remarkable good fortune that we have them all over. Edward, however, does not.

  2. I always feel that seeing an owl is very special so it would be very exciting to have a couple under your roof - I do hope the 'to-whit' is answered soon.

    So agree about the R4 'Comedies', I have to grumble at the radio quite a lot when they are trailered.

    Belgium sounds lovely - anniversary celebrations? Hope that the mojo has been found under the cushions, along with a couple of pound coins if you're lucky (still think about your fil's comment on the subject!!)

  3. How super to dash off to Belgium, but sorry you didnt find enough chocolate!
    Owls are such lovely creatures. We have a barn owl next door and often feel the gentle whoooosh of wings in the evenings.

  4. magnificent creatures are owls...lucky you. glad you had a lovely belgian time and that eurostar was a success. there's lots of chocolate at fourways still. see you soon.