SCOTLAND-IN-SPRING ... this evening there are dripping birds singing evening songs in the dripping leaves as the sun blinks a few times before setting. The air is crisp and damp and dripping and further off above the village roofs round white hills sit still blanketed by an ever lingering winter.
Stepping outside through the wet door to scoop more coal from the bunker invites a dripping, shivering evening of a wind to scuttle down my neck, the lumps of coal roll dusty wet black into the puddles and I drip back into the house to sit back down on my low yellow chair to paint a slow yellow painting.
Our days are peppered with walks in snows and wet windscreen drives to the post office. I am busy with plans for a little tale to be made one day into a book of my own and with the third painting in a series of seven commissions. Today I sold the original of Telling Stories to the Trees which will make its way to a hook on an old wall in rural Argyll.
Tui is hatching a nest of most wonderful tracks for the new Orla Wren album ... six eggs are hatched and two more are pecking to come out of the shell. While he tends this nest, I sit and paint over there and listen to talking books which I love ... my very favourite at the moment is the most wonderful 1963 BBC Radio production, narrated delightfully by Richard Burton, of Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood. I leave you with his wonderful wordsmitherly description of a sloeblack night in a Welsh village in Spring:
It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters'-and-rabbits' wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea. The houses are blind as moles (though moles see fine tonight in the snouting, velvet dingles) or blind as Captain Cat there in the muffled middle by the pump and the town clock, the shops in mourning, the Welfare Hall in widows' weeds. And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now. Hush, the babies are sleeping, the farmers, the fishers, the tradesmen and pensioners, cobbler, schoolteacher, postman and publican, the undertaker and the fancy woman, drunkard, dressmaker, preacher, policeman, the webfoot cocklewomen and the tidy wives. Young girls lie bedded soft or glide in their dreams, with rings and trousseaux, bridesmaided by glow-worms down the aisles of the organplaying wood. The boys are dreaming wicked or of the bucking ranches of the night and the jollyrodgered sea. And the anthracite statues of the horses sleep in the fields, and the cows in the byres, and the dogs in the wetnosed yards; and the cats nap in the slant corners or lope sly, streaking and needling, on the one cloud of the roofs.
Dylan Thomas ~ Under Milk Wood ~ 1954