Friday, 3 May 2013

Owl Touching

My daughter gave Annette and me a gift voucher for 'Owl Handling', which ever since my dear wife has called 'owl touching' (and even once got the recipient a little wrong and called it 'turkey touching'). So owl touching has become the family phrase for our outing, which took place today on a beautiful sunny hillside in Kent. An email to a friend, Dean Howell, telling him where we were going and what we were doing, sparked the following reply: 'Owl touching OK, but Howell touching strictly forbidden.' You have to laugh, don't you? Anyway, it was great fun, despite my earlier misgivings about birds in captivity. These, we were assured, were all refugees and could not nor would not survive in the wild. Certainly they were as tame as domestic cats and dogs and allowed us to ruffle their feathers - in fact they liked being stroked - stared into our eyes as if to say, 'Whoooo the hell are you, buddy, to touch me? How about I touch, you?' Which they did.

On the writing front, my novel progresses. I punch the keys and the words appear on the page. I am for once really enjoying the writing. Oh, yes, I always enjoy finishing a novel, a bit like I would enjoy seeing the green edge to a desert I've been tramping through for six months. But often being immersed in the writing, though not unpleasant, is difficult. I'm not a great believer in inspiration and certainly don't sit around waiting for the muse to strike. Blood, sweat and tears, yes, but flashes of brilliance, not my forte. If brilliance comes it does so incidentally or accidentally, during a sweaty bout of 2000 words and has me saying afterwards, 'Hey, did I write that? Bloody hell!' Indeed, it is often a pleasant surprise, like a gift from the tooth fairy.
So, Ring-a-ring o' Roses is getting there, quite pleasantly, as if it wafted into my mind on zephyr. Yay!


  1. Now you can send your mail a la Hogwarts. Glad you had a good time.

  2. I always say that the first chapter of a novel should be written for the reader and all the rest for the writer.

  3. Owls are my favourite birds. I have two in my home - taxidermied - which fascinate some visitors and unsettle others. To see one in flight in the wild is a rare privilege. They look like a flying teardrop.