The Great Indoors
Friday, 13th August 2004
Continuing rain and cloud is all that it takes to persuade me to stay in and catch up with the decorating, bits of which have been waiting for a year for my attention.
The Book of the Green Knight
Here's a sketchbook from my student days, from the winter of 1972/73; its subject matter includes birds and plants drawn as part of my natural history course but also my room at college, the concerts and exhibitions I went to and the food I ate (I often chose appealing subjects like fish, fruit and croissants which I could draw first, then eat).
Barbara mentions that there's a mosquito in the bathroom, they're attracted in at the open window by the light on sultry summer nights.
'It's the sort that you can hear buzzing towards you,' she says.
'I'll never hear that,' I say; I've lost the upper frequencies of my hearing. I put it down to a single punk rock concert I went to at the local college. I'm surprised that I do hear the mosquito as it makes short flights from one part of the ceiling to another. I'm pleased that my hearing extends to such quiet sounds. It reminds me of the buzz of children at play, heard in the distance.
'BzzzzzzzZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz. . . .'
Luckily this is a male mosquito (he uses those bottle-brush antennae to locate the female) and so there's no danger of us being bitten.
What Katy Did in the Brown Out
Nature journalist Clare Walker Leslie (who is getting out with her sketchbook a good deal more than me recently) writes to me from Cambridge, Massachusetts:
I guess I'd hear katydids if we had them in England but listening to our native grasshoppers is a childhood memory for me, thanks to my one night at that Little Joe Story concert (well, that's what I think permanently damaged my hearing). But I can easily hear crickets when we're abroad.
Richard Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org