The Cry Of The Owl*

Cycling up to the mill with Dad, a white bird catches my eye.  At first I assume it’s a seagull, but then it turns towards me.  The heart-shaped face is unmistakable: it’s a barn owl.   Swooping low over the field, it turns and vanishes into the trees. “Did you see the barn owl?” I […]

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Sycamore Row*

“Wait a minute,” I say to Seb as we walk down my road this morning.  “I’d better take a photo of that tree for the blog now, in case the light changes or…” “OK, my lovely,” Seb says, smiling at me.   “Oh look – there’s a pigeon up there,” I say.   “Hello pigeon,” […]

The Dead Songbird*

“Oh, Seb, hello,” my Dad says, answering the house phone.  “Yes, here she is.  Tanya – it’s Seb,” Dad says, passing the phone to me. “Hi darling,” I say.  “How is Friday?”  “Well we did the bird-ringing today,” Seb says. “Wow, how was it?” I say. “It was good: we caught the little birds in […]

The Bat*

“Watch out, I’m diving in,” Dad says, standing on the edge of the pool.  Sweeping his arms up, then down, then up again, he stretches them out in front of him.  There’s a huge splash and he does a length of the pool and clambers out again. “Is that it?” I say, as I chug […]

The Mysteries of Hummingbird Falls: Murder in the Mountains*

In the taxi on the way to the Barmitzvah, we pass the Centre For Rowing and Nautical Studies. “Look, it’s the Centre For Rowing and Nautical Studies,” I say to my brother.  “What a nice area to study.  I’m going to do a PhD there in ‘Rum, Sodomy and the Lash’. He laughs. We’re half […]

Jurassic Park*

“No-one ever says, on their deathbed, that they wish they’d spent more time at the office”.  This quote from a nun or priest in a hospice has stayed with me.   “Am going to be that person who says ‘I wish I’d spent more time at the office,’ aren’t I?” I say to Mum. “Probably,” […]