by Matt Sewell.
Edited from the new issue of An Antidote To Indifference. On sale now.
At the time of writing i am sat in my caravan in the middle of an empty field, on a farm, in the middle of Mortimer Forest which is just outside of Ludlow. The heating is on, but it doesn’t smell too gassy at the moment so i will leave it on a while longer. The reason why i am in the Marauder (to give our caravan its official name) is that i am here to work on my second book, Our Songbirds. Due to the success of Our Garden Birds it seemed like a great idea to everyone to do another, so here i am getting at one with nature, away from the everyday chores, bores and fun distractions of work and family. Our Songbirds has been taking shape over the last month or so in the studio but i felt i needed to really get out into the bucolic landscapes to really get to the heart of this book. And its been splendid so far.
In the top field of Monstay Farm i am treated to a surround sound of birdsong from a plethora of tits and finches, there are at least three different buzzards that literally wander round the field and i was joined by a twenty strong charm of goldfinches for breakfast this morning. Out in the woods there’s even more spirited action with bullfinches, a green woodpecker and a bundle of willow tits, i got so close to a long-tailed tit i could see its pink eye make up. Fantastically a stonechat appeared in the dense gorseland and i dutifully followed before getting scratched to bits, i never get a good spot of one of these brown and orange enchanters. Oh well.
But the highlight for me has been the sharp squeak and the pitter patter of tiny feet on the Marauder’s roof of the pied wagtails that have been using the caravan as a recreational area ever since I dropped anchor on the field.
Feeling a bit sleepy now, better get that gas turned off.
Matt Sewell, October 2012