Shadows and Reflections: the annual collection of postings where Caught by the River’s ever-reliable contributors and friends old and new take a look back on the events that have shaped the past twelve months. Today it’s the turn of Ceri Levy:
This has been the greatest year of change that I can remember in a long time. Not just for myself but for many of my close friends too. Nothing is as it was at the beginning of the year and that has to be the best way to end a year. If 2014 has been a year of change then 2015 will see the results of that change and it is all very exciting.
It started with a bang on New Year’s Day as I went out with musician Jimi Goodwin and my wife Jackie, and worked on some ideas to shoot an animated promo the following day, which would be based on real life shots of Jimi wandering around the river at Battersea. This would become the video for Oh! Whisky, the first single from his stunning Odludek album. This really set the tone for the year as I moved from project to project and I have spent the majority of time working on the follow up book to Extinct Boids with Ralph Steadman. This next book will be called Nextinction and is about the birds that face extinction and sadly, there are a lot of them. This has proven to be the usual round of madness and beautiful insanity as we find ourselves on the path to tell a terrible tale about the parlous plight of our birdlife and our planet.
In July my wife and I had an odd idea. What would it be like to move out of London? To be two Londoners abandoning the big smoke and heading out of Dodge? From the moment I started making the Bird Effect and subsequent off shoots, I have hankered for a greener life and the thought of waking every day to the sound of nature has appealed to me more and more. We decided to test the waters and put our flat on the market and after 56 viewings within a fortnight; we took the money and ran for the hills. Well, the waters of Rutland to be precise, and we hope to complete and move before the end of January.
Maybe this is the mid-life crisis – I prefer to call it a mid-life alteration – but it feels exciting and at the moment we are spending time down in Spain as I finish the book and are currently of no fixed abode back in Blighty. That is quite an odd feeling but deliciously tantalising too. 2015 is the year we become country folk. The weirdest feeling came over me as I watched the removal van close its doors on our packed up life. Nineteen years fits so neatly into one small space.
I have a feeling of excitement, apprehension, terror and joy all mixed with a feeling of freedom that I had forgotten could exist. This is living, this is change…. The Countryside Bird Effect Diaries can begin. I cannot wait for 2015!