It is the mating season… For trampolines — a male bowls across the hillsides looking for a mate, tumbles down the bank and leaps over the hedge. He bounds down the slope then soars on a powerful gust, trailing his long netted plumage as he hurls himself down the valley.
Storm warning in Wales! 150mm rainfall forecast over night!
The wind moans high above our house– we are in the lee of the hill. It was built where the sheep sheltered — in the 1840s they noticed those things. I noticed the tall trees at the end of the house flailing about in the turbulence of the mounting storm but Alan wouldn’t sleep in the spare room at the other end of the house — out of the reach of falling branches.
In mitigation for my cowardice I’ll tell you that two branches of Douglas Fir did fall, crushing a steel hurdle but missing the rotting old chicken coop, home to our precious new domestic fowl. The old coop has been gradually sinking into the mud in the last week as the rainfall has reached 109mm. It’s been a dry summer and autumn — ever since I started measuring the rainfall — only 718mm since April (believe me — that’s not much) so we know we are in for a deluge — a couple of meters, at least!
As we obsess about our perennial preoccupation another storm hits Europe… A different sort of storm.
We watch our television and we catch sight of four people hunched over a coffee table at the edge of a crowded room full of milling men in smart suits and the occasional power-dressed woman. We are looking anonymously down on a room at the G20 and upon President Obama and President Putin and two interpreters. Did you see it? Their body language says it all — in a bubble, in a crowded room, they are straining to concentrate, to hear and to really understand each other. It is so contrary to their normal stance that it is shocking.
Here, back in our world, a man is startled by an unfamiliar shadow, he looks up into the great oak tree on the edge of his yard to see a skeleton hanging, draped in a black cape — it is the spent trampoline — like a giant dead crane fly.
Everything has changed.