Beethoven's Symphony No 7 pounds out with grand pomposity, every note played perfectly, every layer beautifully rendered, the only odd thing about this situation is that I am fast asleep in bed, spark out, dead to the world and the concert is being played in all it's glory in my head. The brain is a curious piece of gristle and we only really understand about a small fraction of it's capabilities. Sometimes I rouse myself to a semi-concious state (some may not be able to spot the difference in me) to discover that my brain has been functioning on shuffle, 'playing' the intricacies of 'Tales from Topographic Oceans' or the driving drums of 'Red Rain' or the delicious 'Asleep at the Back' or if I'm really lucky Baby Kylie's 'Can't Get You Out of My Head' (maybe that's a completely different sort of dream altogether). Of course whatever the music, good or awful, it will be stuck there bouncing around my vacuous head for the rest of the day. La La La LaLaLaLaLa.......
So where's all this leading to? Well when painting in the studio or more likely while working in-the-field, I settle into the painting process of, see-birdy-to eye-to brain-to hand-to page, if all is well and I start to work quickly the brain part of this seems to be cut out altogether. Leaving it free to go into shuffle play and soon I find myself singing away involuntarily - in my head that is. The result of this is, where I give imaginative public names to pieces like 'Lapwing in green field', it will always be known to me as 'Here I stand no taller than the grass sees'. Which is quite nice. However, on some ocassions a piece that I'm quietly pleased with like 'Resting Avocets' will always and forever be known as 'That bloody music by the bingo company that sponsors Emmerdale'! The brain is a tricksy prankster.
We have also done some stuff. The weekend before last we had a really nice wander around Dockens Water in The New Forest, highlighted by a series of lovely wildlife cameos. Some related to winter stragglers like great grey shrike, redwings and chaffinches. Others were clues to the arrival of spring like wheatear, singing chiffchaff and 'luluing' woodlarks. A few fleeting glimpses of crossbills, reminded us that for some birds the breeding season is well under way now and it won't be long before the woods will resound to their 'chupping' youngsters.
This weekend saw us indoors at the HOS agm in Winchester on saturday, but we popped out for a bit of sun at the Haven on sunday and we caught up with a handsome summer plumaged slavonian grebe, that raced along The Solent with the tide up it's posterior.
The hares beckon.
If you're expecting words of wisdom from Dan and Rosemary you may be sadly disappointed. However, if you want to keep up to date with our current projects then pick up the feed at the top of this column.