So, as I alluded to in my last blog, a rather amazing and unusual thing happened as I was doing my final edit of 'Sensing the past...'.
As I sat quietly checking spelling and the grammar of the piece, a robin landed on my knee. Quietly, without fuss, and rather comfortingly. Now I have had birds land on me in the past, a robin or two and maybe some sparrows, though never inside our home!
You see, when I was editing my last blog I was sitting in our front room where we do Sunday Chat, I was on the other sofa - the 'Live' sofa. I'd heard a brief fluttering of wings which, with the front sash windows being slightly open, I thought was simply sparrows chomping at the cabbage palm tree seed pods. It's something that they do at this time of year; we often have sparrows in the palm trees and blue tits in our callicarpa, so a fluttering of wings is not unusual. However, the sound of the fluttering of wings was soon followed by a blur in my vision and then the complete 20/20 clarity of a robin landing on my knee... our robin landing on my knee. And yes, I'm totally sure it was the one that has been pecking to get into the house for some time!
My last blog, 'Sensing the past...' had proven to be quite emotional, as it took me back to very happy family times, with reminiscences of many happy faces around the Christmas table, smiling, laughing, joking, eating, drinking and being generally merry. The sounds and voices and smells and smiles were all at the forefront of my mind, when our little robin decided to land on my knee. For some reason it felt incredibly normal to have a robin on my knee... though of course, after a moment I realised that this wasn't at all usual, as we were in the front room!!
Our little robin then flew to the sash window, which as I have said was only slightly open, a few centimetres at the top and bottom to let the air flow through to room. My next thought was then to get this little robin out of the house as WE live in our house, in here, and HE lives outside, out there. So, nice and slowly and carefully, I moved to our front door and opened it wide. I then went and got the key to undo the locks of our front sash windows so that I could fully open them at the top, offering up another route for our robin to fly out. Of course, I was making sweet talk with Mr Robin all of the time, to calm him down, as well as myself.
"Are you OK Mr Robin? Do you want to go back outside?" Mr Robin didn't reply, in fact he seemed to feel quite at home.
By this time Mr Robin was sitting on top of our Virgin Media router, quite happy and contented, and then he decided to fly into our chandeliere-style lights and check out the view from there (as well as the dust on the glass drops I am sure!). Quite happily Mr Robin was going about what he was sure was his business. As I opened the windows he then went on to the cushions on the teal sofa, those that Richard plumps so carefully each day. Then it must have been time to check out the view from the top of our front room door, as that's where Mr Robin went next. Deciding he had had a good old mooch, he flew a few feet towards me, hovering in mid air for a short second as they do, wings all a flutter, turned back towards the door of the room, then took a swift right turn and made his way out the front door.
When I followed into the hallway Mr Robin was quite happily sitting on our coir front door mat, looking at me. He then made a few hops onto our pathway and started pecking away between the old red bricks of the pathway, and I'm sure finding tiny bugs where we would see nothing. He didn't seem at all concerned by his foray into our home.
After saying goodbye to him - "Bye bye Mr Robin. See you at the back door later" - and closing the front door, I just sat down and blubbed for 10 minutes. For me there is so much symbolism of a red robin being in our house, even more so at a time when I'd been thinking about so much joy in my past. Once I had come to, and composed myself, I checked around the downstairs and noticed there was a little bird poo in our kitchen sink. You see, the kitchen window was slightly open. As you may remember, a robin has been picking at our french windows for some time, and we have even thought about letting it in - and I have no doubt that that robin and our red-breasted house guest are one and the same.
Clearly, Mr Robin decided that morning that he had had enough of our inhospitality and chose to make his own way in through the kitchen window, and come and check up on me whilst I was editing my last blog.
A Guernsey Gardener in London, Day 15
...long term partners.