UP, UP AND AWAY

It seems that there are birds all around these days. There's all this stuff with Alex and Big Bird going on (and you really should see what he's working on now..). Then, a couple of weeks ago, we picked up a new blackbird from the Taxidermist. My friend Lou found him dead in her garden and now he is sitting in a little glass case in the library looking very happy. On top of that, I just came back from the Orkneys in the far North where I briefly joined the ranks of those strange folk called 'Twitchers'. I had the great pleasure, amongst other things, to see several unusual and beautiful winged things and the absolutely extraordinary sight of an Arctic Skua flying backwards. I kid you not.

When we were children, there used to be little fat men in Trafalgar square selling packets of seed. Tourists would buy them to feed to the pigeons who would flock around in grey thousands much to their mutual delight. Of course the grey would soon turn to white - to the great chagrin of Westminster Council and the more long term residents - and so the Mayor banned them (the little fat men, not the pigeons). Rather a shame I've always thought.

Anyway it's a great pleasure to bring you this twist on the theme of man feeds bird by our new friend Tina Roland. Lovely!

As I write, there is someone looking over my shoulder. An old friend who I thought long gone has unexpectedly re-entered my life and I have a foreboding that things are about to change..

OUT THERE IN THE BLUE

Alex Budovsky, an all round good egg and the the man who, if he could, would cool Global Warming with the flapping of many birds' wings, has been hanging out with Big Bird himself and hatched this flight of fancy. I accompanied them although my musical contribution is, er, rather featherweight.

I remember being a child and watching the birds collect on the telephone wires, gathering themselves before they just mysteriously decided one day it was time to leave. I'm off to the Orkneys now. I finished one record (and also, a second with a certain Mr Valentine Rose). It was an intense couple of years - birth and death and all sorts of things between and I am happy to have been here. I feel like I'm done with something but I don't know what it was and I don't yet know what's next.