A familiar feeling, this. Another pair of walking boots worn beyond all recognition, another vehicle littered with clumps of mud, vegetation and cookie crumbs*, and me bruised, blistered and bitten. Very bitten. Though I think the blistering at least was as much from using the spectacularly underpowered vacuum at the petrol station to clean the van as from roaming the woods for four months. Yes, for the last four months I’ve been back on the trail of woodland birds, employed by the RSPB as a research assistant. Finishing said contract has, appropriately, taken up much of my time for the last month, which explains my temporary absence from the ‘blogosphere’
After all this time, I feel like I may have a lot to say. But I won’t try and cover it all at once, for fear of reaching the end of your no doubt already tested to the limits attention span (no offence!). For example, on the occasion of last year’s retreat inside I flopped down in front of the computer and wrote 917 words. 917 words to say ‘I’ve finished with fieldwork for the summer’ – in other words, I could have lost 910 words with no discernible difference to the meaning of the post. Mostly because as usual I swamped the relevant stuff in a sea of prose with a distinctly mauve-edged tone, and embedded it within paragraph after paragraph of entirely unrelated information and anecdotes.
I’m doing it again, aren’t I?
So I’ll cut to the chase. I’m back, and so too, shortly, will be Considering Birds – faster, leaner, and stronger, as befits this Olympic year. And this time, somewhat sadly, I’ve had to turn over the data I collected and won’t have anything much to do with the analysis. So I have a little more free time on my hands to figure out what happens next than I did last August – a daunting prospect, but I’m looking forward to a few sunny afternoons out gathering inspiration for a veritable blogging frenzy. Which I’m looking forward to – I hope somebody else is too!
*I must add that this one was returned in tip-top(ish) condition, since it wasn’t mine. My white van man days are over, alas.