There are house martins nesting outside my bedroom window. They built the nest by taking scraps of dirt, dipping them in a puddle and sticking them together in the corner overhanging my window. It was fascinating to see them do it, and how quickly it all came together and how well it’s held up in the weeks since then. It’s nice to hear them twittering outside in the morning, and I’m certain they have entire conversations. In the last couple of days, I think, their eggs have hatched… I can hear the little ones making a fuss when they’re being fed. This sounds like a wonderful aspect of the rural idyll, right?
But…ohhhh how they creep me out. You see, I really don’t like birds. I don’t mind them from a distance of a few metres, but up close? With the fluttering and the scratching and the feathers and the beaks? Shiver. And these birds? Because of the position of the nest, when they’re coming in to land they have to swoop right up to my window, nearly hitting the thing, and then I can hear them scrabbling to get into the nest, and their wings fluttering against the window pane… I actually genuinely just shivered. Just writing about it.
However, being the life-respecting, nature-loving, sentimental person I am, I try not to think too many bad things about them. And I named them…
I have a strange habit of always thinking about names. I make name lists in my head when I’m bored, and if I can’t sleep I play a game where I have to try and think of all the boys names I know that start with A, and then if I manage that without falling asleep, I move onto B, and so on. It’s more complex than you’d think, you have to work through the Aa’s and then the Ab’s (during which you work through Aba’s, Abb’s, etc).
Anyway, I named them Henry and Hermia.
They are very beautiful little birds. I am just oh so very grateful to whichever Roman first thought of covering that hole in the wall with a pane of glass, thereby keeping the wonders of nature and the little flapping wings that go with it outside of my room.