…apologies to those who have already seen these photos. I put them on facebook, but then deleted them. And even though this blog is just a figment of my imagination, and not the kind of album I’ll ever come across in the dusty corner of an attic, my old-fashioned nature compels me to keep even my illusions in some kind of order. So, here are some snaps from Dordogne August 2010. The baby is Summer’s. 


An Almost Dancer

I’m having one of my poetry binges. I found this one on the TLS website, it was one of their poems of the week, and, for reasons that will be obvious to those who read the Skylarks blog, I instantly copied it to paste into this post. Ha ha! It’s by Robert Nye and he wrote it in 2010. I think I’ll read some more of his stuff as I lie on Tempelhofer Feld this weekend—that is, if I am ever able to prise myself away from the computer screen.

Once, on a hill in Wales, one summer’s day

I almost danced for what I thought was joy.

An hour or more I’d lain there on my back
Watching the clouds as I gazed dreaming up.

As I lay there I heard a skylark sing
A song so sweet it touched the edge of pain.

I dreamt my hair was one with all the leaves
And that my legs sent shoots into the earth.

Laughing awake, I lay there in the sun
And knew that there was nothing to be known.

Small wonder then that when I stood upright
I felt like dancing. Oh, I almost danced,

I almost danced for joy, I almost did.
But some do not, and there’s an end of it.

One night no doubt I shall lie down for good
And when I do perhaps I’ll dance at last.

Meanwhile I keep this memory of that day
I was an almost dancer, once, in Wales.


I’m constantly amazed by how little really useful information I’ve picked up over the years. For example, skylarks. Did you know that skylarks nest in the middle of grassy fields? I didn’t. It would never have occurred to me that such a tiny bird would even consider nesting anywhere but in a tree. They do though. As I found out yesterday on our first spring walk on Tempelhofer Feld (the old airport I wrote about last summer). Much of the middle of the airfield had been cordoned off with red and white plastic ribbons and notices (in German) pitched announcing skylark nesting season. And it seems to be working. Berliners don’t walk on that part of the field (I can’t speak for the poxy foreigners) and throughout our hour or two in the sun, we found ourselves being serenaded by skylark song.

True, the background noise of motorized traffic never really goes away in the middle of the city, but to be able to lie on a blanket, stare at the sky and clouds, and listen to the wind and skylarks was really quite special. (And I must admit, I begin to crave a little house in the country with a large garden. But it’ll never happen…)

The Tempelhof skylarks did have a little more competition than just the traffic yesterday. Andreas decided he wanted to learn the words of a new song as we basked (fully clothed—it wasn’t that warm) and so my left (rather deaf) ear enjoyed his gentle balladeering, while my right (rather less deaf) ear followed the skylark troubadours. Heavenly.

I videoed Andreas as he learnt one song, but all you can hear is the wind… so here’s a recording of a skylark instead.