Week 30: Back home

View from the study. On the left, the small bowl the redstart drinks from

Midday view from the study. On the left, the small bowl the redstart drinks from

Our olives, laid down by Husband

Our olives, laid down by Husband

By ‘back home’ I mean ‘back in Portugal’. We spent the last week with family in Germany. It was lovely, though I had to spend too long in the glare of my laptop. Sometimes the portability of work feels like less of a good thing. This was my first time to leave Frankfurt airport and fly south to go ‘home’ instead of flying Londonwards. It does feel like home here, and we are happy to be back.

It’s 17.43 as I type, and we’ve been out to see our owl (Athene noctua). It arrived silently today, but after it had flown off again we distinctly heard its call and the answering call of another owl.

Another well-loved bird is the redstart. From my study I have a view over the front terrace, and I keep a small bowl filled with water there. It was empty when we got home from Germany, so I refilled it. The redstart soon came by and bobbed a couple of curtsies in my direction, as it always does, then drank. It rather cheekily made its way into the house a couple of weeks ago, forcing aside the netting on a window to get in. When I found it, it looked terrified, unable to get out again and hurling itself repeatedly against the mesh, dropping lots of poo on the windowsill in fear. I let it out; it seemed to recover quickly from its fright.

Having been away, I have little to tell this week. We had a storm last night, cold little gusts making their way into the house. We woke up today to clouds in the sky for the first time. Azure-winged magpies were fluttering their beautiful fawn and blue colours across the garden, as though the wind had torn through a fancy department store, ripped fine silk scarves and thrown them to the breezes.

Staying warm

Staying warm



  1. Blair


    Your home looks so beautiful. I’m so happy for you and Christian that it already feels like home.

  2. Janet M

    I love my little birds too. Your writing is about them is beautiful.

  3. fatma

    Wow, the picture of the view over your verandah; is that real grass growing there? In your garden? Lovely! I love the birds. Interestingly, I was in the Lake District recently (rather wet, windy and cold it has to be said, but beautiful)and there was a robin that insisted on visiting the large Hawkshead Shop, in Hawkshead, of walking/hiking goods every day. A lone Robin, happily hopping around the foot of the rails of clothes. I managed to get a little picture of it and would post if I could!


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