Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Lambs and exams

Originally uploaded by goforchris.
It's absurd how the climate works in these parts. It seems no time at all since we were still bemoaning temperatures of 7ºc and huddling in the wind and rain, and now it's like being abroad - 27º when I took this photo. I was laughing at these lambs, who seemed to have abandoned their mum to play with the gang; they formed what I was thinking of as the Toddler Group and were butting each other and - yes - gambolling. On the same walk I clocked several swallows, some agitated oystercatchers and a couple of butterflies, and the other day I heard my first cuckoo of the year and a woodpecker.

It is, of course, what we used to call exam weather, and I was recalling the sensation of emerging from the gloom of the assembly hall in Hillhead High School to the smells of a city spring - dust, cut grass, diesel fumes - with the feeling that life was going on without me. I seem to remember taking exam leave very seriously, swotting away in solitude at home before going back to school for an orchestra practice. I used to experiment with cigarettes in our empty house (my parents were both teachers) and then spend an age trying to disguise the smell, but there were never any friends around to distract me because we were scattered over Glasgow and it was too hard to meet up. Besides, I never had any money. What a strange life, now I come to think of it.

We all did rather well, mind.

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