Saturday, 18 August 2012

Friday afternoon

A warm, Friday afternoon in mid-summer - yesterday, in fact. Just a few minutes after two o'clock. I had gone upstairs to apply some more heat rub on my knees and sat on the bed to do so. I glanced out of the window. For once there were no planes overhead, neither high-flying, long-haul jets leaving whispy con trails nor low flying, small planes bumbling across the valley. There were no herring gulls wheeling and mewing, no wood pigeon in the sycamore tree disturbing the peace with its repetitive coo-cooing, no jackdaws yattering and yacking on the garage roof. Utter silence.

The houses below me were almost shining in the sun and looked for all the world as though they were waiting for something. The breathless hush added to the air of expectancy. Then I realised. What I could see and feel was not anticipation, it was more a savouring of the moment, the moment of peace which should not be there on a Friday afternoon.

No sooner had I realised that than a flock of chattering sparrows arrived in the plum tree outside the window. Then a wood pigeon landed in the sycamore tree. Children on a summer holiday activity scheme ran onto the school playing field laughing and calling to each other. Traffic started to move. Friday afternoon had returned to normal - but the snatched minute or two of peace was priceless.

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