It’s the start of September. A brand new month, I think to myself, as I turn over the pages of my two wall calendars. Despite my feelings of amazement that the year of 2021 has progressed at such a pace with my hardly
even noticing it passing, I have to admit to rather enjoying my small, monthly Ritual of the Calendars.
Hanging from a hook on the boiler cupboard is an extremely
special calendar, each month displaying a different photograph of members of my family. Against each date there is a space for my appointments, a space for Mr B’s and a third space for forthcoming birthdays - making it an Extremely Useful Aide Memoire.
Every month as I peel away the previous month’s record of Comings and Goings, I carefully cut out the photograph and paste it into a scrapbook entitled (with startling originality on my part) “My Family.” I am on the last few pages of “My
Family 2” and will be starting on “My Family 3” if I am fortunate enough to receive yet another calendar this Christmas from my Little Sister and her fella (who must be wondering why they ever started on this, by now an annual gift.)
Filling in September’s dates, it is reassuring to see how many events I can add, compared with September 2020 - so many of my favourite activities are back on the calendar. Hallelujah!
The second calendar, of British Garden Birds, is on my bedroom wall, each month depicting a different bird. I never, ever peep ahead to see which of my feathered friends will feature in future months because that would spoil the surprise.
Last month, August, featured the kestrel, aka the Falco tinnunculus. I do like it when the Daily Blog comes over all educational every so often. I was quite sad to say farewell to the kestrel which presented me with sweet memories of the book “A Kestrel
for a Knave” and the subsequent film, Kes. Turning to the month of September, however, I was delighted to find the Luscinia megarhynchos. Known to us all as the nightingale. For a whole month now I will enjoy the sight of him on my wall, warbling away
(albeit silently) when I wake up every morning.
The other thing I appreciate about this calendar is that it notifies me of the phases of the moon. This is important
because I never like to miss the Full Moon. It reminds me of the way my dear Dad, when away in North Africa during the Second World War for five long years, used to tell my mother to look out for the moon, knowing that, however far apart they were, it was
the same moon shining down on them both.
Month by month, my birdy calendar gives me a timely reminder to look out of my bedroom window before I turn in for
the night. I very nearly missed August’s Full Moon because I was away from home, staying with my Little Sister and her fella. I was travelling light so I didn’t take my wall calendar with me…
Pulling down the blind in my upstairs bedroom window on my second night away, I caught sight of a splendid Full Moon shining in on me as if determined not to be missed, despite the fact that I had forgotten it. Clearly the
Moon does not take offence at being apparently ignored even by such a Faithful Follower as I. I messaged my Little Sister in her downstairs bedroom: “It’s a beautiful full moon tonight. From Me Upstairs!” “It’s spectacular,”
responded Me Downstairs…
While away I was most impressed by the string of solar lights my Little Sister had bought to decorate her garden. Where could I
buy some for myself, I asked her, and how much would they cost me? Thanks to my sister and the Amazon Jungle, they arrived at my home in record time and are now festooned across the balustrades in my Room Outdoors.
Every night, as dusk falls, my Room Outdoors is studded with stars. I messaged my sister to thank her for sending me the link, adding: “I love my starry, starry lights!”
Back came the sweetest response: “Now each evening when our starry, starry lights come on, we will know that your starry, starry lights are shining too!”
Our parents, separated by war, looked out for the moon and thought of each other; my Little Sister and I, separated by geography, are thinking of each other each night as we look out at our starry, starry lights…