Zak Spade's

Things are quiet these days - but not silent

Local newspaper, May 2020
Louise Penfold ("Birdsong")

o - O - o

Things are quiet these days, and with the weather being as it has of late, much reading in the garden has been enjoyed. With it only being May, sometimes a warm jumper is required, even if the sun is shining, but a glass of wine is mandatory at all times.

Occasionally I stop reading and delight in the silence and then realise that it isn't as quiet as I thought. The birds seem oblivious to the lockdown and social distancing all about us as they sing and chatter, as if their little lives depended upon being heard.

It was while listening that I realised something was missing. There were still no airliners flying overhead as they came about to land at nearby Luton Airport. Given that it has remained open throughout the crisis, and that one of the main airlines operating out of there has recommenced flying, it seemed odd.

Popping inside with my glass of wine I investigated. Apparently flights from an easterly direction (Europe) now pass to the south of the airport before wheeling back to land, whereas before they used to pass to the north, over Leighton Buzzard, as they lined up for the runway.

Whether flight paths will revert once restrictions are lifted is unknown to me. However, I hope not otherwise my bird friends will have to pause and wait as the noisy giant featherless beasts make their way across the town’s sky.

Now I'm back in my garden but no longer reading. In the distance I hear the sound of an emergency vehicle siren. That's something else that has been missing recently, but unlike the big jets, it has now returned. There appears to have been an increase in traffic to the point whereby emergency vehicles no longer have free passage through town and have a renewed need to announce their approach.

Finishing my glass it occurs to me that bottles of wine don't grow on trees and so I either have to go out and buy some or have it bulk delivered. As I'm sticking to the rules, I don't go out except much and so it arrives to my doorstep.

I imagine that the same applies to everyone, so the increase in activity on the roads is probably due to a greater number of delivery vehicles required to distribute case after case of wine to those of us who consider it an important commodity.

With that thought there is an increase in birdsong. They obviously agree.

© 2020

10 March 2023