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Words don’t come easy…

White-bellied sunbird, male
They're tiny, and bits of pure magic too...

When I just started working a colleague once made a throwaway remark that stuck with me. Basically, when a writer starts writing about writer’s block, they should just give it up and start gardening.

There have been many times that I’ve wanted to write about writer’s block. I stopped myself though.

So this is not a blog about writer’s block. It is a blog about not posting anything of substance for over a month, because your head’s filled with the white noise of a thousand things happening to you, changes in life, some splendid and spectacular and others… not so much. So many random bits and pieces of inspiration in the atmosphere, but none of the particles colliding with your brain to create that all-important spark…

I’m still waiting for a proper spark. In the meantime though, some random vignettes seem in order to show willing… Somehow, wildlife’s been featuring quite a lot lately.

There are rats in my roof. A whole pack of them, probably the size of Jack Russells, thundering over the ceiling, jumping on the struts, nibbling on the electric cabling, scurrying, looking for a way in… Her Royal Highness Queen Peroni cowers under the bedclothes, staring wide-eyed, following the trail of sound, ears pricked, whiskers alert, making small little mrrp noises… Probably wishing she were a sleek jaguar and not a fluffy little housecat. I can hear them in that limbo just before sleep, a scurrying scratching sound that gets stuck in my head as I fall asleep… And makes me dream of werewolves on the skylight. Time for some beartraps, methinks…

The tiny pair of white-bellied sunbirds resident in our garden have finally discovered the joys of the nectar feeder… And they kept me rapt, just watching them sip on the red juice, fighting off the finches, tweeting and fluttering and flashing green and blue in the sunlight. Half an hour later, I found myself in the same spot. Head totally empty. Zen. And with a strange craving for hot chocolate.

I went to the zoo for my birthday. It always makes me feel like a kid again, gaping at the Kori Bustards and awing at the tiny little Fennec fox and feeling a bit sad looking at the elephant all alone in its enclosure and the Marabou stork sulking in a corner ‘cos it’s in for special vet care… Eating chipstix drenched in MSG, colouring your lips orange with Paddle Pops, creeping out at the shrilling kids and swinging your arms while holding hands. It’s simple but also a bit bittersweet. A moment of uncomplicated happiness. Especially when the lion starts roaring.

The last bit isn’t really about animals… Maybe just animal instinct. I think I actually enjoy getting hit in the head. At Muay Thai, that is. Grappling with a partner, intent only on the movements, the blocking, panting breathing and sweat in your eyes. And maybe you get in a good shot. Maybe they get a good one in too. I always feel so splendidly alive afterwards, though. Survival, in a way.

So I’m planning to kick out the rats, remain in the zen space, maybe pursue things a little more simple, taste some bittersweet, and kick the pure adrenalin of survival instinct into high gear. And next time, I shall write a proper blog…

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