counting chickens

The train’s delayed and while I wait,
I gauge my luck – or lack thereof –
in magpies: the furl of caping wings,
and splay-tailed swoop to perch
high in the winter cage of track-side trees
whose trunks are evergreened by ivy.

The magpies were too far away to get a photo, but this blackbird seemed to think that if he sat still enough I wouldn’t notice him.

blackbird in bare branches



Three – four – nine – two; three – one:
random magpies map my life
in black and white.


One for sorrow, two for joy; three for a girl and four for a boy; five for silver, six for gold…

There were six magpies bickering in the trees by the river last night. Sadly, I fear they weren’t foretelling the imminent receipt of a large fortune, just the arrival of sunset over the lake:

sunset over lake


I’ve been reading online that lots of places in the States won’t let you adopt a black cat in October for fear that you’ll torture and mutilate it as part of a satanic ritual for Hallowe’en. This being Spain, though, I suspect that these three – who, when tumbled together in the sunshine seem to jointly warrant the name of Cerberus – are probably no more at risk than at any other time of year.

Three black cats

paws for thought

black cat paws
Years ago, I used to have an orange-brown tabby. She was a perfectly normal short-haired cat, but skinny and delicate. She had one or two pink pads, but mostly her paw pads were black, and I always suspected this indicated that she had Siamese ancestors.

At last count there were five black cats ranging around the finca and, although I haven’t got close to the two smallest, when I saw these paws on the windowsill, I was struck by the fact that the three siblings born 15 months ago all have black pads.

After some brief on-line research, I find that this is to be expected, although, if I’ve understood correctly, it would theoretically be possible for a black cat to have pink paws.
Continue reading “paws for thought”

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