The Seabird’s Cry – Adam Nicolson

It is not stupid to think that birds might play, and here from the clifftop it has always looked as if that is what the fulmars were doing: the endless, repeated turns, first on one great circle and then another, skaters outlining discs on the ice, stiff-winged, patient, waiting for the long rotation to take its form, a series of geometries, as if the birds were cutting shapes through the paper of the air.

The air doesn’t always comply. Now and then a strange lack of certainty runs through a fulmar, even as it makes these Euclidean digrams beneath you, a whole-body hesitation, coughing in mid-flight, when it shudders and disassembles, all sleekness gone and all purpose paused, as if waiting for the data stream to resume, which it then does, and the long effortless gestures, milking energy from the wind, continue from one end of the ballroom to the other.

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Self care is a walk in the park

It’s been a busy summer – a fortnight in the Lake District, a couple of days in Brittany, some volunteering, building an office with my pals (power tools!), going bouldering, helping Lauren move house, going to a wedding, seeing my niblings, going to Pride for the first time… I read some books, not as many as I expected to, but some. I fell in a bog in the Lake District, which was hilarious at the time but became rapidly less-so as I realised I’d actually done some damage, resulting in two days off work, a lot of painkillers, multiple trips to my amazing osteopath, and walking like a duck. I’m on the mend, but it’s shaken me. My mood has plummetted over the last week or so and refused to lift, especially when I then dropped my phone in the toilet and was furious with myself about it, on top of everything else. I’ve had to cancel plans and miss out on things I wanted to do, and all this has coincided with the weather shifting from summer to autumn. I have not been in a good place.

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