• Abi Starr


This piece stems from my being under coronavirus lockdown. This is such a lovely time of year to be getting out and about, but I'm left with no choice but to stay in the town centre. Some days I'm happy, some days are tougher.

For someone who's happier outside in nature this is a tough time.


I sit, trapped; behind the cold, clinical glass. Longing to get out to the wet and wild beyond. Like a porcelain doll sealed in its box and it’s driving me mad. For three weeks now my interactions with wildlife have been painfully sparse. Internet live streams, photographs posted by others and the occasional, government-mandated jaunt to the park. Don’t get me wrong, I love our park, but I know that spring is stirring further afield and I am upset that I cannot be part of it. It’s hard to get excited about mallards and moorhens when I know summer migrants are returning to the countryside around me. A quick look on a local birdwatching website shows sightings of osprey and hobby, I long to see them but I am trapped in the town centre.

A pair of buzzards drift lazily overhead, drawing the attention of some very irate gulls; I take a deep breath, maybe I can get through this after all. I close my eyes as the neighbourhood blackbird begins his song; I carefully listen to each and every note as my mood lifts slightly. A peacock butterfly lands gracefully on the windowsill as if stopping to check I’m ok. I smile, I’m getting there I suppose.

I start to think of ways I can keep myself occupied and come back down with a bump. All of my go-to activities are out there. A look at the lakes, a walk along the canal and looking for new ducklings among the reeds, all completely out of the question.

I sit trapped behind the cold clinical glass.

Spring is coming, and I’m missing it.

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