On the day of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, my mother and I connected through FaceTime so that we could share our live recordings. My mother has mostly been confined to the house over the last year because of the pandemic but she has a lovely little garden and a growing interest in the visitors to her birdfeeders. It was a wonderful way to spend an hour sharing our excitement. We not only identified the birds but learned more about them. This has given us an even greater sense of connection to not only the the birds but also the other fauna and flora to which they are also connected.

It’s the same with writing characters for a book. I not only need to know all about my characters, how they operate, and why they do what they do, but be able to convey what links them all together and how they all affect each other. This also helps me to work out the theme of a story. The more time taken to observe people and animals closely on a daily basis, just by given my time and attention, the more interest and connections it generates, and perhaps more storylines.

I often see goldfinches in the hedgerow across the way and down the lane towards the forest where I walk the dogs, which I’d love to see more often. I found out that they love teasels so I’m planning to grow some in the garden to invite the goldfinches over so I can get to know them too.