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w/e 2020-05-31

I’m not sure where that week went. Presumably the same place as all the others but it sure seemed in a hurry to get there.

§   We have a conservatory here and birds occasionally fly into its windows. Sometimes we find a bird on the ground, dead. Other times the impact is, I assume, not as hard – we hear a bonk but there’s no sign of a bird. This happened last week when, sitting in the conservatory and hearing the bonk, I turned just in time to see a presumably dazed buzzard glide to the top of the nearby gate, where it perched for a while thinking, I imagine, “Fuck! What was that?!”

On other occasions the collision is more severe but not immediately fatal. Earlier in the week, while at the computer, I heard the bonk and looked out to see a chaffinch lying on the patio, pink belly upwards, its legs walking at the sky. By the time I got there the bird was lying on its side in the sun, its head at an odd angle, resting on the ground. I very gently picked the bird up and moved it out of the hot sun and into the shade and shelter of a nearby bush. Half an hour later it had gone, either recovered or having provided lunch for a larger creature.

Yesterday morning we heard the bonk and then saw a coal tit sat still on the patio in the shade. Having earlier seen a ginger cat on the prowl, I protectively watched the recovering bird through the window for a while. Occasionally its wings shook slightly and once in a while it turned its head from one side to the other. Eventually, as the shade began to shrink away from it, I did some googling and decided I should help more actively. I found a small cardboard box, and lined it with tissue to provide a safe, dark place for recuperation. I gently opened the conservatory door to step outside and… the tit flew off. OK, fine, don’t let me save you!

We’ve now attempted to indicate the presence of this dangerously invisible glass by smattering some of the panes with a few blank Post-it notes, with the result that the conservatory appears to have hosted a particularly uninspiring brainstorming session.

§   This week we watched the five-part O.J.: Made in America documentary (on iPlayer) and it was very good indeed. When he was on trial for murder I doubt I was alone in the UK in not really knowing who he was. I only remember the aerial shots of the car chase but it’s possible this memory is only from having seen clips multiple times since. Maybe I wasn’t aware of the trial at the time at all. I’d also forgotten the final act to the whole thing which was a bit crazy.

Either way, it’s well worth watching. Particularly, unfortunately, with the current events in Minneapolis as a backdrop. Words fail me.

When a documentary has a narration like, for example, Ken Burns’s, it has a sense of authorship. No matter how unopinionated the voiceover sounds you’re aware that someone is telling you the story. But documentaries without narration, like O.J., are oddly beguiling. It’s very easy to feel you’re watching something that’s entirely objective, with no mediating influence, no point of view. It’s nothing but the pure events and the complete recollections from everyone involved. But, no. It’s just as full of decisions about what to say, who to interview, where to cut, what to repeat, etc. You’re still being told a story, even if you can’t hear the words of the storyteller.

§   That’s all. Anger levels still somewhat higher than the standard background level. Hold on for another week. I know, another one.

§   Addendum: Although it felt like the week slipped by quickly, the previous Monday also felt like a long time ago, and I completely forgot I’d posted my most “successful” tweet that day. Currently 4,500 retweets and 21,300 likes, beating my previous best of 4,200 retweets and 16,500 likes.

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