Small Town

Sunbirds in the balcony

It all started with a couple of sunbirds negotiating with a few clothes pins on a portable clothes line. We found it amusing as they hopped close and took turns pecking and then dancing away. Did they think these large and colourful pins were some kind of silent relative?

After a few hours we found a few scraps of leaf and dry grass on the line. Ahh so all that pecking and hopping was to test the strength of the line. Nest building now!

The clothes line is fixed onto the outside of a glass door that divides the drawing room and the balcony. So, from inside, we have had front seats to the construction work. Amazingly intricate and so small, and built entirely with their beaks!

In a few days we noticed there was only one bird spending a lot of time in the nest. From our vantage point we could see the gently swaying nest with a long pointed beak sticking out of it. One morning, a quick peek inside it revealed 2 tiny eggs. Such excitement in our household!

A few days later, I turned to come in after watering the plants and spotted a movement in the nest. Up popped a mouth, desperately seeking. And then another one!

Within a couple of days the yellow all-mouth-and-nothing-else transformed into these sleek black little birds. Still mostly mouth, but now we can see the bodies as well. Eyes closed, napping away in the hot and humid weather, tiny heads pillowed on the edge of the nest. And now we see Papa and Mama bring them food all day – insects? Nectar?

Some videos in my photo album:

(Credits: photos/videos – my husband)

Small Town


Over the past year I’ve read some good books but also many I didn’t like at all. I have always liked to re-read books, and now am wondering whether I should stick to re-reads only.

I don’t want to read a book that is sloppy in its language. I don’t want to read a book that dithers in the plot and has not a single fleshed out character. I don’t want to read a book that is an excuse for pontificating. I don’t want to read a book that has insipid unnecessary sex on every other page. I don’t want to read a book whose author is peddling an unsavoury character as the ideal the reader should aspire to be. I don’t want to read a book that reads like a screenplay. By all means make a movie of a book. But don’t write a book with a movie in mind.

Is that too much to ask for??