In his 1960's song "Restless Farewell," Bob Dylan wrote:-
"oh a false clock tries to to tick out my time
to disgrace, distract, and bother me
and the dirt of gossip blows into my face
and the dust of rumors covers me
but if the arrow is straight
and the point is slick
it can pierce through dust no matter how thick
so I'll make my stand
and remain as I am
and bid farewell and not give a damn"
Ever since, I've tried to live by the sentiments in those last three lines, it's alienated some people, confused others, but not give a damn seems appropriate.
My blog feels like it is coming to an end, my best stuff (in my opinion) is in the past and new stuff is difficult to magic up - lack of enthusiasm, lack of subject material and a refusal to write blogs, like many people, that consist of daily and personal diary facts written out in public. You know, the, I got up this morning, had my breakfast, read the papers, went out for lunch, ate this and that, came home put the fire on, walked the dog, watched the Winter Olympics and here's what happened in case you don't have the intelligence to understand what's going on, the domestic appliance repair man is coming today, and so on and on.
The blog was always about Sheppey's local history, my life in a stolen moment and of course, the Swale NNR. Unfortunately, the reserve, for various reasons, has become fairly boring, with little interesting or new to write about, low or non-existent water levels have rendered it devoid of the large bird numbers that it used to support. A chat with the local wildfowlers can often be the highlight of a winter dawn and usually that merely consists of "where've all the birds gone."
Birdwatching has also changed, these days, trying to get people interested in census's that involve walking around counting ordinary bird numbers, is difficult. "Birdwatch cruising" as I call it, seems to be the norm along the Harty Road now. People cruise along the Harty Road in what seems like first gear. at a snails pace, in a warm car, looking for birds on the marsh on either side and totally oblivious to the fact that other cars are actually behind them and wanting to pass. Often, if a half decent bird is passing by, they stop their cars in the middle of the road and ignore those behind, or very reluctantly, with evil stares, pull over to the side of the road. I presume that most of them still have legs that work.
I, at nearly 71 and with arthritic limbs, still spend a few hours walking round the reserve most days, in bitter cold winds and mud and water to do my bird counting and census's - perhaps I'm just one of the last of an old school brand of birdwatcher.
So perhaps it's time for a Restless Farewell.