This book is slightly disappointing not because there’s anything wrong with the book itself. The writing is beautiful. It’s just a bit different to what I expected. Just in case you’re thinking of reading it, it’s mainly about birds and wildlife, 80% maybe. This is a lovely record of bird watching. I admire author’s ability to describe the shape and colour, the speed and movement of many types of birds. I paid special attention to this and found that he hardly ever uses the word “fly”. “Fly” is too general. Every action of the bird is described vividly and accurately. It’s a pity I don’t know anything about birds at all. But if you ask me to go bird watching, now that I finished the book, I might come. So I learnt something completely new. I also love his description of the pitiful and stupid lambs forever “losing” their mothers, his encounter with this specific hare almost “knocking on his door”.
Living in the forgotten mountains sounds like a dream to me, although I wouldn’t be on my own, I’ll drag my husband wherever I go (willingly or not). So I had this romantic image in my head when I asked for this book. (Special thanks to my lovely manager for a Christmas present.) I’d love to know more about how the seasons change, what the colour and the smell of the country is like, where and how he camps around nearby mountains, how his living room with a fire looks, how he grows vegetables, how and what he cooks. The author mentioned all of the above in the first couple of chapters – I enjoyed those pages most – but I was hoping to read a bit more about them.
I can see and I understand the reason: the heart of the author is on the outside world, rather than inside his falling down cottage. Just like it is said in the Epilogue, year by year, he has “disappeared entirely” from the journal he keeps. The journal focussed completely on wildlife around him.
Now my task is to convince my half-Welsh husband to go living in Welsh hills with me. When I mentioned, he said he had enough of it. Maybe I should suggest a different destination?