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Permanent Tourist

A personal website by Mark Howells-Mead

The swallows’ viewpoint

Until last year, there was an old wooden telegraph pole standing on the front corner of our garden. The owners of our house decided that it was blocking the view of the lake from their patio downstairs, so they paid for the telecoms company to come and take it down. Since then, the cable to the neighbours’ house has run from the corner of our roof to the corner of the neighbours’ roof, and our landlords get their unfettered view.

Pretty dull stuff, in itself. But we are ideally placed to watch the swallows darting and swooping over the neighbouring fields, gardens and lake in the summer, and they liked to perch on the cable and on the pole for a break. Offering us a great view of their beautiful feathers from our balcony, just a few metres away.

We were worried that the steeper incline on the cable would prevent them from landing there when they returned from Africa this year. But this evening, they are back, and just as happy to perch as they ever were. So they get to keep their resting place, and we get to enjoy them again.

Swallows in the Bernese Oberland