Hello again everyone,
During this time of change, some people are looking to the future, planning and thinking about their next step, others are living in the moment and enjoying that sensation, whilst some of us (including me) have been doing our fair share of reminiscing.
To reminisce (researchers call it nostalgizing), is to have an enjoyable recollection of past events. To think back to a time past, with both affection and gratitude. It’s good for you apparently. A wealth of knowledge from recent scientific studies on nostalgia have found that it actually enables us to feel physically warmer when we do it; we also feel more hopeful about our futures and emotionally closer to those around us. It also helps us to become more generous towards other people.
I’ve been noticing the arrival of swifts, swallows and in particular, house martins, as the days have become warmer and longer. The sight of house martins has always thrilled me and also reminds me of a gentleman I once knew, and he was a gentle man. He was a tall and wiry individual, with a broad smile and booming laugh. He had a wry sense of humour and was excellent with people, young and old. He was wise and a good listener. He was great friends with my father and they had a lot in common. They both supported the same football team, they both loved sport in general, they both laughed at the same things, they both worked in education, had large families and attended the same church. They both loved the outdoors and the countryside.
So why do house martins remind me of this person? Well, this man was the Headteacher of a local primary school. In the past, this sometimes meant the Headteacher would be rewarded with a house near the school. Mr Martin owned such a house and when I used to visit it, with my family, as a child, in early summer, I would see these small birds flying expertly around the house’s eaves and balconies and stand agog, watching them flit in and out of these tight spaces, nest building and feeding their young. When I asked Mr Martin what kind of birds they were he said, without hesitation, ‘They come to my house to stay every summer, so I call them house martins!’
So the sight of these small, slender migratory birds, takes me back to a time of lazy, sunny Sunday afternoons with Mr Martin and his family at that lovely house and my whole being radiates warmth at the memory. Can you think of anyone who makes you feel like that when you recall past events and their personality?
Here’s some interesting facts about House martins:
The common house martin, is a migratory bird of the swallow family which spends its summers in Europe and North Africa; and winters in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical Asia. It feeds on insects which are caught in flight, and it migrates to climates where flying insects are plentiful. It has a steel blue head and upperparts, white rump and pure white underparts, and is found in both open country and near human habitation.
The common house martin is similar in habits to swallows and the unrelated swifts, and catches insects on the wing. Flies and aphids make up much of its diet.
House martins hunt at an average height of 21 metres during the summer season, but lower in wet conditions. Their hunting grounds are typically within close proximity to the nest, with a preference for open ground or water, the latter especially in poor weather.
The adult common house martin is 13 cm long, with a wing span of 26–29 cm (the length of a ruler) and a weight averaging 18.3 grams (a packet of crisps).
This weeks Loving Challenge(s), choose one or do BOTH!
Challenge 1: Can you discover and list between 5-10 facts about swallows or swifts. Present your findings in any way you wish.
Challenge 2: Can you create a drawing, painting, doodle, postcard, letter, poem, song, diary entry, story or description of a past event or a person that you remember with both fondness and gratitude.
Thrive Activities – EYFS/KS1 week 12
Thrive Activities – KS2 week 12
Paper Sculpture Rainbow