First comes the pattering- the lizards arrive. They run across the mosquito netting, weight spread, twisting their heads and pooing with avidity. Second comes the quiet throbbing rip of a hungry horse heaving up grass. Then it’s the bat, the one I call Red Bull, on speed as usual, hurtling round corners like a boy racer, also excreting with enthusiasm. And now comes the thunder, first a lapping ripple, then kettle-drum rehearsal at the London Symphony Orchestra, then a threatening roar, and finally Dolby Digital earthquake sound effects. With the last comes the rain,
Bits of thatch rain down gently, like ash. With the rain come the cows, sheltering under the eaves, a foot from our heads. Tonight they are restless, and knock on the shutters to be let in. Even though I know it must be cows, I still call out “Hello?”, the knock is so human. They “mmrrrrrruurr” low in their throats, upset and jostling. They knead the ground. As the rain dies down, most drift away, and I drift off, to be woken by the sound of dung hitting earth right behind my head. Even at 2am, just startled awake, I immediately think “cow not horse” from the sound of all that shit hitting, the flat splat of cowpat.
I’m tired today. I love the twiglet house. But sometimes it would be nice to spend a night in arid sterility, a clean white soundproof room, insulated from the rustle, splat, rip and growl of nature in all her glory.