May Day is one of my favourite days of the year. I didn’t get to wear a sprig of it in my buttonhole today (which I normally do) but I just now went into the garden and looked up into our hawthorn tree which is thick with blossom. Like most writers, I carry a notebook around in my pocket to keep a note of all sorts of stuff – shopping lists, reminders, and occasionally ideas – and today I saw a note I’d made on May Day three years ago to the effect that I’d been woken up that morning by a magpie pecking at my bedroom window. I’d forgotten that. It’s the sort of thing I don’t think I’ll ever forget, but only actually remember when my memory is jogged. Which I suppose just goes to show how valuable writing things down in a notebook is. One day, I’ll have to write a story in which a character gets woken up by a magpie at his window. And why, you might reasonably ask, was a magpie pecking at my window that May Day morning three years ago?
Ah, if only I knew, my friend. If only I knew.