Last year when we moved into the farmhouse the only occupants of the grain loft were house martins and house sparrows. I waited and waited until all their eggs had hatched, and all the hatchlings had cleared off, and then quite a long time to be sure, before starting to reclaim the space and turn it into somewhere to sleep. Glass was put in the windows, and to prevent birds from flying into it, I strung a whole load of CDs together and dangled them from the frame. Twisting and turning in the bright light they were pretty discouraging, and disconcertingly hippyesque.
One year on I woke to find birds flying round the room. If it wasn’t for the cats – that is, cat, I might have been tempted to share the space, but I closed the window. And every morning for the last couple of weeks they have been doing irate fly-bys, shaking a metaphorical fist through the glass at the invader.

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