Have a little taste of one of these fascinating, colourful stories;
Joseph Goldberg is the wrinkled old man you often see wrapped up in a fraying scarf and dusty trilby hat, hobbling along the seafront promenade in the dead of winter. He does this for one reason and one reason only, and that is to observe the starlings above the old pier. Migrating in their thousands to roost in the rusty spires of that decrepit structure, the starlings can be seen on a daily basis, rising, falling and swimming through the air all as one. ‘Murmuration’, that’s the technical term, or so some busybody once told Joseph. A random, apparently spontaneous group activity, the purpose of which has long baffled scientific thinkers. Whatever the explanation, it’s nothing short of an endless, transcendent parade of shifting, shimmering, description-defying shapes, all metamorphosing across the sky as easily as the wind blows. As Joseph likes to say, it’s fucking grand.
Sinking his behind onto the usual bench, Joseph was pleased on this particular afternoon to inhale the crisp mid-winter air under a sky brushed with sunset-red clouds, full of starlings out in force (a right flood of them). Not as many as in past years, of course, and the pier was certainly a dark shadow of its former self, ravaged by neglect, battered by the untamed British seas. God only knew how many years now he’d been plonking his arse in that very spot. In good times and in shit. He really had had a long, hard life. Been through a hell of a lot of crap.
And so, with a certain distaste, Joseph realised that a rather dreamy, nostalgic mood had crept up on him. Certainly not something he ordinarily experienced (ordinarily he would much rather not). Sometimes one just can’t help these things.
And so, quite unable to resist, he found himself thinking of Lucy, of his mostly crappy life, of all the things he’d never done.
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