I went to bed just before midnight last night. It was quiet in Beetley of course, it almost always is. Rare to hear a car pass by after ten, and save the occasional dog bark, you can usually be assured of a noise-free night.
But last night, there was something different, and it took me some time to realise what that was.
It wasn’t raining. There was no sound of relentless rain smacking against the windows like bow waves over a small ship at sea. No endless pattering of falling rain on the flat roof of the extension or the garden furniture, sounding as if five hundred typists were hammering at their machines right outside the bedroom window. After weeks of constant rain disturbing my sleep, the prospect of a rain-free night had me lying in bed smiling.
As I settled down in the dark, two owls began to call to each other. One was close, probably in the oak tree at the front. The second much more distant, perhaps over on Beetley Meadows. It was a pleasant sound, and became soothing after a while.
Given the choice, I would sleep with the owls, rather than the rain.