Wednesday 20 April 2022

Bluebells and Bats - Joan Lennon

I read Lu Hersey's post about spring and bluebell woods with a bit of a pang. I'm missing spring this year. I was lucky enough to finally make it to Jakarta and am at present immersed in the life of a 3 month old grandson, his parents, their extended family, Ramadhan, a new language (Oh, they say, Bahasa Indonesia is easy. Great, I say. So how do I say hello? Oh, they say, that depends ...), a different culture, and social structures fraught with nuances to get wrong. (I've ended with the tricky bits there, but go back to the beginning of that sentence and you will find the worth-all-of-it-and-anything-else-you-care-to-add bit.)

And I'm currently writing non-fiction for 9-12 year olds about 17th century Ethiopia. I tell my grandson about my research and the fascinating things I have learned, and he listens patiently, as long as I occasionally intersperse gecko imitations. (I am very good at gecko imitations.)

Here, bat bathing (like tree bathing, only with bats) is my 'bluebell immersion time'. I go out on the balcony at dusk and watch them swoop and high-speed flutter against a tropical sky of piled up clouds that harbour lightning, or a round red sun, or trees that become black silhouettes against the street lights.

Scotland, Ethiopia, Jakarta - worlds apart, all in one house.

Joan Lennon website.

Joan Lennon Instagram.

Visit 26 Trees for my poem Day's End and the Banana Tree.



catdownunder said...

Halo dari Australia - datang dan lihat kami juga (Hello from Australia. Come and see us too.)
I think I have that right but oh it is a difficult language. It is easy to learn a few polite phrases but it is really so complex to try anything other than a little bit of the sort of phrases you might use in the market. I admire you for even trying!

Joan Lennon said...

Oh Catdownunder it's so reassuring to hear you say that! I wish I could pop down and visit but popping anywhere is definitely challenging these days. But I'll send a wave in a generally southward direction.

Penny Dolan said...

How wonderful to have so much to love and be interested in around you!
Enjoy your magical bat hours.

Joan Lennon said...

Thanks Penny - and the flowers here are fabulously exuberant!

Andrew Preston said...

Selamat pagi, Joan.

My abiding memory of working and living in that part of the world is of the first few moments....

1. The plane throttled back almost to idle, descending over the blue South China Sea...,
    gradually into view...,long narrow strip of golden sand.., jungle..,more jungle..,
then landing.  Absolutely wonderful. 

2. The wall of heat and humidity that hit as I stood at the exit doorway of the plane.


I didn't miss my Scottish connections at all.
They were all around me. Engineers, architects..

I found that Selamat Pagi, and its time of day variations took me a long way.
Plus the occasional hand to the heart.  My experience was that people appreciated
a Westerner who actually bothered to try.

Anyway, I must nip outside now, the bluebells are in full bloom in my front patch.

Joan Lennon said...

Thanks Andrew - that's a vivid description!