the gentle work of nest building…

Have some long, solitary hours ahead for a little while as I do the edit on the next book… so it was lovely to sit at my desk this morning and look out into the tree to see a honeyeater building a nest right by my window. I may even get some baby birds for company come spring!

A while back I read in a book (Nest: The Art of Birds by Janine Burke) that as well as using their beaks to build their nests, birds also press their breasts against the inner wall to make it round, imprinting their shape on their home and forming it with their beating hearts. As I sit here I can see the bird doing just that! (Apologies the picture isn’t better but didn’t want to move too much and scare her off.)


Filed under books + writing, inspiration + history

3 responses to “the gentle work of nest building…

  1. Rowena Wichman

    I will really enjoy reading another book of yours Zoe.

    I have read your first two at least four times each and I have developed a massive appreciation of Italy and the hardships that so many Italians have been through and the tremendous sacrifices they went through in order to provide a better life for their families. You have opened my eyes to a country I knew nothing about. Your Grandparents feel like ‘old friends’ to me and Fossa is a place I have to visit even if most of it is inaccessible.

    I have borrowed every book on Italy from my local library including all the recipe books. Went to the Italian Festival in Ingham a week or so back as always but now I enjoy it more than ever. We can make basic pasta and our own pizza dough now and trying lots of other things with varying levels of success. Next year I am going to Italy to see it all for myself. My husbands been there once briefly, and although we aren’t exactly intrepid travelers, we’re going to give it a good go. Thank you so much for your inspiration. It was a really good day for when I accidently stumbled upon your first book. Kind regards Rowena W

    • Hi Rowena,

      Thank you for your lovely message. I am thrilled to find out you’ve read my books more than once and through them discovered more about Italy and my grandparents’ lives as migrants. It is really touching that they feel like ‘old friends’ you – I appreciate your sharing that with me. It sounds like you are also having some experiences that Roger had when he discovered Italian culture, including making pizza and pasta!

      That’s wonderful that you are going to Italy next year. If you do decide to go to Fossa, sadly it is still damaged and mostly a ghost town since the earthquake but you should be able to walk through the lanes and also to see many parts of the beautiful surrounds. The scene over the valley remains stunning and there is a convent nearby that is now a reasonably priced hotel that has these views, is a short walk to Fossa and it wasn’t damaged by the earthquake. Please let me know if you would like to know some places to try and visit if you do get to go there. (Although of course you must know many from reading the books!)

      Again, thanks for your kind words. The next book is very different from the first two but that doesn’t mean that I don’t hope to return to Italy to write more about it again in the future too! Tante belle cose and warmest wishes, Zoe xx

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