Saturday, 23 July 2011

Where the Wild Things Are

When I came upon this scattered plumage on the lawn the other week I thought it was the work of an errant moggie that I'd seen weighing up our garden's bird population on a number of occasions. The feathers were downy and I imagined that one of the many fledglings nesting here had met an untimely end. I swept the feathers up and considered it an isolated incident. A few days later I saw more feathers but not as many and decided that I probably hadn't done a thorough sweeping job. However all was explained on Tuesday when I saw what I initially thought was a big brown duck at the end of the garden. On a second glance it was clear that this was no duck but a large bird of prey. Beneath one of it's feet was a black blob that had obviously once been a creature of some sort but from the way that the hawk or whatever it was was ripping long red ribbons off it, it was clearly not going to see another day. I called Marion and we tiptoed to the end of the conservatory to have a look but the hawk eyed creature was spooked and flew away. From what was left, I think that it was one of our friendly blackbirds that copped it. It's the first time in over twenty years living here in Southport suburbia that we have seen a bird like this in the garden and it possibly explains why, after having a huge number of species feeding on the food that we put out, the numbers of birds in the garden has dwindled over recent weeks. Perhaps we created the situation - feeding the birds attracts the birds - lots of birds attracts predators. Will try and take a photo if the visiter returns.I know it's nature but it is sad to lose birds that have been nesting here for some time.

I was invited for a coffee by the bank manager this morning (note that now I am retired it's coffee not lunch). We spent most of the time discussing diabetes. She has late onset type one diabetes and my son has juvenile type one diabetes so it was interesting to learn how she was coping and to talk about all the new innovations in treating the disease. She asked me if I was interested in helping someone out preparing a business plan (I had told her that when I retired I might be able to do this sort of thing to keep my hand in). I said that I would give it a go. The only problem is that it's a charity so there's no reward other than the thought that I've done my bit and that if I do a good job they might have other customers that I could help. It's nice to be asked and I'm sure that I'll do a good job for the charity but I really enjoy being retired and I don't think I'll be going back into this sort of thing in a big way.

I realised when it took me three times as long as usual to get into Southport today that it's the Southport Air Show tomorrow. The coastal road was already shut,over twenty four hours in advance, leaving all the traffic to get down the promenade. Gridlock ensued. I've nothing against the air show. It brings cash to the town and, it looks like they'll have good weather for once. But I was hoping to have a relax in the garden tomorrow with the weekend papers and perhaps a glass of wine and I now realise that the peace is going to be shattered with sonic booms and the drone of vintage bombers. Bah humbug.

I've got to do the journey again in the morning. Marion's mobile packed in last week when the screen went completely blank. We bought a cheap phone as a stop gap and then went into the phone shop in Wayfarer's Arcade to buy a replacement. "You don't want to do that" said the bloke in the shop. "That's a good phone. I can fix it for you for £29.99". We agreed. "One hour" he said. We couldn't make it back in an hour so we went into Southport specially the next day to pick it up. The bloke showed it us working but as we put Marion's SIM in, it packed up again. "Come back tomorrow" he said. So today I went back in at eleven."Not ready yet." I went in again at twelve as I was passing "not ready yet". I phoned at four."Yes it's ready". Drove to Southport (note gridlock above). And yes it's working. Put Marion's SIM in and it's blank again. Now it's going to be ready tomorrow so more gridlock on the cards. Wouldn't it have been better if the first thing he had said when we went in was "Certainly. Which model would you like". I don't know about costing £29.99, I've already wasted £4.80 in car parking.

I was going to finish with one of this week's top twenty viral videos but they were all rubbish so I'll leave you with one of my own. My own wild things. Indulge me.

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