Some things are nicer than others


I have been watching them all week. Since the big garden birdwatch, it has become obvious that there is not a great variety of species on our bird table. The house sparrow, once the boring taker of all the food, is almost absent today.  The greedy starlings who once scoffed everything I put out have not made an appearance this year either. The ‘pests’ now are the greedy magpies strutting about in their startling black and white outfits. They are everywhere in our garden hopping along and leaving no stone unturned. Somehow, I am not keen on magpies.

But a very frequent visitor which I like very much is the little, long tailed tit. They come in flocks searching for scraps that the other birds have left. They are smaller than a ping pong ball in muted black and white with a pale pink belly. Strange how we like some birds but not others when they are all enjoying our gardens and trying to find food to stay alive in the winter.

I knew that I would like the lady before I spoke to her. She was sitting alone at a table in a crowded café at the weekend.

“Are these seats taken?” We asked.

“No, please use them I am leaving soon,” she spoke gently. She looked so calm and comfortable looking at her mobile phone. She was going to meet a friend she explained. Her white hair was cut short but fell loosely over her rosy cheeked smiling face. We soon got talking and she told me that her husband had died last year and that she was wondering whether to move house. She lived in a beautiful expensive bungalow, but it was too big for her now. And she told me that it used to have views of the golf course on one side and views over the fields on the other. Now there was a new building estate with much needed houses. But they limited her views and a rich person had bought several of them and now they are holiday lets. With lots of comings and goings her home was not the same, but would a new house be free of problems? Probably not.

“There is no easy answer, it’s not the money it’s the quality of life,” she smiled as she went off for the day with her friend.

I am comparing the money with the quality of life when I look at the smart meter readout in my kitchen. Should I keep the electric heater on and enjoy the warmth or switch it off and stop the numbers flashing up (and my money going down) at an alarming rate?

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)

I like the little collared dove at the bird table but if a wood pigeon came maybe I would not like it as much.


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