It's that time of year


It is that time of year again. Why do we do it? I went round to have a coffee with my friend to find that she was in the middle of her scheduled spring clean.

“Now the sun is getting stronger you can see all the dust,” she said. And so, we chatted whilst cupboards were turned out and surfaces were cleared and sprayed. I felt quite exhausted when I arrived home far too tired to work on our house. Perhaps another day?

You might be excused for thinking the blackbird is spring cleaning our drive, picking up bits of moss and hay, but of course she is not, she is carrying pieces in her beak to build a nest in our old honeysuckle.

The ‘vicar’ blackbird has a nest on the other side of the house. She is the one with a white feather collar round her neck making her look as if she is a vicar. She has built a nest just under our kitchen window. Every time I go outside, I can see her sitting tight on the blue speckled eggs. She can watch our comings and goings from where she sits keeping the eggs warm for 24 hours a day, leaving only occasionally. She will hear us in our kitchen and at night when all is quiet in the early hours of the morning, she will hear our dishwasher come on taking advantage of our low-price night-time electricity. But nothing is putting her off from her vigil. All is going to plan.

The robins in the potting shed are doing well too and are ahead of the blackbirds’ schedule as they are already feeding their nestlings. They chose to nest in one of the empty baskets on a shelf in the shed and I have found out which one. It is a plastic basket which used to hold water lilies, it is made of a mesh and if I creep up closely, I can see four little eyes peeping through staring back at me. Judging by their feathers their lives will soon change dramatically and they will have to fend for themselves.

Some women have found that their lives have changed drastically too. They are the WASPIs. Women against state pension inequality.

“I never thought my life would be like this,” she said as she ordered tablets at the chemist, I could not help hearing her date of birth, 1953.

“I thought I would be healthy forever when I was at work. I had to keep going longer than I thought.” She looked worried. I wonder if she was a WASPI and her pension arrived much later than she had planned.

(Taken from my columns Talking Point with Vicky Turrell in the Shropshire Star)

The blackbird nesting under my kitchen window is sitting tight.


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