The things we need

We arrived home to deadly silence in our wildlife garden. It was like a ghost garden. There were no blackbirds foraging on the lawn, no robins in the bird pool and no blue tits searching for caterpillars. All was quiet and deserted. What could have happened?

I quickly found out that the nest under our kitchen window was empty. Two days ago, it was full of small nestlings and the ‘vicar’ blackbird with a white collar and its mate were going backwards and forwards with worms. Then I heard the cackle of the magpie and I knew that it had raided the blackbird nest to feed its own young up above in our Scots pine tree.

Now, after a few hours the garden is back to normal and the blackbird is picking up dried grass to have another go at nesting in a safer place. Then. when I was putting the washing out a robin sat on the line to keep me company, before going off to pluck our door matting to build a new nest. It looked as if she had a moustache as she held the strands horizontally in her beak.

The birds scout around for the things they need but I go online. I have still not really gone back to the high street after COVID. It is so easy to sit at home and shop, but do you ever put things in your ‘basket’ and then not bother to buy? I know I do, and another thing is that sometimes I cannot be bothered to return an item if it is no good. Some trousers came the other day and they were too tight but to return them was quite a performance. I had to go online, find the returns information, fill in the form, print the label then parcel it up and stick the address on. Then I had to go to a shop in town that would take it back. Once, a firm gave me a refund and said that I did not need to return my goods.

So, some firms are finding it too much hassle for us to return items and we are only too pleased not to have to do this. What a waste. I took my non-returnable top to a charity shop, so I suppose someone benefited from this new practice.

All this buying on-line means that some of us never have cash. I sold my books at a Craft Fair recently and one customer wanted to buy but had to go round her friends to borrow the money. And what about car parking? I just hope the machines will accept card payment, but not all do.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star) 

Selling my books at a craft fair, not everyone carries cash these days.


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