Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Wild Life and Death

We found a fledgling in the garden on Saturday afternoon. A starling, lying on his side, very still. He tried to escape when we approached, but it was fairly half-hearted. When he was in full sun we moved him gently into the shade. When there was still no sign of his parents and there was no shade left, we scooped him up into a box and took him indoors. Youngest spent the rest of the afternoon and evening getting water and soggy bread into him. We did not expect him to last the night. There were tears.

On Sunday he ate little bits of hamburger and got stronger. He spread his wings, he stood up very briefly, he went round and round in circles on his side. And he chirped. But we did not expect him to last the night. She was braver.
A school day, so Husband and I spent the morning feeding him raw mince. We were rewarded by much more chirping. I rang a local animal sanctuary, the vet and the RSPCA. We now know we should have used mashed hardboiled egg and bread is not a good idea for young birds. According to the animal sanctuary the vet must look at wild animals for free. According to the vet you should call the RSPCA to get a log number so that they can be paid. And the RSPCA will log your creature and send you to the vet, but would like you to sign up as a member. I’m afraid I only promised a donation.
The vet himself was sympathetic and complimentary of the care given, but on closer inspection found that the ‘poor little chap’ had a claw wound in the side of his head. We thought he had fallen from a nest on the roof of our house, but it seems he had fledged but got caught by one of the local cats. The vet felt that he might live, but he could never be a self sufficient starling. A lethal injection was administered. A quiet death and he had had some comfort, not a brutal end alone. I don’t think a cat counts as a natural predator. I don’t like it when the sparrow hawks pinch a sparrow from under our noses, but I’m very excited to see them!

The garden is full of wildlife at the moment. There are birds everywhere. The nests we know about include the starlings, some blue tits in a nest box in the pyracantha and ‘our’ house martins are at home. Last week we were playing spot the frog, this weekend there were half a dozen in the pond. The tulips are over, but the lilac, irises and aquilegia are in full bloom and the roses are covered in buds. Life goes on.

Thursday, 13 May 2010


Looks like they’re going to try and play nicely after all. I don’t suppose the media will help that last.

Yesterday Husband and I went shopping. Five years ago, when it became clear he needed civilian shirts and suitable attire for dress down Fridays in his then job, we went shopping for chinos, cords and stripy shirts. This time we bought jeans and casual trousers suitable for being a current student and a future student teacher. Of course we still needed stripy shirts and a tie or two that doesn’t have military meaning. (Army officers can find one another even out of uniform!) As Husband wisely remarked, and with some relief, we won’t need to go shopping again for another five years.

The apple blossom looks promising for a bumper crop - and pretty too.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Play nicely?

What I feel they need is a Mummy to bang their heads together!
The election has been notable for its lack of women, and the resultant ‘our party’s better than yours’ seems to be the inevitable consequence. Where are those compromising women to pour oil on troubled waters? The electorate may have got what it wished for, a hung parliament, but they can’t have understood that would mean this ridiculous muddle surely? And having made us think we were indeed electing a leader for the country the politicians are now going to look madder than ever if we end up with someone who didn’t take part in the leadership debates. I know that, constitutionally, it’s perfectly normal for the MPs to decide on their leader, but that won’t stop it seeming like the PM is ‘unelected’, as indeed the present incumbent knows to his cost!
I seem to be glued to Radio 4 even more closely than usual.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Vote now!

She has gone. Youngest is exhausted from the constant company, but they have had fun together. They got a lot of practice of vocabulary playing Uno using a Duplo train set to pass the cards! Lots of giggles. They enjoyed one another’s company, but there is no let up, no space. Youngest missed her chill out time prostrate in front of the TV scoffing yoghurt or biscuits between meals.

And I have a new friend with whom it has been fun exercising my school-girl French via e-mail. Nuance is a very tricky thing, and translation via a dictionary isn’t always what you meant to say! We are working on exchanging our big girls once they’re through their exams…

I have always voted. I don’t take my vote for granted! Women went through hell to get the vote for me, and I shouldn’t waste it. But what if it is wasted?
It seems that we are being asked to vote for who we’d like to be Prime Minister, not which party we’d like to be in charge. I fear we’ve got what we deserve: none of the political classes can say anything from the heart. It might be right, it might be wrong, but it will still be news and they’re bound to offend someone whatever they say. If they’re not spinning for themselves, they’re being spun by the opposition or the media.
Tomorrow will be interesting! I wonder if anyone will win?
I have performed my civic duty: I've voted anyway.