Monday, 14 January 2013

Bird and snow watching.

Let's just get this out the way shall we; I hate snow. There is literally no reason for us to have it. Rain and sun serve a purpose - all forms of life rely on them for food and growth. But snow? Absolutely pointless, we don't need to have it at all. Looks lovely out the window and on Christmas cards, but actually being out in it is rubbish. I am much too busy concentrating on not doing the 'skid, straighten up and sly-look-around to see if anyone saw' dance to donate so much as a second to enjoying it. It also brings out the extreme mard-arse in me; I wish I could enjoy getting smacked in the chops with a lump of ice all in the name of 'fun', frostbitten fingers and earache, but I've tried and I just can't.

And, it would appear, The Boychild has pretty strong feelings about the cold white stuff too. While mine is a simple preference of being warm, dry and comfortable over being cold, wet and miserable, his is a sheer terror which seems to have come from nowhere. Along with loud noises, flies, bees, spiders, fireworks and the rag and bone man, snow has joined the seemingly endless list of things he is scared of. I knew we were in for a bit of trouble when he wouldn't walk over the grass this mornng to get in the car. And my patience was wearing a bit thin when he whinged all the way to pre-school because he wanted carrying. (He was wearing snowboots and squeezing the bejesus out of my hand - there was no way that boy was falling unless I went first and took him with me).

But when I went to fetch him at home time, we had a full on melt-down before we'd even left the building. After ten minutes of him standing in the middle of the path (which, incidentally was clear because the snow had pretty much melted) screaming and generally in a state of hysteria, the last shred of my sanity went with the 15th comment of  "Big dafty doesn't like the snow much haha!"to gawping onlookers. We'd gone way past the point where gentle cajoling and reasoning with him was going to make a difference, so I did what any responsible parent would do; I bent down and hissed at him through gritted teeth "You've got two choices - you either wind your neck in and get walking, or I leave you here". He reluctantly chose to walk and scream, which I suppose was progress of sorts.

So yes, I'm hoping to wake up in the morning and find it all gone. Probably not as much as Boyface is though! Changing the subject slightly, I saw an advert today for the RSPB. They're having a campaign - The Big Garden Birdwatch - whereby they ask the public to spend an hour looking at all the birds in their gardens, and let them know what we see. This proper tickled me. Because not only am I useless at telling my swans from my budgies (well, maybe not quite that bad), birds don't survive long in our garden. A few years ago we had a rabbit, Stephen, who used to chase birds if they landed on the lawn. We once watched aghast as he charged at a magpie and pulled out one of it's tail feathers. He also used to chase the cats and try to pee on them, but that's another story. And with four cats, the only birds we're likely to see in the vicinity are dead ones. I did think about doing the RSPB thing, and sending back my results which would have looked something like this: 9.40am - small headless corpse (defeathered) seen under the trampoline. Breed - a brown one. 3.15pm - foot found next to the back fence. Breed - parrot? Possibly goose.

On second thoughts, this Ornithology lark could make quite an interesting hobby. Until I get a polite email request from the RSPB asking me for information on live birds seen and to stop sending them pictures and descriptions of dead ones! I'm probably better off sticking to my colouring books and daytime tv..

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