It's the first Monday in the month which means my Birdy Group is reconvening for our first meet-up of 2015. While I am still feeling a trifle "crook" (aka "proper poorly") I reason that a bracing walk along the sea-shore
will chase away the cobwebs and clear my aching head. Plus I never did like missing out on anything and the Birdy Group is combining this month's walk with a post-Christmas lunch. I am, as regular readers know, Always Thinking About My Stomach.
Mr B thinks I am quite, quite mad but knows better than to put obstacles in the way of a determined woman wearing binoculars round her neck in anticipation of all the feathered friends I will see on the water's edge.
The Lovely Linda picks me up in her car and we set off for The Bluebird Cafe where we are to gather.
Originally we were going to meet at the orange boat and walk to the cafe but a study of logistics makes
it clear that, given a ten o'clock start, we will arrive at the cafe far too early for lunch. Even more importantly, not many of us - including our leader - know exactly where this orange boat is. It therefore seems sensible to set off from the cafe and walk
eastwards along the beach until we happen across - yes, indeed, you are there before me - an orange boat.
We welcome a new member to the group, I shall call him Jolly Roger. He tried to join last month's meet-up
at Pulborough Brooks but somehow managed to link up with a completely different group instead. As a result he found himself tagging along on a hard-core, five mile trek - rather than the gentle amble which characterises our Birdy Group walks. It is to his
credit that he tried again today and describes his unfortunate error with admirable jollity, hence my name for him. When I introduce myself to him he says, worryingly: "Of course, I know who you are!" Unfortunately he did not go on to explain how or why he
knows who I am. Clearly I am notorious for some reason or another. I shall have to keep a careful eye on Jolly Roger...
Everyone has news to share about their Christmas festivities and everyone (apart from
Jolly Roger, who can be excused, being new) wanted to know all about Tala and Lilia, the newest members of my family. Such pretty names! they comment. What an excellent weight for twins! they say, admiringly. Fancy not needing any special care, despite being
born so early and so small! I accept these comments like any proud Nanni, despite the fact that none of these compliments can be justifiably laid at my door.
We watch the sanderlings and an oyster catcher
on the sea-edge and I start to feel the chill circling, so I wrap my scarf around my head and tie it under my chin. I appreciate that I doubtless look a Right Sight but the birds aren't likely to bother. Brave Pam is wearing a really neat little cap which
covers her head and ears. I ask her where she bought it - but the answer is in Norway which might just be a shopping trip too far for Mr B. I used to call her Little Pam but since she lost her husband a couple of months ago, she has surprised us all with her
positive attitude to life. Brave Pam she shall be, from now on.
Three quarters of an hour later we find the orange boat, abandoned on the beach. It doesn't look as if it is going anywhere in a hurry
so we all concede that it is a good landmark. It is extremely orange, for a start, and it is definitely a boat. Next time we will all know where to come when we are told to meet at "the orange boat." Long may it remain there, on the beach, in all its orangeness.
We are missing a few people - I am sure you are wondering after Tall Margaret for example. I expect she is away on holiday, somewhere hot and exotic. Nevertheless there are twelve of us round the long table in the cafe
enjoying everything that is best about the Birdy Group - the company! The conversation! And, of course, The Birds! However few and far between.
I promise myself that before the next Birdy Group I will knit
myself a warm, woolly hat, loosely based on the ones I knitted The Twins for Christmas. I shall have to use up all the oddments of wool left over from other knitting projects which I have completed over the course of the year. My policeman, two different coloured
reindeer, a dozen Christmas puddings and Frosty the Snowman to name but a few. My hat will certainly be colourful, if nothing else.
I can only hope that it won't scare the birds...