I do love a trier. I like to think I am one myself. It must be so - as Mr B is (over) fond of saying: I am, indeed, very trying.
Out in the back garden this morning our
resident blackbird was literally jumping up and down. What on earth could he be up to, I asked Mr B. We paused in the eating of our breakfast to pay closer attention to what was going on, out on the lawn. This inspection enabled us to identify the cause of
the blackbird's unusual acrobatics. He was endeavouring to snatch the tiny purple berries hanging from the drooping branches of the Leycesteria bush. Even the lowest of the berries were too high to be reached without a bit of a high jump. Always supposing
you were a blackbird that is.
After a while the blackbird scooted off up the garden. I wondered if he had given up berry-gathering as a bad job but I should have recognised him as a trier. And triers never
give up. In no time at all he was back with reinforcements in the shape of two of his blackbird mates. He demonstrated his high jump technique, after which all three took it in turns to attack the bush. I understand that Leycesteria berries are particularly
juicy but I'm prepared to take this information at face value and to leave them to the birds. After all, they were trying so very hard.
Waiting at the bus stop on my way home from town this afternoon I met
a mum and her little lad who both, in their own ways, were trying hard. It turned out that they had been in town on a shopping trip, buying the youngster's school uniform. At four years old, he will be starting school in September. He must be looking forward
to that, I ventured. For just a fraction of a second an expression of doubt crossed his face before, equally suddenly, it cleared and he asked me, confidently: "Do you want to see my book bag?"
His mum said
she was sure he would be fine - but, she told me, she had butterflies in her stomach just thinking about it. Her son gazed at her in puzzlement. What did she mean about butterflies, he wanted to know, and how exactly did the butterflies get into her stomach?
I could see the conflicting emotions in her face as she tried to come up with a plausible explanation which wouldn't give the game away. It was just an expression, she reassured him cheerfully. Mum smiled at son, son grinned at his mother. They were both trying
so very, very hard.
Tomorrow thousands of young people across the country will have butterflies churning inside them as they await their exam results, due out on Thursday this week. Among them my two eldest
grandchildren, one looking out for her A Level results, the other his AS Level "scores on the doors." It's no fun, the Waiting Game, especially when you feel so much is riding on the results.
Years ago, as
an Assistant Public Relations Officer at Kent County Council, it was my annual task to place articles in the county's newspapers, reassuring students whose grades were disappointing, leaving plans for college and university entrance in tatters, that all was
not lost and setting out the steps they could take to get their dreams back on track. "This isn't the end of the world as you know it," was the unwritten message between every line of my News Releases. It's easy to say, if you're not the students in the pickle.
What I really wanted to say but didn't, of course, was: "Just so long as you tried your best.."
I am confident that my two will do just fine. I know for a fact that
they both worked extremely hard hard and tried their very best so I am not in the least worried about them. I will, nevertheless, keep my fingers crossed for them and their friends.
Is that the flutter of
butterflies I can feel? If so, I am trying to ignore it...