Pat says that the pigeons in our back garden are just about the fattest she has ever seen.
Everyone looks up from studying their cards (yes, it's Nomination Whist afternoon
at our place) to gaze upon my pigeons. Is it my fault, I wonder, for "giving Nature a home" (to quote the RSPB) and so contributing to a Pigeon Obesity Epidemic? Or is it the pigeons' fault for snaffling the delicacies I have presented in a bid to attract
smaller, thinner, more needy feathered friends? It's a similar argument I regularly have with myself over Mr B's diet - however carefully I prepare what his dietician describes as his Healthy Plate, the more he is drawn, inexorably, to the biscuit tin.
In order to draw attention away from Mr and Mrs Portly Pigeon, I tell my card-playing friends of Tala's latest exploit. Tala, as regular readers will know, is the older of The Twinkles by about one minute. One day, I
can safely forecast, that single minute will mean a great deal to The Twinkles as they debate seniority in the way siblings always do. Tala's latest learning experiment is to repeatedly roll her tights down to her ankles - then to wonder why she falls over.
Everyone round the card table is captivated at the picture. My pigeons, fat as they undoubtedly are, pass from mind.
Later I walk up the road to deliver the U3A (University of the Third Age) newsletters. I
am one of a small army of around 40 volunteers who deliver the newsletter to members who do not have access to a computer. It's not an onerous task - I only have five addresses on my delivery list - and it gets me out into the sunshine. I take a slightly longer
route than is strictly necessary so that I can check on two particularly magnificent magnolia trees blossoming in neighbouring roads.
At the same time I notice that none of the refuse bins put out for collection
along our street appears to be full to overflowing. This despite the fact that our weekly collection has rolled on two days on account of the two Bank Holidays we have just enjoyed. Our bin, by comparison, is uncomfortably full, much like the over-stuffed
pigeons in the back garden. Even worse, the recycling bin, which won't be collected till next week, is already full. Easter Egg packaging has a lot to answer for.
At least I won't forget our bin, despite its
new collection day. I have written a post-it note and stuck it on the banister where I can't avoid seeing it. This is proof, if proof were needed, that I have officially turned into Mr B. When I point this out to him he chuckles and says: "You know it makes
A little gaggle of folk are chatting away and laughing merrily just ahead of me. They all appear to be what might politely be described as senior citizens - those who have, in Young Faris's opinion,
reached A Great Age. How fine a thing it is to be free from the confines of work so that there's time to stand out in the street, chatting, joking, laughing. Just watching them brings a smile to my lips. I hasten my footsteps in order to do a little gentle
eavesdropping - but as I approach they break ranks and head off into their respective gardens,still laughing.
I'm not too upset because a little further along the road is a small group of youngsters in high-vis
jackets who appear to be in the process of being introduced to the fundamentals of true Cycling Proficiency Test. It must be early days as they only have one bicycle between them, which means they have to take turns at demonstrating their shaky arm signals.
I slow down on my way to Number 23 so that I can watch their progress though I'm careful not to linger. I wouldn't want to put anyone off their signalling.
any case, as I turn into the next road, there's a learner driver practising reversing round a corner. It took me ages to master that manoeuvre in those far-off days when I was the proud possessor of a provisional driving licence and an L plate. Ask me to execute
a three point turn and my performance would be Practically Perfect. Ask me to parallel park...Oh, well, no, please don't. I will still, even now, drive hundreds of yards to an easier parking space rather than try to parallel park.
You may be thinking that, as Daily Blogs go, today's effort is what my dear Mum would have called Something and Nothing. I will say, in my defence, that there is always something to write about, even when nothing is actually happening.
I have checked on the magnolias and they are truly magnificent. I have been reminded that our rubbish will be collected tomorrow and that retirement is a recipe for chat and laughter. Tala the Twinkle is learning the
Rules of Physics. I have reflected on how good it is that the roads in our neighbourhood are quiet enough for young'uns to become proficient on two wheels and for adults on four wheels to reverse round corners for no good reason.
And yes, the pigeons in our back garden are, indeed, somewhat portly.
Life's rich tapestry, spread out before you in the Daily Blog. I'll try to do better tomorrow...