There is no doubt about it - members of the Birdy Group, gathering for our February ramble through the woodlands of The Dover are a stylish lot when it comes to headgear.
the new member, Basil, and I let the side down with our plain black woolly numbers pulled well down over our ears. Basil thinks this is nothing to be ashamed of, but I do rather hanker after a more exotic and colourful creation, perhaps with a bobble or two
on top, or knitted pigtails hanging down either side of my face. I have looked around for something fittingly attractive but have yet to find the ideal hat. The way I'm going I'll find the Perfect Headgear come April when the weather warms up making a hat
- of the woolly variety - unnecessary.
I know what you are thinking - why don't I knit myself one? After all, I've knitted all kinds of unusual items. Two Fireman Sams, four ballerinas, two nurses, one policeman,
and several Minions thrown in for good measure. At the moment, however, my knitting needles are fully occupied producing a footballer for The Rascal's birthday. He (the knitted footballer) will need to wear the kit of Mighty Kickers which is not quite so straightforward
as I might have hoped but, hey, I like a challenge. Especially one involving balls of wool.
For some inexplicable reason I keep thinking that Basil's name is Nigel. This is worrying in that it's not unusual
as Tim Jones might say / sing. Take my long-suffering friend Andrew - or Alan as I persist in addressing him. Many's the time I have apologised profusely for mis-naming him, only to start my very next email to him: "Dear Alan..." I have told him that he is
welcome to call me Julie, or Jane, or Joanna if it makes him feel any better but he is far too polite.
I'm not sure which is worse - to forget someone's name altogether or to call him or her by another name.
Let's face it, names are important, aren't they, because they are who we are, in a manner of speaking. In order to ensure that I don't slip into calling Basil Nigel, I fix in my mind the Truly Wonderful Prunella Scales in Fawlty Towers, declaiming "Bas-il!"
every time John Cleese tried to escape her wifely attentions.
Today's Birdy Walk is most successful in terms of birds spotted. Not necessarily spotted by Yours Truly, I have to admit, as I never seem to be
able to train my binoculars on the precise branch, twig, blade of grass on which the Feathered Ones are perching. I suspect the truth is that it's not my binoculars which need training...But, oh, the catkins cascading from the trees along our pathway like
golden rain. So beautiful they are, with their message that Spring Is On Its Way. They quite made my day.
A small tribe of toddlers cross our path and head into the trees on their own Woodland Walk. Now their
hats really are quite special. Not a single boringly black woolly number among them - one Littl'un is even wearing a dinosaur hat which would be the envy of My Rascal.
"I wonder where they're off to?" I ponder.
Basil says, wherever it is, he hopes it's not where we are going.
Our leader, the Lovely Linda, follows up our splendid morning with an email listing all the birds we spotted. Great tits, blue tits, long-tailed
tits, coal tits, chaffinches, robins, blackbirds, a pheasant, goldcrests, a wren, a tree creeper, thrushes, magpies, pigeons, a sparrow hawk and a buzzard. Didn't we do well?'
Hats off to the Birdy Group!