Today has been a bird day.
That is, a day creating more little feathered friends to fly around the nursery of my newest grandchild,
who is due to put in an appearance in not so very many weeks now. Regular readers will remember that the Middle of the Darling Daughters (otherwise known as The Mother-To-Be) has decided that, rather than buying one of the many mobiles which can be found
in every baby shop, she wants Little Champ to have a Wholly Original Version. It will come complete with knitted birds flying here, there and everywhere among the clouds she has painted on the nursery ceiling.
We have called in help from other Nifty Knitters – including my youngest grand-daughter, Eleanor, who has been charged with making a Bluebird of Happiness. Her mother, the Eldest of the Darling Daughters, is not
overwhelmed with enthusiasm at this clever piece of delegation on my part. Eleanor is a brilliant knitter but still at the stage when a dropped stitch, or a sudden, inexplicable escalation of stitches on the needle, or a slightly difficult knitting instruction
requires a bit of help. Anyone who has ever taught a littl’un to knit will recall that anguished and oft-repeated cry: “I’ve dropped one!” Dropping one – and picking it up - is an important part of the learning process
when it comes to knitting. In my absence, of course, any help Eleanor requires will have to come from her poor mum who does, it is true, have plenty of other calls upon her time...
The Middle of the Darling Daughters has specifically asked me to knit a blackbird as this is one of her favourite birds. My only concern is that a blackbird is, well, black. Not a particularly baby-friendly colour, you may
think. Funnily enough we had a similar conversation in a baby shop last week which was selling toy London cabs – in green. Little Champ’s Dad has almost completed “the knowledge” – that fiendishly difficult test which every London
cabbie has to pass before being allowed to transport anyone from Victoria Station to the Tower of London. What better toy for his son? “Do you have it in black?” my daughter asked the shop assistant who looked at her as if she was slightly
batty. Only in green, was the answer. “I’d just prefer it in black,” my daughter explained, but: “I don’t think the baby would,” retorted the shop assistant.
So I needed to inject a little colour into my blackbird and I’m really quite pleased with the result. With the help of my RSPB “Handbook of British Birds” I discovered that, as well as their bright
yellow beak, blackbirds also have a yellow surround to their eyes. The addition of the yellow has cheered my blackbird up mightily. His eyes do look as if they are bulging a bit and he does have a somewhat over-sized beak – but he is now fit to
fly across the nursery ceiling with the other, more colourful, birds including Eleanor’s Bluebird of Happiness.
Amazingly, just as I was writing today’s
blog, who should text me but Eleanor, asking me about the knitting pattern. How spooky is that? But then perhaps it’s not so very strange - Eleanor and I are currently the top scorers on a Wii game which involves reading each other’s thoughts.
What happens is that you each have to answer a series of questions and then compare how many of your answers match. The questions are always challenging ones for me such as: “Which would you enjoy most: a bungee jump, a parachute jump, or a ride
on a big dipper?” Faced with such a dilemma I always click on the first answer, leaving my young partner to giggle: “Really, Nanni, a bungee jump?”
Go tell it to the birds...