Jaqui's Daily Blog

My Warbling Friend and a Memorable Photograph

I am striding (sort of) purposefully along the road on my way to post my daily letter to Mr B. It is snowing in a wet kind of way, so I am singing the Poor Robin Song to myself - thankfully everybody else is sensibly staying indoors by their respective fire-sides so there is no one to hear me warbling tunelessly:


“The North wind doth blow / and we shall have snow / and what will poor robin do then (poor thing?)/ He’ll sleep in a barn / to keep himself warm / and hide his head under his wing (poor thing!” )


I sing it with great pathos, in my humble opinion, looking up into the bushes as I pass to see if I might be able to spot Poor Robin, whether with hidden head under his wing or not, as the case may be. Then I spot, there in the bushes, a true warbler, one to put my less than tuneful efforts to shame - it’s a beautiful blackcap, seemingly untroubled by the falling snowflakes. Yet another feathered friend I can add to my list of birds that do what it says on the tin. Like the woodpecker, the turnstone, the blackbird. 


Oh, dear, I am repeating myself, I have mentioned all this in a previous blog, not so very long ago either. That is the trouble with this Third Lockdown - we all keep repeating ourselves, mostly out of necessity because it’s getting harder and harder to try something new. Well, that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it..


I say a fond farewell to the blackcap and carry on my way, trying unsuccessfully to warble more sweetly than before. I’m already more than halfway to the nursing home where Mr B is, at this very moment, planning his escape which could be as early as tomorrow, given a fair wind and a bit of help from the Powers That Be. Should all turn out well tomorrow, then this might even be my last daily letter.


Writing the letters and walking to deliver them not only satisfies Fergie the Fitbit’s insatiable demand for steps, it also lends a much-needed structure to my day. It isn’t always easy to find much to write about, given that I’ve usually told Mr B anything particularly newsworthy over the telephone. I take up whole paragraphs writing about sport, would you believe - Footie, cricket, rugby, whatever - you can tell I’m desperate. 


My secret weapon is the daily photographs. Every day I copy and paste a couple of photos which I think will either (i) amuse him or (ii) remind him of happy days in the past. Let’s face it, a picture is worth a thousand words. So somebody much cleverer than I once said.


One of today’s photographs is especially poignant and might be puzzling to some. It shows a very young Mr B aged, I calculate, 26 years old - and with hair, too. He is cuddling the three Darling Daughters who all seem to be wearing name badges. What, you may ask, is that all about? I mean, we only had three children at that stage, could it really have been so difficult to remember which was which?


I can, however, shed light on the whole name badge issue. The photograph was taken on the Eldest of the Darling Daughters’ fourth birthday in October 1970,  hence name badges for all the guests. The birthday girl and her younger sister are wearing the dresses I bought them from good old C & A for the Youngest of the Darling Daughters christening in August. I loved those dresses, despite the fact that The Foursome take pleasure in deploring the clothes in which I dressed them. 


In between the two celebrations - the christening and the birthday - the youngest of the tribe had been taken into hospital seriously ill with croup, so the sight of her sitting so proudly, centre stage, on her father’s (somewhat crowded) lap brings a lump to my throat just remembering and being thankful for the way everything turned out. 


One photograph - so many memories...

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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