Strange happenings around here, of late, I’ve become slightly obsessed with the birds in our garden. I’ve never been a Bird Book kind of girl but yesterday I found myself googling ‘red chest and head, black and white feathers,’ and came up with finch, either Chaffinch or Bullfinch, I can’t quite decide which. They are pretty cute, this pair of finches, who buzz about together right in the firing line of my desk, gobbling worms and just generally having a gorgeous time.
I told my husband.
‘You know that bird in the garden I thought was a woodpecker? (I’m massively blonde about things like birds and plants, anything beyond robin, dandelion or daisy and I’m flummoxed)well, it isn’t, it’s a finch.’
‘How do you know?”
‘I looked it up. On the RSPB website.”
A slow grin spread across his face.
‘I’ve always wanted you to become a twitcher,’ he said, without a hint of irony.
And I think, now you tell me. I thought you wanted a pill popping raver. Think of all the trouble we could have spared ourselves, if you’d just been a bit more honest over the years.
While we’re on the subject, I decide I might as well tell him about another creeping obsession, we’ll call it ancient artefacts. I was in the V&A to see the Alexander McQueen exhibition (dark, twisted, mindblowing, everything you’ve heard) and I found myself trailing moony-eyed through the glass collection, goggling at 15th century Venetian jugs, gasping at the beauty of a goblet with handles. I'm counting the days til I can get back and check out the medieval carpets. Up until now I’ve always favoured big, ball-busting shows, you know the kind of thing, sharks in tanks, dirty knickers on rumpled beds, a whole roomful of blown up white balloons. Now I’m thinking, a day spent checking out ancient terracotta at the Ashmolean? Heaven.
Anyway the nice thing about this is that we’ve just got ourselves a new uber-cheap kind of hobby. Pack up the binos, brew some tea in a Thermos and let the birdspotting begin.