Town Mouse

Greeted by a bird

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

IT was won­der­ful to be ac­costed at the en­trance of a coun­try house this week by a macaw. The bird was so ar­rest­ingly beau­ti­ful that I greeted it al­most re­flex­ively and, to my de­light, re­ceived a rau­cous ‘Hello!’ in re­turn. That evening, the chil­dren wanted to know more than I could tell them about this mar­vel­lous crea­ture and ad­mired its pho­to­graph. An ear­lier, and un­suc­cess­ful, at­tempt to in­ter­est the chil­dren in my ac­tiv­i­ties made this en­thu­si­asm feel par­tic­u­larly grat­i­fy­ing.

As a spec­ta­cle, a great univer­sity col­lege in fes­ti­val mode is hard to ri­val, so it was a de­light to at­tend a feast last week­end, with a com­bi­na­tion of grand ar­chi­tec­ture, seas of peo­ple, the light of flick­er­ing can­dles and co­pi­ous quan­ti­ties of mag­nif­i­cent wine and food. Par­tic­u­larly strik­ing on this oc­ca­sion was the mu­sic pro­vided by the col­lege choir, both Even­song in the chapel and the graces sung from the mu­si­cians’ gallery of the great hall.

Re­turn­ing home, I felt com­pelled to try to describe some­thing of the oc­ca­sion to the chil­dren. They looked bored, so I pro­duced a pho­to­graph of me dressed in evening fin­ery. After con­tem­plat­ing it for a mo­ment, one lost in­ter­est en­tirely. The other asked dis­ap­prov­ingly where I’d got the silly clothes from. JG

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