The birds, the birds
BIRDSONG has been following me around of late, a soft but insistent chirruping blended with exotic whoops and warbles. It has erupted unexpectedly in a busy train carriage, as I walked into a church and in a library. The noise comes not from a new pet, but my mobile phone. Somehow, the children have managed to turn on a ‘well-being’ feature that’s meant to monitor my sleep patterns and it finds voice in birdsong.
At first, I was amused, but these recurrent outbursts have lost their charm. That’s because, although I can immediately choke off the noise, it seems impossible permanently to turn off the feature. The children have offered to do it for me, but I’m reluctant to accept their offer, not least because it will prove beyond doubt that technological competence in the house has shifted down a generation. It’s a point I can’t concede—yet.
Meanwhile, birds have otherwise haunted my week. The postbag suggests an outpouring of sympathy for the children of Town Mouse being unnecessarily denied pheasant in London (Letters, page 38). Well, my soft-hearted readers, rest assured that, last weekend, through my wife’s labours, they ate their fill. Their judgement? Apparently, it was ‘really quite okay’. JG