Town Mouse

The birds, the birds

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

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

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