Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Red-legged League

Thoroughly disreputable shoes!

We've all got a pair of thoroughly disreputable shoes, or slippers, or a cardi, or t-shirt - something. We've all got something like that. Something we've had for years and which is so comfy that it is practically criminal. It's no good washing these things or cleaning them in any way whatsoever. In fact, a good wash would probably  encourage them to fall apart. Everybody wants us to throw them away, of course, but that would be like abandoning a favourite child - it's not happening.

In my case, it is a pair of Kappa trainers which I bought about ten years ago in a sale from Sports Direct at the amazing price of seven or eight quid. They are black leather and, over the years, they have managed to develop a couple of small splits - but comfortable isn't the word. I may get buried in them.

Some people think me being buried is a great idea anyway, with or without the thoroughly disreputable shoes.


I now have a dozen rescued birds, all young ones which have become orphans via one route or another - nests destroyed, abandoned by parents - all manner of reasons. The thing is, I've got them now. I've managed to get seven to the stage where they are all feeding themselves and flying - but not actually going anywhere. They seem to prefer their adopted home, the North Sea Camp Rescue Centre - my bleedin' pigeon loft. I've got half a dozen others, all tiny things which have to be hand-fed three times a day and which are very demanding as soon as they hear a human voice.

One of the older squeakers used to be called "Tbe Cuckoo" - but that's been changed now to "The Gannet", for obvious reasons. It follows me around like a dog, squeaking and trying to shove its head between my fingers. "The Gannet" is perfectly capable of feeding himself but he still prefers to have me feed him. I'd give him a thick ear but he is a member of the gang called the "North Sea Camp Red-legged Hoodies", and it would take a brave man to tackle just one of them - to tackle all of them would take a suicidal idiot.

They all have red rings on their legs for identification purposes, so that I can recognise them once they decide to strike out on their own - and one day, they will.

In fact, it's much like my own position. I have to go to the hostel in the big city again shortly for an overnight stay, but one day I will be able to strike out on my own. The only thing that is different between me and the pigeons is I don't have a red ring around my left leg - well, apart from the ones made by my wellies.

So, it's me for the wide open spaces again. It's not a city I am particularly fond of, but that's probably because I am being compelled to go there. If I went by choice I would probably enjoy the place - it's nice enough. In fact, going there voluntarily might cause me to get to like the place. It could grow on me, like an old pair of Kappa trainers - but I bet it would cost a sight more than seven or eight quid.

The Voice In The Wilderness

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