Winterwatch MadnessJanuary 19, 2013
I had a chat with my friend James on Sunday night and he suggested the Kinks, Madness or the Clash. Then I thought how on earth haven’t I done the Clash? I used to see them all the time from the earliest of punk rock days and as a live band they were pretty unbeatable. Lots of great titles, too many for a four day stint, so I thought, okay Madness, but only the singles. For me they were a great singles band, a bit more my sister than me at the time, but with the benefit of hindsight they bashed out some classic pop. So here’s how it went . . .
I was straight into Baggy Trousers off the opening of programme one as I was indeed wearing a pair. It was damned cold so no excuses needed there. Then a Beaver kit fell through the ice, well, what an Embarrassment. It was clumsy I know but when I saw that Ptarmigan on the treadmill I grabbed desperately for Jonny the Horse. When the make over of the mammal Stump required tenders from Frank Gehry and Richard Rogers they were Yesterday’s Men and going out on a Grey Day shouldn’t be avoided when you have vast flocks of Knot to admire. Blackcaps were never seen around Our House when I was a kid because they were all in Iberia and North West Africa for the winter in those days.
Sugar and Spice were offer to the Red Squirrels in the first of our feeding trials in the form of raisins and powder down can be found on the Wings of a Dove, most often seen when they have crashed into your patio windows. I was Driving in my Car when a flurry of Snow Buntings flew over it on the north Norfolk coast once (true – car park at Cley) and I was going One Step Beyond for the next rodent ingenuity test . . . (I was a bit annoyed because I had chances for The Harder they Come and The Sun and the Rain but couldn’t quite squeeze them into the conversation).
I’d been to stay with my Uncle Sam in NW5 and he had foxes in his local cemetery (not true!) and all those squirrels were swinging around like Tarzans. Nuts are what they should be worrying about was a sentence-splitter to introduce the second of our nutty feeding experiments and I was Lovestruck when I encountered the superb Long-tailed Duck. (Again I was disappointed to have narrowly missed getting Shut Up in. It just came to mind as I finished speaking. Damn).
This meant I’d scored a six and two fours . . . not very good I’m afraid. Things had been a bit hectic, lots of talking in my ear, you know programme notes and directions interrupting my essential train of thought! Anyway on the last night I was determined to try harder so I got off to a quick Cardiac Arrest on account of that delicious Long-tailed drake and then a Pine Marten set off into the dark to catch the Night Boat to Cairo. Sorry. Pigeons were birds steeped in Shame and Scandal and Micheala surely was My Girl when she got into WW2 history telling us about animal VC’s. The cheeky Squirrels were thinking that Tomorrow’s Just Another Day before their final dietary assault course and then one whirled around like a Dust Devil whilst chasing its rival. Weasel means fart in old English and in the words of Michael Caine ‘not a lot of people know that’. Then I’m pretty sure I messed up the finale of It Must be Love when baby Beavers cuddle up to stay warm. I was listening to two people telling two things at the same time and trying to spontaneously comment on large rodent survival strategies. But it’s not an excuse.
So a paltry twenty one or twenty two. With a plethora of near misses. Oh dear, must be losing my touch, mind you return of the Los Palmos Seven was going to be a toughie.