03 August 2013


I think I’m turning into a bird lady! Yesterday I had a conversation with the robin. Well, not an actual conversation, more like coaxing words used to put him at ease. As I’ve written before, robin follows me when I go down the garden to top up the feeders. He seemed extra brave this time, coming nearer and not flying off when I made a sudden move. I held out a handful of seed, letting one or two slip through the fingers onto the floor, all the time inviting him to take a seed or two from my hand. He didn’t, of course, but at least he didn’t fly away. I guess this is something I have to do on a daily basis before he learns to trust me.
My current grouse is perforated toilet rolls that are only half done, when tearing off a square ends up as several bits of torn paper. I scream inwardly every time it happens. I have been through all the big name toilet roll producers and find they’re all the same. The first roll is fine, it lulls us into a false sense of security, but by the time we reach the end of a multi-pack the perforations disappear. Is this the way they make money, I wonder? 

On a recent visit to a friend I commented on the fact that her loo rolls were always perfectly perforation  and enquired which ones she bought. ‘The cheapest’, she said. ‘Tesco’s own.’ That’s probably why I don’t have any luck as we always buy the rumoured best. Note that word BEST... in future I shall refer to them as the WORST.

 When we needed two new light bulbs Joe went to two shops only to find they had both closed down. Note to self: In future try Amazon! And they wonder why our shops are all closing down!
Have you ever inadvertently shoplifted? I did once, years ago, when young son and I were in Kitsbuhl, Austria. It was very hot and we went into a local store to cool down. It was the kind of store that sells everything, and without doubt everything was fascinating enough to buy. From going into the store to shelter from the sun we ended up with baskets full of goodies, from souvenirs to essentials, including a straw sun hat. But the sun hat had a broad brim and wouldn’t fit into a basket so I put it on my head and forgot about it. 

We queued to pay and spent a small fortune but not once did I remember that I had a hat on my head. Even the cashier didn’t cotton on. It wasn’t until much later in the day, when we arrived back at our hotel, that I realised what had happened.

Next day I went back to return it but the shopkeeper didn’t seem unduly concerned. In fact, I think he was surprised! He thanked me for returning it, then looked out of the window and said something like ‘Keep it, you need it.’ I did keep it, for many years, and often made people laugh when admitting I stole it! 

Have a nice day, folks.
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Jenny Woolf said...

I believe robins follow people working on the land because they have figured out somewhere along their evolution, that this is likely to mean that the soil is turned up and there will be WORMS.
I've never noticed the loo roll problem but in general I buy cheapest loo rolls, I mean look what they are used for :)
i too have inadvertently nearly stolen things but not as far as I know actually got out of the shop with them. I was once stopped in WH SMith though for comparing my OWN stapler with the size of staples they sold. I had brought it along specially so I didn't get the wrong size of staples. Don't know what my neighbours though to see me being stopped by this large stern man!

Joseph Daggatt said...

I married a Sun Hat snatcher! Interpol trawls blogs and you may be on the Kitzbuhl wanted list.Keep putting the chain on the porch door!!

Valerie said...

Jenny, I like your opinion on the toilet roll situation.....grins.

Joe, thanks for the reminder. Chain in position. We'd better sneak out the back way in future.

John Bain said...

My friend Elizabeth started with the birds just the same way Valerie and now the robin and blackbird eat from her hand. Try the robin with dried wire worms and I bet he will be eating out of your hand in no time at all.
I have on occasion almost walked out of the shop without paying, unintentionally of course. It is quite worrying. Suppose it happens and they don't believe you?

DeniseinVA said...

That's a funny story about your hat Valerie. I once walked out of the supermarket with a cucumber left in my cart. I had overlooked it when putting groceries up to be paid. I went back inside and was greeted with surprise that I had come back to pay for it. Birding is such fun. Another wonderful read here :)

Brian Miller said...

ha. cool story on your hat...i've been accused of it a few times when i didnt..ha..

ha the loo roll companies considered best need the money to keep adverting so we keep thinking they are the best...smiles.

Valerie said...

John, I'll dry the dried worms with the robin. I usually only get those in winter... don't ask me why!

Denise, I can understand the suspicions - in this day and age no-one would offer to pay.... smiles.

Brian, I thought I was the only one in the world in that position... seems we've all been at it... grins.

Elliot Sampford said...

Some years ago, when living in our previous house, I had a friendly blackbird couple who would follow me closely around the garden. I would talk to them. If I was turning over the soil and found a worm I would toss it to them. They would come as close as 1 metre but no nearer. They always ate the worms. They didn't seem at all keen on slugs though.

To add to your observation on loo rolls it is also annoying when the perforations on the layers of multiply rolls are not aligned.

Rae said...

That toilet roll thing drives me crazy too. Wish I could make friends with the robins. Mine fly off the minute I open my backdoor.

Geraldine said...

I love your posts Val, you never fail to entertain!

Don't get me started on loo rolls LOL. And yes, talking to birds seems perfectly fine to me. When they start to answer though, I'd look out. ;<)

Hugs, G

Geraldine said...

I love your posts Val, you never fail to entertain!

Don't get me started on loo rolls LOL. And yes, talking to birds seems perfectly fine to me. When they start to answer though, I'd look out. ;<)

Hugs, G

Valerie said...

Elliot, the answer to the misaligned perforations is to take the top layer of paper and wind it back. You will be left with one single layer but thereafter the lot should be perfectly aligned.

Valerie said...

Geraldine, you are so kind. Heehee, I haven't heard any birds answering back, but for all I know they could be whispering behind my back.

Valerie said...

Hi Rae, try talking to the robins, get them used to you and your voice. It seems to work.

Montanagirl said...

Ha! I love your stories!