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The music room was one of my favourite reads of last year - I literally could not put it down and had to send my OH because I could not bear to have anyone in the house creating anything that would distract me from concentrating on the wonderful writing and story.

Dark Puss

I know well your avian dislike, though I hadn't appreciated before that it extended to static pictures. I'm just sorry you can't enjoy one of the glories of the natural world. Presumably you rapidly skated over "my" Osprey on Morgana's Cat.

Dark Puss

Reading Tom Stoppard's article makes me think two things:

1) Please provide the evidence.
2) It sounds much like what people said about television, radio, newspapers, movable-type printing, paper etc.

I'd never get away with writing an article like that without providing some support for the argument. When I was young, no doubt my obsession with Lego was a major distraction from reading as was gardening, hill-walking and listening to the John Peel show. For my father, one of the best read people I have ever known, cycling and natural history kept him away from his books for a large part of his free time as a child in the 1920's and 30's.

Go on bash the kids! Find a new demon to throw coconuts at! Grrrrr.


I don't mind them at a distance (pictures or the real thing), it's close-ups which I find very off-putting.

adele geras

Well, Cornflower, there's a very good Hitchcock movie I can heartily recommend!!! I too am not keen on birds indoors. One tiny little thing came into our larder, years ago and I had to run and fetch a neighbour to help escort it out of my kitchen...Oh dear!


I do sympathise, having spent the weekend flinching from vicious looking seagulls. There's a nest on a neighbour's chimney and people were cowering!

Mr Cornflower

If seagulls were very rare we'd think them startlingly beautiful or at least very odd-looking birds.

Dark Puss

I do think they are beautiful! And the Jay is fabulously exotic and much under appreciated just because it is "common".


I'd just sooner admire them from a distance; it's the swooping that unnerves me!

Simon T

I didn't know about your phobia, Karen - must be tricky as it's not catered for, as it were! I'm very arachnophobic (don't like typing that word, for instance) and have had to ask my housemate to cut a cartoon picture off the back of a book for me, because I couldn't hold it otherwise... this overcame my dislike of mutilating books!

Simon T

Oh, and more to the point... I've been thinking about reading this for ages!

Julie Fredericksen

I don't mind large birds, but pix of snakes - nooo! I taped the snake pages together in the "S" encyclopedia when I was a kid. I had an Australian blogger friend who used to post pix of snakes all the time. I told her she had to give a "Snake Warning" at the top of the blog. What an unpleasant surprise.


Have you read Barbara Pym's Excellent Women, Cornflower? You'd enjoy Everard Bone's mother who believes birds are out to get us & eats as many as possible. Mildred Lathbury goes to dinner & Mrs Bone shows her newspaper clippings about owls biting people & a swan knocking a girl off her bike. " 'The Dominion of the Birds,' she went on. 'I very much fear it may come to that.'"


I haven't read it, Lyn, but thankyou - I should remedy that!

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