Returning from holidays is always tough. But as we journeyed north we listened on the radio to the growing buzz from the Commonwealth Games – there was no cricket on that day. There is no doubt that Glasgow is thriving under the media attention. Personally I do my best to avoid the city most of the time; too much in the way of bus fumes, parking issues, people and so on. But I suspect that The Urchins may be treated to some city time later this week, before the Games finish, just to experience what all the fuss is about.
Anyway, homecoming. It was a said time indeed. There was carnage in the chicken run to deal with, the fox having called on our last night away. Two survived, and wander happily if somewhat lonesome. We have to try to remember that these birds knew no life other than a tiny cage until a few weeks ago. But it is a great shame that being rescued from the battery cage brought only a short period of freedom for three of them. The Law of Sod meant that we were away from home at the wrong time.
Within an hour of returning home there was a plaintive mewling outside the window. As one we looked out, expectant, hopeful. But it was only the stray, welcoming us back. As yet I expect to see, through the French doors, a plea from a pair of amber eyes; a black & white head cocked to one side. Let me in. But our cat has not returned. Each day I expect to see him squeeze his over-generous belly through the sheep fence and trot in from the field, perhaps with a mouse held tightly in his jaw.
He’s been with us for 14 years, since a kitten, and knows only the quiet and relatively traffic-free roads of the countryside. Having been boarded out with a friend during our absence he went for a wander and didn’t return, not yet anyway. I guess we’ve all seen, or read, The Incredible Journey, and hope doesn’t totally disappear. But to get back here he’d have to find his way over a dozen miles or so of open country, and several very busy roads. Posters are going up; he is ‘chipped’; but the likelihood is he’s fallen victim on a road somewhere. Sadness descends; Urchins occasionally walk the policies calling his name; but they know. He won’t be back. Maybe someone’s taken him in.
And life goes on. There’s some good stuff to read; some of it uplifting, others depressing. On the Games, and leaving aside the fantastic sport, here’s Derek Bateman, putting some pride back where once there was deprivation, and looking to the future.
I’m minded that the teams competing, this Commonwealth we have, are largely all nations that once were shackled to London, and now are able to manage their own affairs.
Try to remember that when you get worked up at the way the BBC seem to have hi-jacked the coverage. The event is put on by Glasgow, and by Scotland, with no financial support from Westminster; not a penny. It is a Scottish event, but the local broadcaster resources seem to have been side-lined, for reasons beyond my ken.
Ah the BBC. While we’re on that subject here’s the latest stooshie over massaged figures,
Rev Stu also highlighted a real horror tale, an old soldier, dead with an empty stomach, £3.44 on the table and a pile of CVs. Benefits cut. Couldn’t afford to run the fridge to chill his insulin. That could be happening in a street near you. That is why Scotland will vote Yes. Read it and weep. And read too a heartfelt and more detailed summary of that tragedy from Munguin.
And on a brighter note, there is activity around the house, for two new cats will take up residence imminently. It’s not that we don’t miss Jakie, but the mice will be out to play before long. And life has to go on, expect for that poor man in Stevenage.