Friday 29 January 2016

The Age Card

A couple of months ago I made a small effort to unearth blogs written by young birders. By 'young' I mean under 25 or so. I found no more than a handful, and have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of regularly updated blogs with a mainly birdy theme are written by those who might be described as middle-aged. Middle-aged is a handy tag that fits anyone from 40-ish to...well, I expect the upper limit will stretch infinitely to accomodate whatever age I might currently be.

Is this dearth of prolific young bloggers real, or is it just that I didn't look hard enough? Whatever the truth of the matter I have to admit that I don't really care that much, because my preferred reading material is generated largely by the older bloggers anyway. There is something about the output of older writers that sits well with me, though to be honest I am struggling to put my finger on exactly what it is. Maybe it's a measure of wisdom that comes with years? Or that ability to sometimes draw material from days of yore? Perhaps it's as simple as the fact that many are my contemporaries and I can therefore easily identify with their experiences? Yes, that's probably it. For example, if any of them were to tell me that they'd been shifting and leveling several tonnes of scalpings over the last couple of days and were now aching in muscles they didn't know they had, I would know exactly what they meant. Because I've been doing precisly that, and only a middle-aged person would be able to empathise with the resultant agony!

As well as building a base for the Man Cave I have been converting the front lawn into a car park. These days you don't have to have concrete, tarmac or brick pavers, you can opt for the more eco-friendly (porous) plastic grid pavers filled with gravel. But you still need a solid sub-base, thus...

Yesterday. Loads of scalpings.
And today. All neat and tidy, ready for a good whacking.
Round the back is a large shuttered area, also filled with scalpings, which will be the base for the Man Cave. However, there will be no photos just yet because the attentions of a 1.5 tonne Takeuchi excavator have left our so-called garden looking like the Somme. Later...

Another thing about older bloggers. All of them will no doubt recall how, back in the 80s and early 90s, everyone (and I mean everyone) was into jogging/running. It was the thing. Any village with a population of more than ten held its own marathon. Like everyone else, I got caught up in this craziness. Here I am in the Oxford half marathon in 1992...

Notice how I'm winning. Obviously.
This photo was sent by my old mate Ric, who has known me since I was about 12 and knows where all the bodies are buried...

Ric also sent me the following.

As I said, everyone was into jogging back then, so it was perfectly normal to see people going about their everday affairs dressed in short-shorts and singlet. Honestly. Really, I cannot understand why you are chuckling at these pics, because it was quite natural to go fishing in your running kit...

These were taken in 1990, and my elder son Rob, pictured here, is now older than I was then. Hmmm...sobering.


  1. That was funny, because I have a photo of myself from the early 1980's eel fishing in pretty much the same gear. Think yourself lucky that you're still young enough to do that work and joke about it, I'm 68 now and my mind would happily attempt that but if I did, it would involve several days after, gradually being stretched back upright on a physio's couch.
    On the subject of young bloggers, how many young birdwatchers do you actually see out in the field bird watching these days, very few and by young I mean under thirty, that's why they don't write blogs. Mostly it's grumpy old gits like us that then go home and write blogs, about joggers who spoil the photo we were just about to take.

    1. Derek, I see very few youmg birders in the field, but I know some exist because I see them on Twitter. Not many though, that's for sure. Since I've lived in this part of the country I can think of just three I've met under 30. That's in 13 years of fairly keen local birding. One has phased, I think, and of the other two (who both write blogs incidentally) one turned 30 last year!
      Re. the running kit, thanks for the affirmation. As I said, everyday attire.
      Re. the old and knackered, thanks for the heads-up! ;-)

  2. I was just looking at the photo of you running and thinking, "that looks like St. Clements in Oxford" (my home town). I then read that it was indeed in Oxford. You'll be pleased to know that they still have an annual 10k race here.

    1. Wow! I'm well impressed that you could ID the location with so little architecture on view!
      And yes, Adam, it's good to know there's still an annual 10k race. So many formerly well supported events have fallen by the wayside since running was at its peak of popularity.