Coronavirus Diary 9 – Of Geese, Parrots, hoarders and spam!

No matter how early I wake up, the day truly gets underway here in a typically village sort of way.   Every morning at dawn I hear a gaggle of geese fly directly over my cottage.  There are lots of ponds and lakes relatively nearby; I can see the trees that surrounded the nearest one to me from my chair where I write.

I’m guessing these particular geese have come from there and are on an early morning patrol as sometimes I hear them come back around 20 minutes later.  On those times I don’t hear a return journey I imagine that they are teenage geese that have had a wild night out at their friends and making their way home before the parents get up!

They are noisy things though.  I like peace and quiet but as they are natural I don’t mind them one bit.  Geese have long been used in a similar fashion to guard dogs and as they are very territorial, observant and aggressive no-one will mess with them.  In Ancient Rome, geese actually sounded the alarm when the Gauls attacked and near mea, someone has geese guard the compound where he does wood-cutting.

I don’t know if you’ve ever watched the charming, beautiful though sad film Warhorse?  If you haven’t then it’s worth seeing if only for the beautiful vistas of the moors in SW England, a beautiful area of the country so often overlooked by international visitors.    Anyway, the impoverished farm there has a very protective goose and he always attacks the tyrannical landlord when he comes wanting money or to evict them from their property.

Amongst the more traditional British birds species I get in my garden there are also green parrots.  They too are hugely noisy and with the leaves yet not quite out of bud, they are easy to spot.   You can see a video of them in London – The first National Park City in the World



I haven’t watched any of the news for a week; if I have a few spare minutes I like to open the window wide and suck in the incredibly fresh air.   The air is so unusually clean that most days like today I have forgotten to take my inhaler at all and it is only at any time from midday to bedtime that I realise my chest is a bit sore because I’ve not had to take them in the first place.

I’ve been reading though of people who can’t go out like myself and obviously unfortunate older people who can go out but not being able to obtain even basic provisions.  One old lady was found crying as  despite going to the shops every day, hadn’t eaten for 5 days and said how much more she had during The Blitz.

I can’t help but wish bad things upon hoarders.  There is absolutely nothing on the graphic above that I have bought. I would have bought Spam, but that’s because I eat it generally not just at the end of the world.   Apparently some places are all ready seeing piles of unwanted food waste appearing because obviously they bought too much of the wrong things or just didn’t use their brain.

I’d probably put myself out on a limb here and say the people who hoard are the same people who waste food generally, drive flashy cars, go on expensive holidays 3 or 4 times a year and even now are disobeying the social distancing rules whilst claiming the government isn’t very clear or should be doing more like spraying the streets.  How spraying the streets does anything useful I can’t imagine, not when it has a limited life outside a body and people aren’t meant to be out crowded outside rolling around on the road anyway.

If only the virus could target those people who always put themselves before society rather than it be one giant unlucky dip like the poor old lady who only goes out to buy as many vegetables, fruit and basic meats as she can carry home to sustain her for 4 or 5 days.  It looks like from the chart below, most people would agree and those that don’t are probably busy throwing out their food rather than making stews and soups out of it.

There is no food shortage, only a shortage in common sense and thinking of others and the expectation that everyone deserves everything all the time.  If everyone who has bought Spam wants to give it to me after this has all ended then that would be great.  It lasts for years but I’m happy with out of date stuff too.  I’m low maintenance 🙂

If I had a penny for every tin of spam I ate that was out of date then I’d likely be able to buy another tin of spam.  I also liked tinned carrots, mushy peas, steak and finally meat pies though the latter too have gluten in them so they are just distant memories!

Everyone always looks at me strangely when I mentioned I like Spam, even those in their 70’s or 80’s who ate it out of necessity during the war.  It probably says something about my childhood that it was something of a treat and this was only in the 1980’s.   If I went down to my kitchen and found a tin of spam in the pantry then my day would officially be sorted,  Alas I ran my food stores down when I moved a few weeks ago and haven’t got any… I have looked twice though just in case as those blighters go missing and turn up years later behind your tinned carrots and peas I can tell you!



About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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3 Responses to Coronavirus Diary 9 – Of Geese, Parrots, hoarders and spam!

  1. It will be good when we’re out of Lockdown and you can explore your new surroundings. Life is certainly very strange at present,it seems like a fantasy story but “it’s for real” I enjoy reading your blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank-you Mary. Yes it is all very surreal isn’t it. I feel like one of those people who go on holiday and end up hiding in the hotel due to an imminent hurricane or typhoon. It is bizarre to have lived here for 2 months and feel so familiar and at home inside but still be hugely surprised when I dare to poke my head out of the front door and see a lovely street but unfamiliar view tantalisingly out of reach.


  2. Pingback: Coronavirus Diary 11 – Self-isolating with Soya…. Ugh! | Stephen Liddell

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