Day 49 of the 100 Pleats in 100 days Challenge and I have decided on this chignon; bun; top-knot ….. call it what you will.
This is not one of my favourite ‘up-dos‘, nowadays, I’m afraid. Oh, I used to adore this most classic of styles ….its so simple and elegant ….but it has been hi-jacked by teens and ‘so-called’ celebrities, recently. Now this is fine ….they have every right to make any hair-style fashionable ……. but ……. its the way they do it, isn’t it ?
Gosh, I’m going to sound like the most awful snob ….and lord knows I’m far from perfect and who the heck made me the hair-style police anyway ? …………… yes, I can hear all the comments…….
But they plonk a huge bun on top of their heads, don’t they ? And there it sits ….the size of a small country, quite out of proportion ….. and seems to have a life of its own. Oh surely you must have seen the sort of thing I mean ?
No attempt is made to make it blend in …… become a part of the style instead of looking like some alien being. If only they would use a few hair-pins …..secure the edges a little …. so that the flipping bun looks and sits better……its not rocket science.
Or maybe its me …..perhaps I’m just an old fuddy-duddy ….though I must say, I have never been accused of that. But there’s a first time for everything !
So….anyway …. sorry about that !
As you can see, I have embellished my chignon with a few primula flowers. I do like these cheerful little plants, don’t you ? They seem to bloom throughout the year ….no matter what the weather throws at them. I picked up these stray blooms from my garden path this morning. They lay, rather bedraggled and sad, beside the plant pots which were their homes. Victims of the naughty birds, who for some reason like to peck at the plants. I suppose they must be tasty ……… the primulas, not the birds ….heehee !
Anyone who knows me well will know about my crippling ornithophobia and how I have worked to overcome my fear. I do feel much better about birds nowadays and look on them…… if not exactly without fear……. with a much more open heart and mind. I have blogged about this phobia ….but if you missed it, I re-blog it here…………
I have been afraid of birds for a long time. I cannot pinpoint the exact time that this phobia began, but it is a very real fear.
I don’t remember any incident in my past that could have sparked this; maybe it has misted over in my mind and I would need some clever psychologist to take me back and locate the moment when my fears began.
I do recall that, when I was about 8 yrs old, my dear Nana had a huge aviary in her back garden, with numerous budgies and canaries or whatever. ………..Now, I don’t think I was particularly afraid, but I was not enamoured, either. Cautious indifference, would probably best describe my feelings.
However, the phobia began to rear its head more frequently as I grew older and in my teenage years I became unreasonably afraid of our feathered friends…….. Cue psychologist with theories of sexual frustration ?? Haha !
As I entered my adult years, I could not walk through any thoroughfare, such as Trafalgar Square, without a companion to ‘shoosh‘ away pigeons and sparrows. Washing remained in the laundry basket until the birds tired of their perch on the clothes line. And, even though my children fancied a bird-table, I could not countenance such an acquisition.
One day I had to resort to telephoning my husband, when he was at work, begging him to return home as I thought a bird had somehow got into the bathroom. I swore I could hear flapping and fluttering and had walked all the way to the public toilets in the Town Centre, because I was too afraid to open the bathroom door.
Thankfully, my husband was very understanding and patient and came home to ‘rescue‘ me……. There was no bird in the bathroom, the fluttering I had heard was, apparently, some House Martins, nesting in the eaves outside the bathroom window ! Poor hubby pasted on a wry smile and returned to work.
There have been many such incidents throughout my life and it has become accepted that ‘Rosie’ or ‘Mum’, as the case may be, is terrified of anything with a ‘pecky beak‘ and ‘fluttery feathers’.
But this is gradually changing………………………..
I have, almost always, lived in fairly rural locations, but have either been working, raising children or caring for a kennel of show dogs. But now I find myself and Mother Nature “up close and personal” and have only one dog to care for.
From my kitchen window, day after day, I see squirrels and many birds and, during the recent spate of bitter Winter weather, my concern for these little animals began to overcome my fear.
It began with the squirrels. I am not at all afraid of these cheeky little mites and enjoy watching them leaping from branch to branch, soaring through the air like little gliders or tiny planes. Their daring aerobatics make me smile and certainly brighten my day. One, in particular; oh, I’m sure it is the same one; almost begs to be spanked, so naughty are his antics. He tries to untie the washing line; swings on the roof of the garden shed and peers in the kitchen window. I call him ‘Nutkins’…… Not exactly original …but still.
When the snow was at its deepest and the wind was so bitterly cold that it almost froze my breath, I ventured out to feed the squirrels. Then I noticed the birds, sitting dejectedly in the bare branches of the old tree, shivering and watching, enviously…………… and something inside me changed. Gingerly, I spread some breadcrumbs on the snow, then rushed indoors, to peep, cautiously, out of the hallway window.
It was amazing to watch them, edging suspiciously along the fence, wanting the food but reluctant to fly down from their vantage point. Each one appeared to be waiting for some brave bird to make the first move. Then; abortive little flights, testing the water, making sure it was safe. I imagined tiny aileron on their wings, primed for a swift getaway. Little Sparrows ( I’m guessing ) nudged each other in a “You go first” gesture and then a huge Blackbird/Crow flew down and snaffled one of the larger pieces, before a pair of pigeons fluttered from a nearby leylandii and after that a sort of ‘ruck’ broke out; every bird for himself.
I was unusually calm as I watched from indoors. In the past, my heart would have been working overtime, I would have been having palpitations, but, it seemed, my compassion and concern had over-ridden my phobia and my excitement knew no bounds when all the bread was swiftly taken.
Gradually, over the next few days, I began to donate more and more food to the local bird population. I even began to BUY food for them.
The weather remained ghastly and cold and I went out and dug a little crater in the snow, so that their little feet would be warmer and I filled this with bread crumbs and nuts. Then I spread food and ‘fat-balls’ on the shed roof, for the shyer ones and the naughty squirrels.
The birds gained more confidence and began to anticipate my feeding times; queuing up on the fence and in the branches; almost bringing my old phobia to the surface again. The day I see them lined up like the Crows, in the ‘playground‘ scene in “The Birds” film, I think I will run, screaming, but, at present, we have an amicable relationship…………….. As long as they remain in the trees until I am safely back in the house, I am happy.
I have no idea of species etc., apart from the obvious ones, but I have already noticed that they have different characters and mannerisms.
The Robins are the cheeky ones. One sits and pouts at me as I write this; it is past his lunch-time !
The Blackbirds/Crows are bullies and push everyone else out of the way, pecking wildly at anything, including the toggle that I lost from my jacket. The grey doves are quite elegant as they swoop from the higher branches and the Sparrows (?) dart in and out, grabbing a nut or crumb and then hopping some distance before swallowing the morsel.
I will never be an Ornithologist and I cannot imagine a time when I will be completely comfortable with birds in close proximity. However, I am enjoying my new responsibility and feel so much more relaxed about the feathered wild-life. I do think I will have to purchase one of those, “ How to recognise every bird in your garden” books, as I would like to know the difference between a Blue-Tit and an Eagle !!
And I suddenly have a hankering for a bird-table ! So………… watch this space !