June 29th, 2019

Squirrels And A Childhood Memory

We have fallen into the habit of referring to our squirrels as "squwidgers". Is it just us or does everyone do it?

We have a lot of squirrels. They gather round the feeders at the front and back of the house. The most I've counted at any one time is eight. Or possibly nine- they move around so fast it's hard to keep track.

My brother-in-law once had a visiting squirrel he'd trained to take food from his hand. Ours aren't quite that tame, but they've been coming into the house. Yes, I know some people think of them as vermin but they're so graceful and pretty...

I saw Marlowe take a lolloping run at one of them the other day then pull up short. After all he might have actually caught it- and then he'd have been in uncharted territory.

Which reminds me of a fight I had with a slightly bigger boy when I was eight (it was a mass ruck between one class and another)- which, thanks to a cunning judo move I'd learned off the telly, ended with me on top, pinning him down. "Now what you going to do?" he asked good-humouredly- and I really didn't know. Hit him? Kill him? So I counted to three and let him go- then wandered away from the battleground feeling slightly foolish...

Marriage Lines

Apparently it's illegal to get married outdoors in England and Wales. (Scottish law is different- and- as so often- more liberal). I didn't know this.

"What about Him and Her (friends of ours who are no longer together) who got married at Castlerigg?" I asked Ailz.

"They went to the registry office first," she said. "And the Castlerigg ceremony was a Druidic handfasting."

This arose because Theresa May has just announced she wants to bring the rules up to date. There'll be a review by the Law Commission- and it'll report in two years time.

Why so long? What's to stop this being fixed in a week? Everyone can see it's a matter of government playing catch-up with public attitudes. Inform the Archbishop of Canterbury and other interested parties you're doing it- but don't ask for their opinions because they'll only raise difficulties. It's hardly controversial. Do it now.

Apparently venues will still have to be vetted for "solemnity and dignity". But why?
If people want to get hitched on top of the helter skelter at Alton Towers let them. They're the ones who are going to have to live with the embarrassing wedding pix.

Besides, solemnity is no guarantee of ever-lastingness. I once went to a wedding in a cathedral; a very important cleric officiated; the choir sang; it cost a bomb. And did the marriage last? Actually, no.