There was a scruffy, little, fat bird hopping about in the bushes. I think it must have been the dear baby the robins have been raising. It could fly in a raggedy sort of way, but still wanted its mum- to which end it kept going "peep, peep, peep". Mum, of course, knew better than to answer while there was a scary human being around.
I'm halfway through Citizens. The way Schama tells it France was reforming itself hell for leather through the 1780s- and might have turned into a modern state a whole lot faster if the revolution hadn't intervened. We've reached the spring of 1789- and the weather has kicked in, with drought following a ruined harvest- and people are getting to be a little unreasonable. Rousseau- dead by this time- has a lot to answer for with his cult of feeling and authenticity. The enlightenment men- prepared to think their way through problems- are giving ground to a set of bleeding hearts who are looking for someone to blame.