As a granddad I love the garden and the countryside and nature and encouraging my grandchildren to enjoy them too.

My grandosons’, Rory and Ewan’s favourite thing is to go on a worm and snail hunt especially in my garden where there is an abundance of them. We especially find lots of worms by digging deep into the heavy clay soil.  As we have had bad weather since January it means we have not been able to go worm hunting quite as much. But there was a spell of fine weather at the end of February and one Sunday tea time we managed to go worm searching. Due to the cold weather there were definitely no snails.

I did not expect to find worms,either. Not being an expert I though the ground was too cold. I was not sure what worms do in cold weather. Do they go deeper into the earth where the frost does not reach them? The way fish go to the bottom of ponds in cold weather.

Obviously not, as we found a clew of worms relatively near the surface. Yes, ‘clew’ is the collective noun for worms.

From that you will see that my grandchildren are constantly learning when they are with Grandad. Although I have to say my 5 year old and 3 year old grandsons did not have a ‘clew’ what I was going on about. To them it didn’t need a special word, they just knew there was alot of worms.

They put them in a jar and took them home to set up a worm community, a worm farm or wormery in their own garden. But my garden still had so many.

The birds in my garden had been observing us from secluded places. As I tell the children, birds love to people watch. They see it as getting their own back for people birdwatching.

The next morning when it was barely light they were tracking down the worms to feed their empty bellies. Do birds have bellies?

As the male blackbird was suitably fed he sang melodically from the top of the sycamore tree attracting a fine female blackbird. He demonstrated the abundance of food, namely the worms in my garden, he could offer her and any babies they may rear.

She felt all her springs had sprung in one day. And they built a nest together in the hedge at the bottom of my garden with debris scattered around and created a family all due to the abundance of worms.

Those babies are now fledging. The four little balls of fluffy black feathers appear everywhere: on the fence, in the borders, on the patio wall and most of all on the gate, converting the brown wooden gate into a very shitty white.

They are so young they have not yet learned to fly properly. Lessons 10.00am prompt every morning. Nor do they yet fear me. I just hope the local cats stay away, or if they do appear let’s hope Mum and Dad Blackbird give them due warning.

Meanwhile all six of the Blackbird Family are fattening up with the nutrients from local grown worms. And they reward me with a melodic dawn chorus.

The grandchildren meanwhile are learning bird watching skills from my study window, before we go out to unearth even more worms for the Blackbird’s Banquet.


“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero


Happiness is… having a Blackbird family nest in your garden


I said to the waiter, “there’s a fly in my soup.” He said, “I know the chef used to be a tailor.”


Love is…what lights up your life


God Save The Queen – Sex Pistols

Highest Chart Position: No.2 11th June 1977