Yesterday morning, following my usual early morning ritual, to wit, sipping a cup of tea, scratching my itchy bits, adding to the destruction of the ozone layer in the bovine manner, and gazing out of the kitchen window, I became aware that my garden is now inhabited solely by aliens. First, two grey squirrels (imports from North America) were out there burying their nuts in my lawn. Then, a flurry of Collared Doves, interlopers from south-east Europe (the Germans call them Turkentaube) used the space for their disgusting courtship rituals (I am just jealous cos I'm not getting any...). Then a cock Pheasant (introduced from China) strutted into view and nibbled my droppings. Meanwhile, on the field below my garden, a Muntjac (an Asian deer that escaped from the collection at Woburn) appeared, nosed its way towards the top of the village. I was finally relieved when a squadron of marauding Starlings zoomed down to demolish everything on the feeders. Then I realised that they were probably winter visitors from Eastern Europe. More bloody foreigners!
And then I heard a Robin's plaintive autumn song. And felt better. Good old Robin Redbreast, Britain's National Bird. God's in His heaven, all's well with the world. I felt a real affection for Erithacus rubecula at that moment.
Till I realised it was singing in an Edith Piaf accent. Is nothing sacred?