Tag Archive: Garden


It’s that time of year again and, on a dead branch of a cherry tree (just outside my kitchen window), sit four dumpy, newly fledged sparrows. With their large yellow gapes and fluffed-up feathers they look as if they’d be more at home in a Disney movie rather than a suburban garden. With quivering wings they beg incessantly to be fed by their smart chestnut-brown father. Watching them and listening to their ‘chirrup-chirrup’ calls transports me away from Dorset and back to the late 1970s and my Nan’s garden in Tottenham, North London.

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In the 1980s my Father’s fortunes improved somewhat and we made the move from our crowded ‘two up two down’ terrace house in Edmonton out to the leafy suburbs of Enfield, North London.

I can well remember that first night in our new home being awoken by a strange grunting, squealing noise that rose up from the front garden. The noise was like no other I’d ever heard before and sent me rushing into my parent’s room to warn them of a possible intruder.

My father listened behind the curtain to the strange sound and then peered out and down. Initially he thought there was a courting couple ‘making out’ on our neatly trimmed lawn but the night was far too dark to make out exactly who was making the unearthly noise below so he grabbed a torch and with some trepidation I followed him down the stairs and outside. Quietly he unbolted the door and then, quick as a flash, he snapped on the torch. The pool of light didn’t illuminate a young couple’s illicit tryst (I’m sure much to Dad’s disappointment) but it did, however, reveal the source of the sexual sounding cacophony – an amorous pair of hedgehogs!

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