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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