It was our 35th wedding anniversary last week. In so many ways it seems only yesterday that we did the deed, yet on the other hand it feels like another age altogether. Notwithstanding Margaret Thatcher – who was never my favourite person – back then it did appear that the world was getting better, that there were grounds for optimism, that things were generally moving in the right direction.
As Ian Dury told anyone who would listen, back in the day we had reasons to be cheerful.
It’s impossible to believe that now, I think. Trump, Brexit, rampant populism, climate change, plastic pollution, neo-nicotinoids, xenophobia, terrorism, palm oil, habitat destruction, mass extinctions, obesity epidemics, modern slavery, housing shortages, sexual abuse, mental health crises, Boris Johnson … ain’t it just great to be alive in 2019?
Oh dear, I really must stop reading the Guardian.
Mrs P’s mum and dad were away last week, so we found ourselves on budgie duty. Toby likes company but gets miserable when the house is quiet. To counter this we went round to their place every morning to switch on the radio, so he could listen to Classic FM for a few hours. Then in the evening we’d go back to feed and water him, and to bill-and-coo for a while.
Toby’s a lovely, lively, cheerful soul, hopping madly from perch to perch, joyfully attacking his cuttlefish, celebrating life with his incessant bird-brained chatter. He’s carefree and exuberant, and lives for the moment.
Toby doesn’t read the Guardian.