Thursday 28 February 2008

The First Cuckoo

Not in France at the moment, still caring for a sick cat and unhopefully casting my mind around for a way to earn money that will allow me to work at home and keep the habits of a lifetime intact. So I can't tell you if the cuckoo has sounded in France yet but today, in Newport Pagnell, the elusive but persistent bird was calling for several minutes as I sat at my desk.

It's such a familiar sound that it barely registered for a few seconds but when my brain finally kicked in I realised this is surely the earliest I've ever heard the returning arrivals.

The Times Online has an article about letters to the Editor regarding the first cuckoo. It seems they don't actually publish these any more and have not since 1940 but the quirkiness of British tradition and humour is such that the thought of Dickensian gentlemen, ancient vicars and lady dog walkers writing in to claim their five seconds of fame in a national newspaper still brings a smile to our lips.

More about cuckoos here. I have to say, I can't find any reliable reports of cuckoos arriving much before April so it's possible I'm the butt of someone's joke but I was reasonably convinced by it, and if I'm wrong, well, someone will have had a laugh.

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