and I have been friends for many years, ever since we sat at adjacent
desks at work for nearly 4 years. As she said afterwards, we were
either going to end up good friends or killing each other! She's
given me, Spock and Dracs a lot of help and encouragement with
Recently Jen and I went to the
Northumberland County Show. We enjoyed looking at all the farm
animals and going round the hundreds of stalls that were there.
There was a large display ring where a number of events took place.
Our favourite one was the falconry display which was just finishing
as we arrived. The trainer was telling a packed stand about his
final bird, Norman the kestrel, who was sitting innocently on
a helper's arm as we found a gap in the crowd by the side of the
field. At a sign from the trainer Norman ruffled his feathers
and flew off, "Quite normal" said the trainer, "they always do
that just before they take to the air. He's flying around now
and having a look at the countryside, we always encourage them
to stretch their wings and have a look around when we're working
with them at home - Here Norman - when he comes back, I'll try
and stop him from getting to the food, we'll see how long I can
keep it from him - Whistle, Here Norm - notice the shape of the
wings, the pointed ends, typical of a kestrel - Whistle, Whistle,
Norman, Norm, Here - oh look, he's found a seagull, they're having
a game together, sorry those of you sitting in the stand, it's
all happening behind you so you can't actually see any of this
- Norman, Here Norm, we haven't got all day! - he'll be
back shortly to get his food - Whistle, Whistle, Norm, Here!
- sorry about that folks, the whistle's very piercing, I hope
I haven't deafened any of you. I'll tell you a little bit about
the history of falconry while we're waiting."
(This was punctuated by numerous
whistles and cries of "Norm, Norm, come here".)
"The seagull's flown off
at last, - Norm! Norman, Here! -
he's heading away from the trees, he'll come back now, I'll try
and get him to come down for his food - Norman,
Norm, Come Here! - those of you in the stand can see
him again now, he's up there in the distance, to the right of
you - Norm, Here Norm!
- oh dear, he's heading off in the opposite direction,
I don't think he can be very hungry - NORM!
- I'm, very sorry everyone, I'm afraid I'm going to have to
give up the demonstration and go and get him." (By this time,
Norman was about 6 fields away and a tiny speck in the middle
distance.) "We'll be back again at 4 pm for another demonstration."
The heavens opened shortly before
4 pm and we had a series of thunderstorms, so we weren't unduly
surprised when Norman didn't make his second appearance, although
we did spare a thought for the trainer, soaking wet and knee deep
in mud, in the middle of a field somewhere in the Northumbrian
I'll soon find
Norman for you!