Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The Animals - Its My Life/The Byrds - A Whole lot Better



NOW A RARE ANIMAL - The Great Crested Newt
THE ANIMALS - It's My Life

I think it was seeing white mice a  Christmas party when I was probably about 7 years old in 1956. I was fascinated and had to be dragged away from watching them. I pleaded to have some and eventually my Mother relented and I got two white mice complete with pink tails and pink eyes.

What I really wanted was a dog but my father always refused. I was heart broken especially when my friend's dog had some puppies. I even tried taking my favorite home for my father to see. He was steadfast in his refusal.

I kept lizards, snakes, slow worms, hamsters, rabbits, toads, newts everything I could which replaced the dog I never had.

There was a small pond not too far from were I lived and it was a great source of toads and newts. There are three types of newt in the UK and all three were in abundace in that little pool.  It is very sad to report that they filled it in because of a golf course.  One of the newts the Great Crested is now very rare and on the endanger species list.

There was another pond close by that I remember oh so well. One day my sister and I were watching toads. It was mating time and some bigger boys came along and started firing slugs into the back of the male toad mating with the much larger female. I was outraged, I screamed and ran for these older boys, I did not fear for my safety or anything, I just was filled with anger. How could they? They obviously could see the blind anger and ran away.  

I got myself a bit of a reputation and people close by always brought round any injured bird or animal which they found or was injured. I would refuse nothing and always did my best to help them. The strangest thing I was given was a fully grown Heron which had a broken wing.  I eventually took it to a local vet after borrowing a tin of sardines in tomato sauce from my Mother's pantry. 

It was not until I got married at the age of 25 did I have my first dog. It was really my wife's. But I loved the experience. Now I have three dogs and it is me who takes them walks and it is me who feeds them. When we leave the dogs at home for any reason and when we return the dogs just run past me to get to my wife and demand her greeting. I just don't exist.

I accept my place in the pack and have accepted that even although I am an animal lover, my wife is even more of one and the dogs recognise this. She cannot watch a western where a horse falls or watch an animal programme where a lion goes in for the kill just to survive.  I am an animal lover but I am afraid not to that extent. I also eat meat and enjoy it too. But that is another argument altogether.

The second song I choose here is a bit strange. It is not what I would call one of the best by The Byrds but I had a strange experience in the sixties when I was listening to the best of The Byrds. I was by myself in my living room, I was completely sober. My eyes were closed and when this song played, I suddenly found myself on the ceiling and looking down at myself. It was amazing. When I opened my eyes I was back to reality. This has never happen since. It was both thrilling and frighting at the time. The power of music eh!.
THE BYRDS - I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better

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The Animals - Its My Life/The Byrds - A Whole lot Better
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29 June 2016 at 13:39

I've always wanted a dog, as did my Dad before me. He never did get one and I know that I probably never shall either. It's a source of great sadness to me. Lovely to hear your tales of defending animals and seeing off the bad guys - if only more were like you and Old Ma.
As for your 'dancing on the ceiling' moment - are you sure you weren't smoking one of those 'jazz cigarettes' I've heard so much about? :-)

29 June 2016 at 14:09

TS - that is what is so memorable about the 'happening' no 'substances' were involved...?. is your chance to get a dog...go on...great to get you out of the house and what a welcome you will get.

29 June 2016 at 14:26

There's no retirement in sight for a good long while yet Old Pa! Perhaps when that day comes and I'm still able to get about I will consider it. The old boy across the lane is in his mid-nineties and has skin cancer, yet still plays tennis once a week, cycles when he can and walks his dog twice a day - a total inspiration, so there's hope for me yet.

30 June 2016 at 12:47

Old Pa the 'Newt Whisperer'! With regards to the Byrds, well it was the sixties I suppose, that was common place.