Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Saturday, 4 June 2011

What a Fabulous Day. Thanks Sainsbury's and Thanks to the people of Warwick


So arrived at the Sainsbury's store dressed as a siskin. Normal day I suppose. Great response from the people coming from off the car park to enter the store and boy, they didn't know what I had in store for them.

The all singing, dancing and welcoming 6 foot tall siskin.

In fact the good majoroty of people either smiled or laughed which was just the sort of wonderful reaction that keeps one going. The children in particular were brilliant. Well, honestly one did scream with fright and a couple of tiny tots were a little scared but the rest, dozens of them accepted a RSPB LOVE NATURE sticker and a small chocolate coin. I couldn't lay any chocolate eggs. I am a male siskin.

The things people ask when you're collecting for the RSPB. "Have you noticed the lack of willow warblers?" [No actually] "Did I make the costume for myself?" [no but the person who made it must have spent hours doing so. Beautifully made.] "Where can I get squirrel proof feeders?" [try the RSPB shop - online or the catalogue.] The perennial question - "when are the RSPB going to do something about magpies. They're eating all our small birds?" [As Bill Oddie says, "If in doubt, blame the cat!"]

Then there's the lovely pride people have in their garden birds and in how much they spend to attract them. I heard about the usual suspects; titmice, sparrows, starlings and blackbirds. I heard about great spotted woodpeckers, treecreepers and grey herons. Then there was the "I spent over £50 on bird food this week. [brilliant.]

Away from birds there was a distinguished older gentlemean who waned to tell me of his time in the RAF special forces. Over ten minutes of hearing of his exploits. He even tried to teach me Arabic. I had to repeat his phrases. Brilliant! Mike, the scout leader security man; Lucy, a Sainsbury's employee training to be a teacher and a display of another employee breaking 100 rook tiles [big thick ones] with his hands in some martial arts performance for Myton Hospice; all great people who helped the day along.

Joined at 11 o' clock in the morning by Alastair, together we stood and listened, said hello and goodbye and collected for the RSPB. Great bloke.

Alastair, Lucy and I

Then there were the donations counted carefully by Dad and I at the end of the day. Now not taking into account a one Euro coin, an American cent, 2 very old halfpennies; the total came to

Drum roll, Trumpet call, Open the curtain.........


So many many thanks to the people I met, thanks to Sainsbury's and thanks to the staff at the RSPB MIDLANDS HQ at Banbury who made and sent such a fabulous costume.

Brilliant day!

All the best everyone,


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