Birdsong and Betjeman

January 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

An Englishman in Bangkok

Sitting in the garden this Sunday morning reading John Betjeman and drinking tea, I’m not sure whether I feel so proud of my cultural heritage or somewhat ashamed of not leaving it behind, but what a joy is ‘Archibald’

A squirrel is tentatively nibbling on the breadcrumbs I have scattered on the garden wall and a ‘do well’ bird is loudly encouraging me from its nearby perch. As an Englishman with little grasp on the Thai language and only a rudimentary vocabulary which doesn’t stretch to ornithology, I can only apply my own labels to the morning choristers. The ‘do well’ bird is a welcome friend who does keep my spirits up in times of doubt and can occasionally raise them even further should I choose to hear a ‘do wow!’ .
The ‘Oreo’ bird is another who assuages my guilt from too frequent visits to the biscuit tin, but…

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