November 27, 2017 by Whispering Smith
Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette November 23rd. 2017
Recently I posted an old sepia photograph on Facebook of a long defunct butcher shop I wanted to identify for a future feature. I asked if anyone could tell me where it had been located and when it had been operational. Two simple questions. To my surprise it received over 70 comments, several of which answered my original questions in such great and meaningful detail it left me a tad confused. My confusion was very quickly sorted and facts confirmed by those who were actually related to the original owners of the shop. One would offer an anecdote of the shop, another a tale about a nearby sweet shop and yet another the names of the striped aproned butcher folk standing in the shop’s doorway. The biggest surprise however was how my requests for information brought several people back in touch with one another, old friends or acquaintances who had lost touch over some considerable period of time. Genuine friendships, folk reunited and, in some small way, that gave me even greater pleasure than getting the answers I sought. Social media does have its very nasty side, it can and often is misused and abused but, used correctly, it can be very worthwhile and quite heart-warming.
SO, where have all the birds gone or is it simply me they are avoiding? Having given up my allotment I have, while the weather was holding fine, worked very hard on my garden. Trees trimmed, flower beds dug, bulbs planted and fence fixed. I Invested heavily in a bird table, assorted bird feeders, suet balls and peanuts. A bag of revolting looking mealworms I was assured were a great attraction to robins and a seed bag sporting a delightful picture of a blackbird. Three weeks on, I have only seen a dozen starlings, one blue tit, a squirrel and couple of sparrows. No sign of a wren, robin or a blackbird, feathered friends that once were so prolific in local gardens.
Photo: No customers again…