It was forty years ago today...

..that we ditched the old ways of pounds, shillings and pence and adopted a decimal currency. I was in my first year at grammar school and found the whole thing a bit sad really. Although I was not yet a birder (see later in post) I was still a geek as I collected coins. Before decimalisation the coinage of the realm was a bewildering collection of all shapes and sizes, and coins in circulation still included stuff from Victorian times. Many was the time I squirreled away a penny from the 1800s. But I digress…

With the ‘forty year’ anniversary of our change in currency I also realised that it also the same anniversary for my taking a positive interest in the birdlife of Britain. Although I didn’t pick up a pair of bins in anger until 1974, I can identify the seeds of interest back to a 1971 Tawny Owl, that used to sit in a tree in our garden in Sutton, and did so as regular as clockwork, just as the light started to fade. It roosted in tall trees in a neighbouring garden, forsaking them to glide down to our more modest one. I got into the habit of waiting for it. When it appeared I would hold my breath and dare not to move in case I spooked it. After an all too brief stay it would silently move off. Magical.


Graham James said…
1971 Steve, that brings back memories. I would spend hours after dark in Beddington Park with my girlfriend studying nature. Happy days!

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