Autumn has well and truly descended on Liverpool, and I’ve always had a deep-set fondness for this mystical time of year.
Being a bit of an urchin who spent the first 15 years of her life, (before discovering sex and hair straighteners) lolloping round the garden, nosing around whatever wildlife happened to be staying with us at the time, this time of year always brings with it waves of nostalgia.
My mum, who actually has her own blog dedicated to gardens and wildlife, was forever bringing waifs and strays home – particularly in Autumn, when the bad weather started to roll in.
We always had three dogs, that was a childhood constant of mine. Whenever one dog died my parents would vow not to get another, but one would always invariably rock up within a month. Once it was a puppy that someone had bought but left in a brown paper bag at the side of the road within six weeks, another time it was a five-year-old stray we found malnourished in a car park in Bootle. By hook or by crook, there was always three. A tradition I accidentally kept alive when a bad feeling I had about a photo of a Jack Russell I saw on Gumtree led me to picking up my little Buddy from a flat in Skelmersdale.
As well as the dogs, there was always at least one broken Bird or hedgehog taking up residency in the dining room at any time, slowly getting nursed back to health. In fact, at one point we had four ducks that my mum rescued from the clutches of a psychotic woman down the road who planned to let the kids chop their heads off on Christmas day to teach them the way of the world.
Growing up, it never occurred to me that any of this was strange. It still doesn’t. Not really, not until I tell certain stories and people look at me like I was raised in a madhouse. It was just how it was. You saw something that needed help and you did your best.
It was rarely easy, particularly for my mum – who somehow managed to keep all of these tiny animals alive, whilst holding down a full time job and never once missing one of my school plays. Talk about Wonder Woman.
There’s no big lesson coming from all this, by the way. No big punchline, no moral of the story.
I’m just looking out at the leaves on the ground and thinking back over all the other Octobers I’ve seen.
But I suppose if you need a life lesson from these ramblings; I suppose it did help to teach me that you just have to roll with the punches. When a new bird came into the house – in fact when new birds still arrive at their house – nobody really knew how long it was going to be there for, or whether or not it would survive.
When a new dog arrived, and the others would take an instant dislike to it, we’d all secretly wonder how long we were going to have to live our lives keeping all these animals separate. We never knew for sure they’d all end up getting on – which they always did.
All you can do is deal with the situation in front of you.
I suppose, all you can do is try your best.
Until next time…x
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