The Clerk in the Country

Thursday 19th March 2020
An “office” in the country

The office plant and I have arranged ourselves on the dining table and thanks to modern technology the YPS office is up and running again from its new location in the countryside 20 miles south of York. If the Lodge in the Museum Gardens is an idyllic spot to work, this equals it. Several miles from the nearest shop, there is no sign of panic buying here, but panic-nesting is in full swing. Anyone surprised by the fights over toilet rolls in supermarket aisles has only to see the two sparrows outside my window engaged in a passionate tug of war with a length of dry grass, despite being surrounded by the stuff, to realize that wanting what someone else has is not just a human trait. But for the sparrows there is so much to do: choosing a nest site (a bathroom extractor fan is ideal!), finding the right grass, flying up with it, dropping it, retrieving it, then all the trimming, tucking and weaving into the required shape, and finally lining it with something nice and soft. Can anybody spare a piece of toilet roll?