What Would Buddha Do in Hengelo on A Friday Night?



Friday evening as I was getting dressed to go out to the live music benefit for the childrens’ hospital in Kiev, I heard Vince call my name in a tone of voice which told me there was either a frog situation or a bird situation on the other side of the house.

Vince, it must be said, is an absolute dab hand at killing bugs. Anything with 6 legs or more and I’m out the door and yelling for assistance. I wouldn’t call him ham-fisted because he’s very good at fixing tiny electronic devices with delicate precision tools, but yeah, his hands are each about the size of a hefty boneless ham. Because of this, he is terrified that if he picks them up, he’ll hurt the frogs and birds that often find their way into our house and leaves that detail to me.


By the racket, I surmised it was a bird situation, so I grabbed an old beach towel on the way to the livingroom. The easiest way to catch a bird indoors is to swoop down on it from behind with a towel and pin its wings close to the body to prevent the creature from injuring itself. A nice thick towel also offers some anti-beak protection to your hands as well. The intrepid Skipper had backed an enormous jaybird into a corner while partner Mack was securing the perimeter; or so I thought. Mack was actually guarding a baby blue tit which the jaybird had kidnapped and dropped in the ensuing scuffle with Skipper.

I quickly captured the jaybird and set him free in the garden. Then I returned indoors to have a look at the blue tit. At first it looked as though the poor thing were dead, but then it blinked. Mack let me scoop up the baby bird in the towel and we joined Vince who’d been busy looking for any nest it may have come from. As we walked around the garden, the baby bird became increasingly more active, but didn’t make an effort to fly away. Although the blue tit had pin feathers, most of what was covering it was yellow down. You couldn’t say that it was a seasoned flyer, which problem probably caused the entire fracas.


Great hiding spots for birdnests along the wall….you’d think

We couldn’t find the nest, so we stuck the bird in a planter with high sides and hoped the parents would come looking for it. Then we left for the benefit.

The local fauna of Hengelo was out in force and made for a motley bunch. Café de Cactus loomed ahead and I reminded FOTI that we were going to support a good cause. The natives of the Cactus were charming and friendly so we paid the cover charge (all proceeds going to the children’s hospital), got our wrists stamped (mine was a bulldog—appropos) and waded on up to the bar. Miss M. was there taking photos with her dad’s intimidatingly professional camera and we chatted a bit with some of Charlie Brown’s hometown crew. To be honest, we were among the oldest farts in the whoopee cushion but the music was super and we hung out for a few sets and had a beer.



Between sets, while we were sitting in front of the Cactus, two girls plopped down at the next table. They were obviously musicians because they were toting guitars.

Heaven forgive me but my second thought after pigeonholing them as musicians was “Thank goodness the boys don’t date girls like that.” I imagined they’d perform something dark and Moby-esque and didn’t feel like getting up to go inside when they started their set. I am a truly unworthy soul. Once again opportunity presented itself and I ignored the chance to consider what Buddha would do in the same circumstances.

A few strains into the first number and I was at the bar, ordering another drink and completely dumbstruck by hipster girl’s voice. It was sparkling and fresh and clear as a brook in a Constable painting. I looked at Hipster Girl once again and really saw her, saw a talented young woman, saw the pinfeathers unfurling beneath the surface down…and I felt ashamed of myself.


When we returned home, Vince and I checked the planter. Our little bird was gone. There were no signs of violence, so we choose to believe that the bird found its way home.




All photos are my own, except for the jaybird:    photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/charlott_l/4604163599/”>JudithTB</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;  and the blue tit:  photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/smilylibrarian/5771078951/”>Katy Wrathall</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;


2 responses »

    • Thanks!

      There’s a “Juliette” in the picture. Julius claims she’s a girl who’s a friend, not a girlfriend. I can’t keep up with Ollie…lunch with Olivia, movies with Judith, out Anne for dinner the other night….

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