During the recent heatwave I needed to go to a large DIY store to collect some kit I had ordered online. Given the fact that at noon, the temperature was 35 degrees, the extensive car park was understandably empty, as the majority of the good citizens of Yeovil decided very sensibly to stay indoors with curtains closed. On closer inspection, the car park, however, was not completely devoid of life and I braved the heat to watch the unfolding of a little mother/son drama.

The mum was a handsome seagull, clearly an accomplished woman with avian attitude. Her son was just as clearly a bit of a challenge and she had obviously decided enough was enough. The chick was enormous, easily mum’s size and while he still did sport some speckled baby feathers, he was more than ready to stand on his own two sturdy and substantial feet. Except he was of the opinion that this adult malarkey thing that his mum was imposing on him did not suit his particular agenda. All he really wanted was some lunch. Is that too much to ask? So, he doggedly followed mum across the car park making initially pathetic, but increasingly more hysterical “feed me, feed me feed me” squeaky-type noises. She studiously ignored the young drama queen.

I was filled with admiration and thought yes, I really ought to have put into practice this particular parenting philosophy years ago. Perhaps it’s not too late? Mmmm, maybe next time my son and I are in Majestic Wine….

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