At a farewell dinner, to celebrate 50 years of Presidency of the Somerset Ornithological Society, 92 year old Hetty Fenshaw-Smythe recounted some hands on hide experiences, to the wide variety of members, including blacksmiths, coal merchants, seamstresses, furriers, chimney sweeps, and a young female smart phone sales assistant.
“My husband Edward and I, as you know were childless. In many ways birds were my children, while Edward was quite simply my irritating little man. He always intruded on me, like a persistent verruca. He professed his love of watching birds, yet had no appreciation of acceptable use of someone’s hide. I would be quietly setting up my tripod and telescope on arrival, in the hope of sighting a Marsh Harrier or Bittern, but if we were alone he would almost certainly start fumbling me, saying he had lost something which might be in my pockets. He often steamed up the windows doing this, which meant I would have to give them a wipe over before I sat down, and with this he would start running his fingers over my thighs, and buttocks, which I always managed to pretend wasn’t happening.”
“His restlessness often found him coming up behind me and nuzzling under my tweed collar, and brushing his lips against my neck, while I focused on my Avocet or Snipe count. One time he started slipping his tongue into my left ear. It felt like one of those little grey slugs you find in the corners of the hide windows in late spring.”
“One summer he insisted we needed to lie on the floor for a little while, because he said it was becoming dangerously hot for sitting on the bench. But I battled on, too enthralled with the sight of an Osprey to worry about the rising temperature.”
“After Edward passed away some years ago, I enjoyed the peace and quiet, but one particular early autumn day the heavens opened up, and while I sat patiently waiting for the storm to pass, in the hope of spotting the pair of Goldcrests I’d seen previously, a young woman burst in soaked to the skin. Not noticing me till after I had watched her hurriedly strip her lithe upper body naked, she gave the most delightful squeal of surprise. I remember wondering how I should proceed, because she had the prettiest pair of tits I ever saw.”