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The young and old…

For a blog to work, it needs to resonate. It isn’t worth writing something no one wants to read and important then to choose subjects that matter to readers. This can be a problem for me.

I might be delusional but I am not stupid and I’m aware that many visitors to my site arrive via my boys and my eldest son in particular.

And as an older person, what then to write about?

Other than Tom, that is.

But I’m not interested in chronicling his life and I’m sure he wouldn’t welcome such a thing either.

And that said, the subject of this post is high risk because younger readers might struggle to relate to it. It is about age and how it can be better represented and understood.

It’s considered rude to ask someone’s age – but this question is now redundant because age can be accurately determined by what we know and what we can do.

This might be a broad assertion but bear with me because I think it works.

Here it is…

If you know what a meme is – then you are young.

And this can’t be cheated in a way that plastic surgery purports to defy age.

Although ‘memes’ have been explained to me on numerous occasions, they remain a complete mystery. Are they videos, clips, photos and who invented the word, meme? For that matter, I am uncomfortable with almost all of the newly conceived words.

‘Sick’ will never mean good to me.

‘Bad’ is nothing to aspire to.

‘Safe’ is an appropriate time to cross a road.

‘Blood’ carries oxygen to and from my heart.

And as for peng, hench, dench, neek, laters or s’up. I don’t know any dudes and I will never call anyone ‘Bro’ – not even the two men who have the same parents as me.

But enough of what makes us young – what makes us old?

I think I have the answer.

Old age arrives when a person has a compulsion to feed birds.

It seems that there are two distinct phases in the human life-cycle when birds need feeding.

Phase 1, when we are very young (mainly ducks and bread with green spots)

and then,

Phase 2 when we become old (in London, mainly sparrows gorging on specifically purchased expensive meal worms).

These phases are separated by about 5 decades when most humans are not interested in birds at all.

I find myself in the second phase – and it announced itself with no notice. Just crept up on me and day, I just felt a need to feed things that can fly (although not wasps or flies).

This might be a gender thing, because Nikki couldn’t give a stuff about birds.

I venture that most twitchers (bird watchers) are men.

I am not a twitcher. I know almost nothing about ornithology. Sparrow, Robin, Pigeon, Black Bird and that’s about it until I get to Penguin and Ostrich and if either of these two ever appear  on my garden feeder, then even Nikki would be interested I’m sure.

I can’t really explain this phase. I just like feeding birds. I have two feeders that are permanently stocked. During lockdown, people are culling the non-essential spends. But so far, bird seed has remained on the Team Holland shopping list.

Disney might have a hand in this because Snow White left such an indelible mark on me. As well as fancying Ms White, I remember being enchanted by the way she was able to play and talk with the birds.

And so it is with me now. Not that I can speak to the birds but I kid you not, I think the birds in my garden actually like me.

Based on what, you might ask?

Well, because they don’t scarper when I venture outside. As though, they recognise me and know that I’m a good guy. A guy who has reached Phase 2. And here’s an admission for you – I take some solace in this. It makes me feel loved.

This might well be a personal crisis but I suspect that it is more generic.

Men of a certain age, we start to reach. My kids don’t need me anymore, not really and Nikki too, to be fair. During lockdown, she zooms more than a busy astronaut.

And so, men of a certain age – we find refuge in the most unusual places.

Readers under 25 – this will mean nothing to you. But know this – this is your future.

And when this happens to you – you might remember this blog (let’s call it, The Book of Wisdom). You won’t be able to thank me because I will have moved on – but you will remember me – and this is enough.

 

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126 thoughts on “The young and old…”

  1. Hahaha this reminds me of the short film where Paddy makes a bird feeder with his grandad, and then… I certainly hope the birds are safe in your garden!!

    1. It’s embarrassing that as a fifteen year old, I have to search up what loads of words mean. Especially when I was called a neek? What is that? From context I’m guessing it was bad. Honestly I’m glad I have google otherwise I wouldn’t be able to hold a conversation with my friends.

      1. So funny, as usual, thank you for that! Your writing makes my day each time. As an “old” person, and foreigner moreover, I thought I would at last have an explanation about memes by reading the replies… Many young people replied but none of them gave a proper answer to it.Wondering if there’s one really… Anyway.
        Despite this, it’s so great to realize that there’s a lot of people, young or not, caring about birds and though noticing the so called little things. If you are that way and under 30, congrats to you, you’ve understood so much already! And if you’re not, don’t feel bad about it and be indulgent with yourself, give it time as it’s never too late to act the proper way.

        1. Whenever I post a blog, there is a sense of relief and then dread – because I think, what the Dickens will I write about next week.

          1. About whatever might come to your mind! As far as I can understand it’s always funny and relevant, what the hell else to ask?

    2. At the ripe age of 22 I also feel that I have now reached “phase 2” and have a fully stocked bird feeder and a new bird bath

    3. My father always told me to appreciate the little things. Every blade of grass, every flower, every tree, and every bird. Although I am only 14, I feel as though I Am lucky get to experience a better world than some other teenagers part of my generation who don’t appreciate these things as much as they should, therefore this passage really hit close to home. I really enjoyed it.

      1. It’s quite the same here. I live really close to a forest and a wildlife sanctuary, and even though it’s been long since I moved, I get excited every time I see absolutely anything, that is to say, I’m always excited.

    4. I may be apart of this “young audience”, but I still love to read your blogs when they pop up on your stories. They remind me of the way my dad talks, so it sometimes gives me a good laugh. Just keep it up you’re doing a great job!!

    5. As a younger reader ;-), your blogs are always well written and enjoyable to read Dom. Catching Paddy on Instagram live the other day by chance, your comment on “Why don’t you help out around the house?” was fantastic! Made me laugh! Hope all is well sir!

    6. Yes, this is your blog, there’s no need the track your sons’ lives on it, they can do that themselves on their own. I’m not at the bird phase yet as I am only 25, but my mom is feeding birds right now, so I can related on that note. Birds are awesome!

    7. Wait just a second… have I entered phase 2?! Am I really in phase 2?! I am well versed in memes and might even be guilty of using some of the above mentioned slang here and there. However, I do have two feeders I keep stocked in hopes of spotting little birds out my window (they haven’t found the feeders yet, but I remain hopeful). I may have also just installed a squirrel feeder that resembles a picnic table… but that doesn’t mean I have offically reached phase 2… does it?

    8. I was actually wondering if my reference landed, but reading the new blog, I realized it didn’t (at the time)! It was fresh in my mind because I had just watched Roses For Lily (which made me cry btw, great directing by Harry & great acting by Sam!), and Tweet came up as one of the next videos. Hope the birds are enjoying the new feeder!

  2. I am a 19 year woman and refill our bird feeder every Saturday morning, then my favourite thing to do is watch them as I drink my coffee… I’ve always felt like a 50 year old man inside though.

  3. If you ever want to feed the hummingbirds, my grandma used to put some vodka in their feeders! I don’t know where she learned that, but she ALWAYS had hummingbirds!

  4. This is such a positive way to talk about getting older! I love birds, especially their singing in the summer mornings and I have such fond memories of my grandad being desperate to feed the birds and wondering what the fascination was with them… although he didn’t like squirrels eating the bird food so would devise a contraption where the bird food would hang on some wire between a bird house and more feeders higher up until we saw a squirrel holding onto the wire and sliding across it with its tiny hands… I’ll never forget it! As much as I would love to have bird food in the garden, I would feel guilty as though I was sentencing the birds to their demise as our cat is slightly mischievous and likes to give us certain winged gifts when she can get her paws on them! Lovely Sunday read!

  5. . Great blog today! I initially tried to tell myself you might be wrong – I’m aware I’m not ‘young’ but also aware I use many of those words/terms and certainly my life without memes would be boring – for a start how else could I communicate with my kids?! And as for the birds thing…I’ve loved feeding birds all my life so feeding them isn’t a sign of old age. …..but then I looked out of my window and scowled at the untouched bird feeder and my mind wandered down paths of possible reasons why the birds in my area are not playing along with this lockdown habit of visiting gardens more. Why do I not have interesting photos to share on Instagram and Facebook on what is visiting my garden? Maybe I need to up my game in treats left out! …….oh my goodness! Maybe I have reached the same second phase of bird feeding you are talking about!!!!

    Okay….I will admit you may have hit this one on the head! I’m going to go off and cry into a mug of Ovaltine about my lost youth!

    1. I’m 15 and I never used to be interested in birds at all but my mum actually put a bird feeder in our garden a few weeks ago and I’ve actually really enjoyed sitting in the garden, especially in the lovely weather we’ve been having in England over the last few weeks, just watching the birds flying to and from the feeder. I find myself checking the feeder is full everyday and am sure I will continue to seeing as we might be stuck in for quite a while.

  6. Very interesting read, even though I know what a meme is (I’m 22). I never thought about bird feeding coming in phases, but it’s completely true! I used to think if I held out my hand and had happy thoughts a bird would come sit in my hand. Did it ever happen? No (not yet…)

    My grandmother used to feed the birds at their vacation home, in the woods. So some women enters phase 2 as well!

    1. Ohmygod you really spoke Everything that crossed my mind before reading this how–!? But as you said that people mostly read these via boys but stay Bec the content and the blogs in general are so amazing! Also I’m planning on starting to write blogs myself what advice would you give to a beginner? 🙂

  7. I’m stuck somewhere in the middle, but won’t own up to my age in such a public place . But the teenagers in my life all lovingly call me great aunt Jennie. I cross stitch and crochet. I garden and will mend holes in clothing. So, in their mind, I am acting as if I’m much older than I am.

  8. That’s really interesting, everything you just said, because I’ve noticed the exact same thing happen to my father. The whole time I was reading, I was thinking, ‘Wow, Dom and my father would get along.’ I am below the age range you mentioned, being 22 years old, but I have noticed the same thing happen to my Dad. He loves watching the birds and feeding them. He’s called me over to watch them with him multiple times, but it just now dawned on me that he is feeling lonely. You mention how your kids don’t need you and your wife is busy. Well that’s similar to my family. I have been busy gaining an education and my Mother has been working. My younger sister graduated high-school this year. I think he feels as if we don’t need him too. But we do. I’m going to go tell him that right now, and the next time we watch birds together, instead of being slightly irritated that I could be studying or hanging out with my friends, I’m going to cherish this time with my Dad. Because no one should feel unwanted or lonely. Thank you for the reminder, and I hope you know your family loves you too. Even if the kids are able to support themselves now (my Dad struggles with that too) Have a good day, feed those birds. 🙂

  9. I have to say as a young woman under the age of 25 I must say I take great pride in my bird feeders. Maybe it was the time I spent with the elderly man that lived across the street from my Nan when I was little or helping my Nan garden and fill feeders or maybe it’s the ease I feel watching such a carefree animal flutter around. None the less I do really enjoy feeding the birds, but I also know what a meme is and I use them almost daily. Hope all is well and you aren’t going too stir crazy during this time.

  10. Hey Dominic,
    My parents and I yesterday listend to music and we talked about my, for my age unusual, taste in music. We listend to classic, Depeche Mode, Queen, Muse, Cat Stevens, The Police, Earth, Wind and Fire, Phil Collins, Steve Wonder and many more. All the music I chose. I am 18 but in context with music, I had to be born earlier. And when I think about feeding birds, I really enjoy it mostly on our yearly trips to Denmark with my parents. I take my time to observe the birds, I slow down.
    So I am young but I really can understand some of the points you talked about.
    Thank u for making me think about such things I would never think about. It makes me think wider.

  11. I love observing and feeding birds, we have quite big bird house always full, so apparently I’m old. Although, as Tony Stark said everybody needs a hobby 🙂

  12. This makes me smile! I know a few gentlemen in what you call “Phase 2,” but feeding the birds has always been my mom’s hobby at our home. Growing up, my sisters and I joined her enthusiasm for the task and even kept track of the species that visited our yard and feeder in a lovely chart. I’ve had an affection for birds ever since, and still do at age 24.
    I am back home with my family during lockdown and have been grocery shopping for my parents, and mom gave me special instructions to purchase cayenne pepper during my last trip. Why? The darn squirrels in our backyard (chubby little things, fat off neighborhood benevolence I’m sure) keep stealing the seed from her precious sparrows, finches and chickadees. Since I haven’t seen the squirrels hanging off the feeder since my purchase, I assume the hot pepper in the seed has done its work. (And the sparrows have subsequently developed an affinity for spicy Mexican dishes.)

  13. I’m 24, so I know what a meme is but I’m also a single mom so maybe that ages me a little bit because I set up a humming bird feeder not long ago and during this quarantine I have found myself staring out the window at it pretty frequently… they’re quite pretty.

    1. My late husband always took care of feeding the birds, and he loved to point out all the different types that came to visit. I guess you could say I’ve entered stage 2 now that I’ve had to take over — and now that I turned 54 last month.

      I understand most memes, but gifs confused and I’m hopelessly lost when it comes to slang. But getting older really isn’t a bad thing when you’ve got a positive attitude like yours! Like my mom used to say: getting older ain’t bad when you consider the alternative.

  14. Talking about age, my first graders ask me all the time, “How old are you, Mrs. Buttke?”. Of course, I tell them. Now I’m the same age as most of their grandparents!! I personally don’t have any bird feeders but my mom has 2 of them. We do have two nice sized maple trees in the back yard and each year we have robins that build nests in them. They can get quite vicious when mowing the lawn! They have been known to chase after my husband!! Love the blogs! I’m really enjoying your Facebook lives and Patreon! Thank you for answering my questions!! So during this lockdown I’m sure you have seen people doing Birthday car parade for kids! Off to do that for one of my students! I make a big deal at school on their birthday so why not during the lockdown!! Thank you for ask the laughs! Continued good health to the Hollands!!

  15. As a 50+ (just) woman I too enjoy feeding the birds, a habit caught I suspect from my late father. When I was a child my father bought a bird feeder that sat on the top of a single pole, which was duly placed in a flower bed by our French doors. He then watched, with a fair amount of disgust, a squirrel scramble up the pole and remove the top of the mesh container to reach the seed. Father screwed the top of the container on. The squirrel removed the entire container and carried it across the garden until the seed spilled out of the bottom. My Dad then moved the pole and container to the centre of the lawn, and greased the pole …. subsequently enjoying many hours watching the squirrel try and work out why he could no longer climb to reach the seed!. A happy memory jogged by your blog – thanks Dom.

  16. Loved this blog! It’s like a summary of my family’s generation difference.My Granny will pay me to feed her birds three times a week…. thank you for this blog, I believe it’s helped me start to understand !

  17. So it seems my fairly recent decision to visit a pet shop and buy mealworms/pellets for the birds before a wander around the local park (pre-lockdown), and the hanging of a bird feeder in our garden last year may hold more significance than I realised! Haha! Although being the owner of two cats the bird feeder has seen little action.
    Really enjoyed the live today Dom, thanks. Some great words of advice, and always enjoy listening to your stories about your books and writing process.

  18. Márcia Malaquias

    I identified !!!
    I must be getting old because I started talking to the flowers again, particularly I used to do this in childhood until I was 15 years old, now at 42 years old
    I have them again as imaginary friends or I’m just crazy
    ❤️

  19. The book of Wisdom, is lovely as always. I have a pinch in your thoughts on the age mattering during this, because I’m 21, and sadly I can only give a general idea of what those words mean and not definite answer. And as for the birds, I don’t think it’s a gender thing, because my dad has no desire to feed the birds, not even for a Tuppence(I couldn’t help the Mary Poppins, it just flew from my mouth), maybe a British thing. But now, my grandparents love to feed the birds, I think I even wrote a poem on them and the birds once. My grandparents live simple lives, one works from home and the other doesn’t, but no matter what they both sit and watch the birds in the morning when they eat breakfast and I think that is what it is. The birds are a symbol, you said that when you go out and they don’t fly off; you feel loved. That’s just how the birds feel when someone feeds them, they are loved. You feed the birds to fill the fact that your nest will be empty soon. Your children are growing up faster then you can blink, the birds represent them and the feeder your home. The birds will come and bring more of their families, just like your children will get married and bring their children, home to the feeder, where it is stocked always with love. They will come and go, but they will always come back to the feeder, even after the owner is long gone, because it is fill with love and it will always be full with love and that is what makes the feeder a home.

    Or you could be Snow White and just like birds(haha)

  20. This blog made me laugh! I am under 25, almost 22 to be exact but the “younger language” you write about in the beginning does not interest me and maybe that means i am an old soul in a way. If this is my future I do not have a problem with that.

  21. I am 34 – not young, but not that old either (I’d like to think) and I love watching the birds in our garden. I have to admit, I only feed them in severe winters which don’t occur that often anymore. But our garden is a buffet of worms, insects and unfortunately also seeds and young salad plants. We have a pair of nuthatches breeding in a hole in one of our apple trees for several years now and I am very excited seeing them return every spring. So either it isn’t a question of age or I am grandma on the inside -if so, I am a happy birdloving one.

  22. You know what’s interesting, Yes I did originally find out who you where from Toms fame and I followed you, but when I actually read your blog for the first time I haven’t stopped since. I no longer read them as a fan of Tom but a fan of you because I find them extremely interesting as well as your podcasts. And a lot of people label you as ‘toms dad’ but for me and others I know if it’s ‘Dom Holland, the amazing comedian and writer’

  23. I used to feed birds in my gaden when I was 8, continued steady on till I was 14 last year. Being 15 just changed my attutide towads birds….
    I did admittedly start reading your blog as I am a huge fan of the Avengers, but I do find it very interesting to read for it’s content.

    My dad also does not get memes. He just doesn’t get them and point blankly refuses to listen to an explanation

  24. Hi Dom. Really enjoyed the podcast today. Laughed about your topic for the blog. I was planting my summer bedding today and my daughter was “helping”. Feeding the birds is the only thing she wanted to do apart from play with our dog today. Less work for her I suspect. She’s young enough to understand all of the young terms used but old enough to enjoy the birds, also taught by her grandad. It’s nice to be able to have a foot in each camp to try to keep up with the young ones. Have a good week Dom . Stay safe ☺️

  25. It’s thoughtful really, and although I’m under 25 I can see your feelings and actions in a certain way. Should say that your blog is a big inspiration for me, moreover it helps me in studying English. So thank you for every letter you write!

  26. That’s beautiful actually, growing old is a blessing, I’m almost 20 (still young), but I do believe that! And I hope to live that one day. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was one of my favorite childhood movies, I watched it over and over again, all day haha.

  27. I won’t lie, it’s true that I came here because of your son, but since I know about your blog I go to him whenever a new entry appears, it’s very interesting how you perceive the world, I’m only 14 and I don’t understand everything yet, but I love reading your blogs

  28. Same, I hate that slang ‘Bro’ a lot of my acquaintances use it though. I’ll be tempted to say ‘Dude’ but not ‘Sick’. I’m glad you don’t talk about Tom as much or in as detailed as his Fandom. But, maybe I don’t think of him like how they do so that could be the reason. I like feeding birds too, I used to feed my grand-pa’s two white cats. They weren’t his pets but every night they would come to his house for milk. I guess they were sort of our pets cuz the bond was there but we didn’t officially own them. I’m 21 btw and I agree with what you say.

  29. Dom,
    Quick scroll through the comments looks like the majority of your readers know what a meme is… I am definitely in the more “life experienced “ category, and arrow to my heart when the 34 year old said he was old.
    Enjoy birdwatching.
    Be safe!

  30. I don’t understand memes at all!! My son tries to explain them to me and I still don’t get it! Can you guess my age? 50 next month!!

  31. Mr. Holland, I will admit that it is your eldest son who initially brought me to this blog, but it is your style of writing that has kept me reading all these months since. I am 28 and have considered myself an old soul since middle school. I too feed the birds religiously, not even becoming bothered when the squirrels get into the feeder.
    I like reading your blog because, as someone in the field of history and museums, I like reading your micro-history (your life and perspectives on topics) and the humor you put with it. I also have enjoyed watching some of your stand up on YouTube. So, thank you Mr. Holland for consistently making my quarantine a little less lonely.

  32. i will definitely always remember you as you have played a big part in my life, you bring me lots of joy and i always look forward to hearing from you. you have really helped me through thick and thin and i couldn’t thank you enough. i am 14 and whenever i see a bird feeder i think of my grandad because he has two bird feeders in his garden and although my grandma hates them he still to this day gets very excited and proud when a bird lands there. again, i would just like to thank you and let you know that you will always be in my heart and i will always remember you because you have sometimes been the only thing keeping me happy, all wishes to you and your family.

  33. Bloody hell I must be old! (haha). I think my Dad’s up to stage 3 (he calls himself a ‘kangaroo whisperer’).
    I have to be honest, I did find your blogs through Tom’s fame but I am not a Tom Holland fan. I was watching Homecoming with my brothers and I had never seen the actor before, so I asked them who he was. They didn’t really give me an answer they just kept saying “Ooh, Beth has a crush on Tom Holland” for the next 5 months… so I decided to play along, and to make them buy it I thought I’d better do some research- that’s when I learnt about your blog and the great work The Brother’s Trust are doing. Don’t get me wrong, Tom is a great actor but I am here because I love your comedy, blogs and podcasts.

  34. I’ve always wanted to feed the birds. In my old home, my dad and I would do it all the time. We moved and don’t have the feeder anymore. We do have hummingbirds, so that’s a plus.

    And to go along with the new words, I only knew of one. “Sick.” Maybe it’s the difference between the US and the UK, but I have never heard of any words besides “sick.”

      1. I find that rather odd. Because as an American, I try to sound un-American. Maybe that’s why I don’t know the slang.

  35. I have to admit that I found your blogs thanks to your sons, and to be honest I didn’t think they would become part of my routine. Now I find myself waiting for you to update.

    And regarding the bird-feeding, I have to admit that at age 18 im still In stage 1 of feeding birds. I love when i get the chance to feed ducks.

    This blog really gave me some nostalgia, but the good kind.

    Greetings from Chile, ill be waiting for your next blog!

  36. I’m in my.mid 40’s and I was delighted to see a female cardinal and a yellow finch in my trees, adding interest to the grackles and sparrows. I’m not a bird person per se but living in a low rise appartment in a suburb of Toronto, it is a close to nature as I am going to get from my balcony. I’ve been self isolating since March 11 so you can imagine the welcome change in an otherwise monotonous, daily routine. That said, Urban dictionary and Tiktok are new passions because I have a strange need to know random things. You want to know WTH a “yeet” is? Urban dictionary is your go to. It helps the boredom. And if some tries to “ok boomer” me, I know exactly what to say!

  37. Hi Dom
    Mika Le Roux here, sending my love and support all the way from South Africa!!
    This is my first time reading your blog and “WOW” I enjoyed every minute of it. In all fairness the firts time I hear of a meme was in 2018 and I’m 22 at the moment!! That was a sad day
    It is so amazing how a small change in your daily life, like for example filling your bird feeder will keep a perfect balance/bond between you and the birds. It is very therapeutic, as my grandma would say. Looking at them, feeding them knowing you are making them happy. We have got little Lesser/ Mohol bushbabies and owls in our back yards at night and they are so cute. We usally put fruit out them. Not sure about the owls though.

    My story is a little bit different, I think birds are mistaking me for a doelsaai (I’ve got red hair,freckles and pale skin)no matter what, they will wait! And ready, set, aim and they will fire (haha) a cherry for the win! At least it is good luck right? But not when it is my favourite sundress… :/

    As John Lennon would say ” Tame birds sing of freedom. Wild birds Fly”. It is so ironic in this time of lockdown we are the tamed birds “singing” about freedom. When the quarantine has passed we will spread our wings once again. All we need to do is #stay_safe@home and feed our little friend!
    Spending this time with my mom, dad and 3 siblings is a breath of fresh air. I was so busy with work, I actually forgot I promised my little brother I would help him to make a bird feeder in the school holidays. Note to self (Project #14): Build a Bird Feeder with Little Bro!! (See what I did there).
    No matter what yesterday was like, birds always start the new day with a song.
    Thank You so much, can’t wait for the next one.
    Keep safe in this time with your family and may you have a exceptionally blessed day!!

  38. love this blog
    it’s very informative but very fun and light hearted! Exactly what we need during this time.
    Thank you Dom!

    PS.if you finally come to understand meme please updated us on how; I’m trying to explain to my parents about what part makes them funny

  39. And Dom
    If you like the outdoors and nature so much there is this theory that you can put to the test.
    My Grandmother always believed, if you have house gecko’s or and small home lizards in your home or even outside. It is believed if they are scared and running away you should talk to them!

    I kid you not , it works! Call me crazy, just kidding. Never call a woman crazy(haha), but it is said they will actually stop and listen to you. All you need to do is talk in a calm, friendly voice and say “hello”, “why are you running”, “how was your day?” litterly anything. It sounds bezar and weird, but it really works!

    Not every gecko or little lizard are the same ,maybe they will run away or they will stay.
    I was so cooking in the kitchen oneday and I saw this little home gecko, scared and running away. I remember what my grandmother said and I put that theory to the test. I litterly said “Hi little guy, why are you running. I’m not going to hurt you”. I kid you not, he litterly stoped turned around, lifted his little head, blinked his eyes and listen to me. That felt legit like a Snow White moment to talk to animals. From that day I was a strong believer that gecko’s and small home lizzards actually do listen to you!
    Test it out, the results are incredible.

  40. I’m 20 years old and I still don’t know what a meme is, just 30 minutes ago I was asking at the dinner table what it was… I still don’t know…or just don’t get it.
    Thank you for the subject of today, I do admit that I haven’t fed birds in a long time. My great grandmother use to feed them I helped her and it’s one of the few memories I have of her. I thank you because I haven’t thought about her in a while and reading this made me think about her and I felt happy. I kept thinking about how she would just wake up and fed them and talk to me about them.
    This is something I need today. Thank you

  41. Hi Mr. Dom Holland, I don’t know why, but after reading this I feel like I got older. Mainly because I think I’ve already reached phase two at my thirteen years of age. Me and my mother are very fascinated with birds, and we fed the roaming birds every morning. And just like you, for the same reason, I think the birds already like me. Thank you as well for this wonderful article.

  42. I loved this – and enjoyed the live last night! You answered two of my questions and in one you said the ending of a book had to be the pay off for people’s time, which I thought made such sense. Well – this blog also delivered that in spades: the last line: “but you will remember me – and this is enough”. OMG. I didn’t expect to start this morning with tears (in a good way!) but I just did. Wow Dom, just wow….

  43. you were talking about Snow White, we mustn’t forget the lady who sells seeds in Mary Poppins, I believe that you can see others better with your heart and that age doesn’t matter, you can be young and a centenarian deep down inside or be an old man and be mischievous like a schoolboy.

  44. I would say I’m young and like feeding birds but then I realised I’m from Australia so my backyard birds are Kookaburra’s, lorikeets, rosellas and cockatoos. As well as the odd magpie who in spring will try to rip your head off but have also been scientifically proven to remember faces and so tend to target people they don’t like.

  45. I read the blog and I am captivated by the beautifully penned down of thoughts of one’s daily life. It’s so simple yet remarkably grabs my attention generating a string of thoughts. I am 29 and belongs to the old school type. It might sound funny, but I have great friends from the early 40s to the mid-50s. Friends of my age, have often cracked up jokes on me for this and sometimes call me, ” you are the new age ‘Dadaji'(grand old man)”. I never felt bad about it, am rather happy to observe the surroundings, appreciate the tiny details and feel good about it. In the gamut of observations, watching birds and animals while feeding them has always intrigued me since my childhood. One of my deepest memories lies when we were moving house. I was 16. It was the final day, and yet as a daily practice, I put a portion of cooked brown rice on a leaf for the sparrows to feed on the terrace. Usually, they come and feed when I turn back and prepare to leave (or I pretended to do so). But that day, to my surprise, there were four sparrows already sitting at the place and started chirping the moment I reached. That was unusual. However, I placed the rice and waited there. The sparrow hurriedly ate the grains and instead of flying back, they stayed too. I looked at them and I didn’t feel good about it. When I turned to leave I could hear the chirping sound once again which faded slowly as I went down the stairs…
    I cannot comprehend what happened that day but it seemed as though the sparrows wanted to tell me something…Or they already conveyed which I never understood…
    More than a decade has passed but the incident still remains fresh. Unfortunately, there are hardly any sparrows left in my town. Soaring temperature and pollution has added to their woes. However, I continue the practice of feeding birds and animals. This time with pigeons, crows, cows, and stray dogs. And all have a beautiful story to tell…

    1. This is a cool memory and one I can relate to – my sparrows deffo prefer me to Nikki – and this is something I cling on to.

  46. Dear Dom,
    I usually try to sum up my ideas, even though I love writting. And as we can see here, there are some big comments, so I’ll feel comfortable to write without summarizing everything, at least this time.
    I’m a 22 years old girl with a mind way older than my body. As once I talked to a 64 years old sir on the phone and I agreed with almost everything he said about how he sees life, and he told me it took him 64 years to realize many things and to think the way I do being 22, I usually say that my mind is more than 60.
    Being a young person who thinks in a different way than the majority of other people of your age can be very stressful sometimes, and very isolating. You start to think there must be something wrong with you, and that you’ll never fit in.
    But then, I started to talk to older people, and like that 64 years old sir, they always say if they could travel to the past and change anything in their lives, they would like to think and act like me in my age, so they wouldn’t waste their precious time with things that didn’t lead anywhere. They say I’m not wrong to be different, that I must not be ashamed of it and I should never do things I don’t like just to fit in, because they did it and they regret it so much.
    Therefore, texts like yours, Dom, make me realize it’s ok to be different, and we can change along time, not because we want to be part of the majority. And I know what you wrote might be my future as well, but I’m totally ok with it.
    BTW, I would also like to say we’re together in that Snow White thing… I was always impressed by that as a child too.
    Hugs,
    Fer.

    1. I echo this – those that gain wisdom early are the rich! (This isn’t a proverb. Unfortunately I just made it up, but I think its true and you should take heed from it. Onwards.

  47. I’m under 25 and yet love to feed the birds. However, the location of Kent I live in seems to be over run by seagulls the size of albatrosses!
    I’d say I’m in phase 1 of being “old”, I’ve been raised by elderly parents so I blame the for my old mannerisms.
    It’s always bread I give.. the green spots and either ends of the loaf. It’s very rare that I see a bird In my garden or my parents garden.. although we see a lot of seagulls scoffing and shoving whole pieces of bread down their throats.

  48. I will confess I am one of your younger readers, although I don’t remember how I found your blog – I do have vague memories of seeing you on HIGNFY when I was probably too young to be watching it. To be honest I’m not here to read about your son’s lives, I enjoy your blog because I like to read your perspective and takes on every day life.

    I also hate to break it to you, but as someone close to your older sons’ age, those words you quoted are mostly about 5 years out of date, sadly I have no idea what they have been replaced by…

  49. So my youngest brother who is only 18 (ah the days) who has been venturing out into my parents yard and feeding birds from his hand for the past three years must be what we call an “old soul?” I am well past 25 but I am pleased to say that I have no compulsions to feed the birds as yet. I must still be young.

  50. As a part of the young reader ‘group’ who uses words like peng, bro etc. I find it refreshing to read your blogs. It’s a step back on reality and the fact that it comes from a famous family is even more so. It’s comforting to see the world from a different perspective. In your family you have photographers (my dream job), writers (I think that’s what Sam is up to now and you of course), a very well-known actor and Paddy will turn out to be great at whatever he chooses to do. And this family runs a trust to help people all over the world. But you can take a step back to write all of this. It’s amazing in my eyes to be involved in all of that.

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