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By Rory McGrath

A poignant yet hilarious trip into the arcane global of birdwatching via the most renowned names in British comedy, Bearded Tit is Rory McGrath’s tale of lifestyles between birds. From a Cornish boyhood wandering gorse-tipped cliffs hearing the tune of the yellowhammer along with his imaginary female friend, or drawing gravity-defying jackdaws at school while he must have been employing himself to physics, to quoting the Latin names of birds to offer himself a battling probability with the main attractive lady he had ever visible. As an grownup, or what passes for one, Rory recounts turning into a card-carrying birdwatcher, looking at his first skylark—peerless king of the summer time sky—while stoned; his time and again failed makes an attempt to wake up on the break of day just like the genuine twitchers; and his mistaken bid to coach his completely unreconstructed ingesting mate Danny within the methods of birding. Rory’s story is a completely academic, sometimes lyrical, and hugely fun romp in the course of the hidden byways of birdwatching and all its attendant arcane wisdom.

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It’s no secret that I failed my apprenticeship all those years ago, but I don’t like my nose being rubbed in it. I still advertise myself as a sorcerous Investigator to bring in business, though the spells I can work are pathetic, child’s play compared to their powers. ” I finger my necklace. It’s a spell protection charm, and a good one. I might need it if things get rough. Gurd had the excellent sense to provide the tavern with a plentiful supply of logs for the winter, and the Avenging Axe is warm enough to comfort the coldest guest.

On more than one occasion Cicerius, on finding me drunk in pursuit of a criminal, has delivered the sort of stinging reprimand that makes him such a feared opponent in the law courts or the Senate. I can only take so much of this. Furthermore, while there’s no denying he is a fair man, he’s never found it necessary to bump up my fee, even when I’ve done him sterling service. He comes from the traditional line of aristocrats who think that the lower classes should be satisfied with a reasonable rate of pay for a fair day’s work.

Okay, the guy is famous for his honesty,” says the driver. “But so what? He commissions a new statue of himself every year. That’s vanity on a big scale. Anyway, he’s a Traditional and they’re as corrupt as they come. I tell you, the way the rich are bleeding this city I’ll be pleased if Lodius and the Populares party throw them all out. How’s a landus driver meant to make a living the way they keep piling on the taxes? ” The King and his administration are not universally popular. Plenty of people would like to see some changes.

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