I work in an office next to a historic building. Native pohutukawa trees that shed their red prickles in our car park and block our gutters and drainpipes surround it. They are massive trees, and being English I catch myself looking for squirrels in their branches; delusional, as we don’t have squirrels in New Zealand. We do have possums, but mercifully the city centre is a possum free zone.
Every day I eat lunch with my co-workers in a small kitchen that overlooks a small veranda. We have started to throw out the crumbs from our sandwiches, and each afternoon as I wash up the coffee cups, I am rewarded with the sight of blackbirds and sparrows “taking afternoon tea”.
Oh did I mention that the historic building is the capital’s wooden cathedral?
This afternoon I caught myself singing as I did the washing up.
“All around the Cathedral, the saints and opossums, look down as she sells her wares. Although you can’t see them, you know they are smiling, each time someone shows that he cares. Feed the birds, tuppence a bag, tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag”
It was a truly Mary Poppins moment.