SO THERE’S AN extra lot of pages in this Cage & Aviary Birds, and (as I write) I don’t mind admitting I’ll breathe easier when it’s gone off to the printers. We have hugely enjoyed putting this special issue together. Now, all that matters is that you find it a good read. Next week (September 19 issue), of course, the cover price will be back to usual again, and I do hope if you’ve paid a bit extra for your copy this week that you agree it’s good value. If you’re a subscriber, naturally you won’t have paid a penny extra, so I hope this bumper edition comes across as a thank-you for your loyal support.

  • What a generous decision by the SBFA, to offer honorary vice-president roles to my colleagues Laura Welch and Laura Keens (see page 4). We were quite taken aback when the club notified us and were honoured to accept. Since that lovely surprise, we’ve talked it over; we haven’t got a “policy” on this general subject, since the question hasn’t arisen before. Together we felt that this ought to be the first and also the last occasion for us to say yes to such an honour. After all, we are here to serve every bona fide club and society as best we can – that’s our job. We all hope that readers agree that this is a fair policy, and would like to emphasise how much we appreciate the SBFA’s friendliness and generosity.
  • Ed’s Quote of the Week: “It has been a wonderful hobby for me and Jim, even though he does not distinguish one canary from the other.” That’s American Gloster canary ace Regina McCarthy and her husband (see page 18). In that sentence, it seems to me, lies much of the secret of a happy marriage.
  • Not the Quote of the Week: “If you are going to regret something, make sure it’s something you’ve done, not something you haven’t done.” I’ve heard something of the sort attributed to former England manager Terry Venables. Absolutely terrible advice, isn’t it? I’d recommend the much smarter variant featured in David Lugo’s column, which this week starts on page 5, then leaps to page 15.
  • Best news last. Club News queen Laura Keens is back from a holiday in Devon with an elegant new ring on her finger! How wonderful. I know Laura’s many friends in the hobby will wish to join Laura Welch and myself in offering heartfelt congratulations to our splendid colleague and her lucky fiancé Conor.


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