Birdie 16

It’s lucky. A man was sitting on the seat, his parcels beside him. Lucky. Birdshit. Local? Shopping for one? None of your business, she thought, picking up her bag.

Display of household consumer items, mainly food, with prices attached, showing rising costs between 1972 and 1975
Reference Number: EP/1975/3245/13a-F

Birdie 15

She bought a cheese roll and sat on the seat by the rocks. Waves thumped against the sea wall. Sparrows and seagulls sought her crumbs. As she put the wrapping in the bin a seagull screeched and dropped a white deposit on her arm. Thanks, she said.

Approved lunch for Zoo feeding, Wellington Zoo, New Zealand, 8 January 1968
Reference Number: EP/1968/0090/9-F

Birdie 14

Sky dark in the west. At the council office she filled out the form for a funeral plot. Ahead of her was the massive back of Mr Billing. He stepped backwards and crushed her toe, then nearly knocked her over.

William Swainson, Cupressus sempervirens. Strait cypress. Callitris Gunni. Egg cypress, 1852-1854
Reference Number: A-023-010

Birdie 13

The scientific world heard almost simultaneously of the wren’s discovery and its disappearance. No sooner said than done. She blew her nose.

Photograph of Richard Savage's watch
Reference Number: MS-Papers-1361-5-02

Birdie 12

An artist’s impression showed the robust legs and soft loose plumage of the Lyall’s wren glowing like a coin on a branch above a fairy prion on the forest floor. Two green geckoes and a lichen moth among the upper twigs.

William Gilbert Rees, Mary Rose, 1859.
Reference Number: E-199-q-041

Birdie 11

She turned to the smallest flightless bird in the world, seen only once and shortly afterwards dispatched by the lighthouse-keeper’s cat.

Photograph of a city gate, Manilla, Phillipines, ca 1900
Reference Number: PA1-f-146-03-3

Birdie 10

Die wondering, repeated Doris, leafing through the exotic birds. Overdue. Her eyes stung. All gone, feathers for hats, vanity, stoats, rats.

Hunting party, probably Christchurch district, ca 1915
Reference Number: 1/1-023909-G

Birdie 9

On TV a winner kissed his gold medal. An exhausted woman finishing the marathon wobbled and collapsed. She won’t die wondering! shouted the presenter.

Running race for married ladies over 45, location unidentified, 1931
Reference Number: 1/2-C-016197-F

Birdie 8

No chance with this hip, Doris thought. Two years jogging every Sunday with Roger until Edwin put his foot down.

Physical training at Sling Camp, Bulford, 1918
Reference Number: 1/2-014067-G

Birdie 7

Did you know Digby who won Lotto and went out of control? They didn’t find him for a week. Mrs Good straightened the bread. His daughter was out jogging.

Members of the Women's Royal New Zealand Naval Service, at signalling training, during World War II
Reference Number: PAColl-8844

Birdie 6

Mrs Good at the gate, the baguette drooping. Hello sweetie, are you all right?
Fine thanks. You’ve got your bread wet.

Kimberley Supply Committee: Permit to purchase bread
Reference Number: Eph-C-WAR-SA-1900-03-2

Birdie 5

Chicken soup on a day like this, nipping off a few dead buds.
A splendid concoction. Stressing the second syllable like Nigella Lawson.

Nelson Lighthouse, Boulder Bank, Nelson, ca 21 March 1936
Reference Number: 1/2-032647-F