Tim Belford: Short Takes On Life
Tim Belford
Tim Belford
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Tim Belford is host of Quebec A.M. -- CBC Radio's popular English- language morning show (91.7 FM, 6-9, Mon.-Fri). He also is said to know a thing or three about wine.

Posted 06.07.02
Quebec City


The nesting urge

I found myself thinking about the nesting urge earlier this week. I was watching a couple of birds in action as they laboured to put together a nest.

Both male and female fluttered back and forth on endless trips, carrying twigs and bits of fluff. What struck me in all of this was the fact that the female seemed to make about twice as many trips as her counterpart.

The male, on the other hand, seemed to be doing his thing in a rather desultory fashion as if he'd been dragooned into a task he'd much rather avoid. And even when he did contribute a bit of string, a piece of lint, or what have you, it wasn't quite right. He'd put it in place and as soon as he left for more building material the female would immediately rearrange what he'd done.

You see, the male of the species just wants to throw it together and put his feet up. For the female, building a nest is just another chapter in the never-ending story. I know this to be true, not from any particular training in the biological sciences, but from anecdotal evidence.

You see, the love of my life is right now in the process of rearranging our own nest -- a task into which I have been reluctantly drawn. The problem is that your average male -- myself included -- thinks paint should last for the life of the room.

Women, on the other hand, want to change colour every four months, or even worse, put up wall paper. It's the human female's version of rearranging the twigs. The same thing holds true for the furniture.

Before I met "She who must be obeyed," I could quite happily place a chair in a particular position where it would rest for years on end. Thankfully, I've been shown the error of my ways. I now realize that no piece of furniture should be allowed to occupy the same spot for more than six months.

Ideally, entire rooms should be regularly shifted so what was originally the living room becomes the dining room or an extra bedroom. I've also come to realize colour is important.

You see, I'd be happy with four walls of white. Actually I'd be happy with four rooms of white.

My partner, however, acting on what I can only believe is a throwback to a genetically imbedded urge to camouflage, has to have a variety of colours. These colours in turn match the chairs, the carpets, the sofa, and a half dozen throw pillows.

What can you do? It was ever thus.

So you'll excuse me while I go and get another twig.