"Parkinson's Law' states that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion".
Also, if you build a door, someone will open it. If you erect a bridge, someone will cross it. If you construct an argument, someone will reason it. If you establish an order, someone will follow it.
All of the above could be said to be natural extensions to 'Parkinson's Law'. I recently experienced a new one to add to the list, which my wife's recent behaviour introduced me to.
Those of you who regularly read my 'Thought for today' will be aware that over the past three months Sheila and I have spent as many fine hours as we could get up at our allotment, close to our house. In consequence, much energy and a shed load of money have gone into giving it a complete facelift, ready for next spring.
Since the loss of our rough collie, Lady, last year, whenever my wife, Sheila, hasn't been in my arms, she's been up at our allotment planting, digging and weeding. Since the loss of our faithful dog, Sheila seems to have found a new creature, or should I say 'flock' of creatures upon whom to bestow her affection and largesse. I refer to visiting birds to our allotment. They grace its presence in their hundreds and thousands daily. It started off with about half a dozen regular visitors to the branches of our fruit trees three months ago and has since grown exponentially. Just in case the birds get lonely, a squirrel and a frog have also become daily visitors. Anyone would think that our little plot is currently being used as a background for the re-shooting of Alfred Hitchcock's horror film, 'Birds'.
My wife was amazed at the number of birds we were daily getting, and was scratching her head trying to figure out why our little plot should have become so blessed. I told her that she must have been exceptionally good of late and had done much good work to all manner of strangers in need, and had invited good karma into her life. Sheila liked this explanation and seemed perfectly content to cheerfully accept it unquestioningly as being Gospel. It was, after all, a perfect explanation, as anyone who truly knows my Sheila would be happy to also accept.
But, I have another theory that isn't one hundred miles away from 'Parkinson's Law'. About three months ago, before Sheila had become the magical Nanny to all the bird life in Haworth, she bought a small packet of bird seed and half a dozen bird tables which she positioned around the allotment. The week after, she bought two packets of birdseed; each packet twice as large as the small packet she'd bought on week one. Two packets weekly became four, and her contribution to the ongoing welfare of the birds became infinitely greater in a small matter of time.
The bird seed is now bought by the cwt, fills the large boot of our new car and comes in sacks instead of packets. Added to this shopping list are five loaves of bread weekly and three stones of Brazilian nuts from Waitrose, along with dozens of Sheila's home-made fat balls; which, incidentally, are bigger than the giant dumplings my mother used to make. Sheila always supplies plenty, just in case the usual bird visitor to our allotment decides to bring a friend, or worse still, tells a friend who then tells another friend, and they, another friend!
I don't want to spoil my wife's daily pleasure by appearing to denigrate her charitable cause, nor remove the shrine to St. Francis of Assisi (The patron saint to animals and the environment), that Sheila has hidden behind the rose bushes, but I would greatly appreciate it if she would acquaint herself with the principle of 'Parkinson's Law'.
I simply want Sheila to understand that were she to spend £10, £50, £100, £1000 or even £1 million every week on bird feed which she then put in our allotment, that once the news spread in the animal kingdom about the sudden appearance of a food mountain for birds and the recent arrival in Haworth of its own Mary Poppins, they'd be no stopping them swooping into our piece of heaven like a swarm of locust. No longer would we have that peaceful haven where a book could be read while a few birds twitter sweetly nearby. No longer would there be any point of planting fragrant blooms or nourishing herbs and veg, as all plant life would be eaten up by a dray of squirrels. They'd be little point of the sun ever coming out, were it to be blocked out by flocks of flying birds fighting for landing space. As for Sheila and I taking in the morning air as we leisurely strolled around our allotment hand-in-hand next spring, forget it! We won't be able to move an inch without treading on squirrel droppings and tons of bird shit!
Don't take my word for it, Sheila. If you don't believe me, ask Mr Parkinson!" William Forde: November 22nd, 2017.