I have decided to become and eccentric. Okay, I know that requires a lot of work, but I’m only at the beginning. I had a vague idea that an eccentric was someone whose socks never match, has more than 13 cats and has weird things in the fridge. That doesn’t sound that challenging I thought (except for the cats, as I’m allergic), so I googled it to see if there were more things to live up to . I came up with this definition: “a person of unconventional and slightly strange views or behaviour”.  So me!

I can’t do the cat thing, but I love birds. The first thing I do every morning is put food on the bird table and then I watch them arrive and stand in the kitchen and watch them feed. I know all the species in our garden,and I make up things they say to each other- like “hey this is my bird table, get outta here,”and so on. I also talk to my plants and urge them to grow. I even say “sorry” when I nip off a dead leaf. I’m a writer,so that makes me eccentric right there. I sometimes feel that the characters in my stories are more real than real people, and I talk to them.

Eccentricity is possibly in my genes. My grandmother, who lived to  be 104, was a great eccentric. Very unconventional and had very strange views. And her behaviour? More than slightly eccentric. She used to put dried fish skin in her coffee to ‘clarify’ it. Something to do with the poor quality of coffee in WWI. When she finally, at the age of 102, ended up in a nursing home, she  told everyone that the doctor was in love with her. “He keeps coming into my room to take my blood pressure,” she said.

So I have a lot to live up to. I’m going to work hard to be the most eccentric person ever. It won’t be easy. I have to shed all my hang ups and that polite upbringing first. But I just took the first step. I wrote this blog post. But it’s going to take a long time to reach full eccentricity.

I’d love to hear from more seasoned eccentrics. Any tips most appreciated.