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Jacqueline Wake Young: Russell Crowe and an injured dove grab my attention

In the week that actor Russell Crowe confirms a trip to Inverness, an injured bird is a reminder that even the smallest of gestures can add up to to make a difference

Russell Crowe with his band, Indoor Garden Party. Image: Shutterstock.
Russell Crowe with his band, Indoor Garden Party. Image: Shutterstock.

Thursday morning was as busy as can be at our house. Between 8am and 9am a lot of things happened at once.

I was walking the dog before the school run while texting a friend to discuss Russell Crowe, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted some feathers on the road.

Russell is to play a gig in Inverness, but for some of us it’s not the first time our paths have crossed his.

Years ago there was talk of my battle re-enactment group being extras in his film Robin Hood. Beards were grown, costumes were made and sword skills were worked upon.

Filming was delayed and we were not needed in the end, but it was a fun summer when we all thought we were going to be in a Hollywood blockbuster.

Russell Crowe as Robin Longstride in the 2010 film Robin Hood. Image: PA Photo/Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd.

SSPCA rescue puts things into perspective

But back to this week and the matter in hand, feathers on the road. The dog spotted them too and found herself unceremoniously returned to the house much sooner than she’d expected.

She immediately went to sulk under a chair, an unplayed-with tennis ball at her cheek.

If the dog was confused, that was nothing compared to my husband a minute later when he woke up to find me standing at the foot of the bed holding a cardboard box and a pair of rubber gloves.

He appeared relieved when I said I wanted him to help me rescue a bird and we immediately swung into action.

The bairn was instructed to sort her own breakfast while we dealt with a wildlife emergency.

As a result she went to school on a packet of Wotsits and some cola tic-tacs, but what can you do?

Russell Crowe announced he is to visit the Highlands. Image: ML Photo/Profimedia/Shutterstock.

We gently coaxed the injured collared dove into the box and, as instructed by the SSPCA, placed it in the nearest thing we have to a warm, dark, quiet area – our shared hallway.

We covered most of the top of the box with the only item we had to hand, one of the dog’s mats, further adding to her mortification.

The next job was to reason with the builders and the neighbours who have been installing a bathroom in the next door property for almost a week.

SSPCA rescue was a team effort

All parties seemed pretty put out that some wifey was asking them to keep the noise down at 8.30am on a working day until I explained it was so as not to upset an injured bird.

I’m not saying they walked around on their tiptoes after that, but they did seem to switch into normal speaking voices, instead of yelling to each other along the street as they had done for the previous four days.

Then I sat at the window while the story about the Gaza ceasefire vote in the Commons unfolded on Sky News.

SNP and Conservative MPs have walked out of the Commons chamber in an apparent protest over the Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s handling of the Gaza ceasefire debate on Wednesday. Image: House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA Wire.

As I waited for someone to come to the rescue of a little bird, all talk had moved on to the plight of Speaker Lindsay Hoyle, not of those caught up in the Israel-Gaza war.

How readily the things that really matter can be brushed aside. And yet there is a god of small things.

The SSPCA was superb. A van arrived within 20 minutes and an animal welfare officer carefully placed the dove into a purpose-made rescue box and drove her away.

We’ll never know whether the dove is on the road to recovery, but we do know we tried to help.

An hour later it was the turn of a different sort of Tweet, as I listened to Alexei Navalny‘s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, vow to continue her husband’s campaign for a “free Russia”.

Flowers, tributes and pictures of Alexei Navalny opposite the Russian Embassy in London. Image: Krisztian Elek/SOPA Images/Shutterstock.

Twitter said the brief suspension of her account was a mistake and due to a system error.

It happened after she posted a message in which she vowed to carry on the work of the Russian opposition leader who died last week.

Yulia urged fellow Russians to not be afraid and said her husband had always maintained that there was “no shame in doing little, only in doing nothing”.

And when I think about it, that’s the only choice most of us ever really have.

Yulia Navalnaya with her husband, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. in 2019. Image: Shutterstock.