The great downside (or fortunate bonus) of being devoted to a popularly obscure gamebird is that there is no consumable merchandise that my friends and family can give me on my birthday. Aside from the RSPB enamel badges, there really is almost nothing in the way of gimmicky black grouse tat such as key rings, car stickers and novelty beer coolers. As it is, my dear friends and family are forced to fall back on their own creativity to satiate my apparent obsession with all things to do with blackgame.
Two years ago, I posted about my custom “black grouse birthday cake“, made by my friend Alison. This year, I have had my socks blown off by the dedication of my sister-in-law, who knitted me a black grouse jumper – a project which took almost five months. Not only is there a lekking blackcock on the front, but there is also a white fluffy tail on the back-
I am genuinely staggered by this jumper, which fits like a glove. I will wear it whenever it is appropriate (and frequently when it is not), smug in the knowledge that nobody else in the world has one like it.