The story behind the title goes back some years when we were taking our kids to Clayton Vale, a country park in east Manchester. It was once the industrial heartland of the area, but now it is a strip of green, between the city centre and Openshaw, either side of the River Medlock.
As we dropped into the valley, I told my wife that I used to drive that route in my youth, to collect a friend to go parachuting at Cark in the Lake District. Several minutes passed, and I was parking the car, when my then five year old daughter, Miss P, piped up from the back seat.
“Well, I think that’s cruel.” Me and Mrs P looked at each other, nonplussed.
“What do you mean, sweetheart?”
“Shooting parrots,” she said. “That’s very cruel.”
Parents even more nonplussed. Then the penny dropped. Parachuting = parrot shooting to a judgmental five year old.
However, should you truly want to go shooting parrots, try this game: