I have developed ninja style skills with the Dyson, my weapon of choice. I stalk my flat silently and with deathly stealth. My prey remain unaware of their impending demise until they are vacuumed into their prison. The prey that I stalk? Flies, a seasonal distraction for those that live so close to the sea.
I have now honed my skills to the point that I can watch the fly as it’s wings are drawn towards the cleaner. Balancing the gap just right allows the victim to cling on until the pulling air annoys it too much. When they release their grip on the surface they realise too late the power of the air stream. The decision over direction of flight is not theirs to make, it’s mine. In a blink they are transported to the enclosed environment of the dust bin.
As you can tell flies are an emotive subject in my flat, often driving me to distraction. But flies are part of a bigger tableaux of nature and it would seem wise not to forget that. On Sunday morning I was busy sorting domestic chores and wandering around the flat. As I left the living room I stopped and did a double take, something had caught my eye. There, standing on my sofa, was a sea gull.
I reversed slowly into the room wondering what the etiquette for such a situation is. I dismissed the Dyson as an inadequate defence to a full grown bird and started to ponder alternatives. The thought of scaring the thing was equally quickly dismissed, make no mistake I have seen the fire power of these beasts. I am certainly no Dr Dolittle but I am pretty sure that we shared a similar chain of thought. I looked at the bird and wondered why it was there and I think the bird was trying to answer the same question.
After what seemed a few minutes, but was probably only tens of seconds, the bird realised it’s error and departed. As a house ‘guest’ it was not impolite, leaving just a couple of feathers behind. Was this some angry big brother of the flying world? Had it come to warn me that my campaign against its smaller cousin had not gone unnoticed? Perhaps but I doubt it, after all birds and the like are in Mother Nature’s domain not the spiteful Ms Nature.
I had the pleasure of awaking at 6am this morning, a pleasure because the sounds of the ocean were undisturbed. Having risen and contemplated my day I decided to head to town and pick up some bits that I need, I confirmed availability and set off for the station. I had checked train times and alterations before departing but apparently that was not enough. On arrival at the station I was told that my destination was closed, that doesn’t count as an alteration or disruption apparently, go figure. Finding myself at the train station on a bright sunny day with nothing to do I decided to go for a walk, 5 miles later I am writing this.
Walking along the coast at 09:30 on a sunny bank holiday Sunday is an absolute joy, it takes you back to your childhood. Watching children racing ahead of their parents to get to the beach, the look of excitement conjured up by golden sand is a wonder to behold. Watching families setting out their patch of beach, playing ball games and generally enjoying the weather cannot fail to make you smile. Watching older couples setting out their deck chairs looking forward to a day of dozing in the sun next to the beach. Young teenagers drifting towards the pier and making plans for flirtatious frivolity, what things to behold. It seems that even nature* herself is not averse to pausing and viewing the vista that she has created. As I walked along the promenade I saw a small bird watching the ocean intently, forgive me for not knowing the species. The bird made no attempt to move, he seemed totally enthralled by the view to the point that I had to walk around him. This was not some large killer bird, to be fair even the gulls have some timidity around people, this was the size of a sparrow. It is funny how little things make you realise that we are all part of some bigger picture. Having stepped around this small creature I turned to see if he flew off thinking that he may have been deaf and not heard my approach. He had still not moved but had turned to look at me as I watched him, doubtless he was thinking something along the lines of ‘that idiot is walking backwards’. It is nice to see that even the wildlife sometimes takes the time enjoy the view.
*I would like to point out that whilst I have not yet worked out the distinction between Ms Nature and Nature I am sure there is one and I shall not sully the good work of nature with the evil machinations of the spiteful Ms Nature