Friday, 24 September 2010

Watching and Waiting

Give your two year old a stale crust of bread for her lunch and she will look at you like you have completely lost the plot. However, give your two year old a stale crust of bread to throw out for the birds and she will happily sit there and devour the lot, much to the chagrin of our feathered friends who thought they were going to get some easy sustenance.

It's mostly wood pigeons that come to feast on the offerings on our lawn. They are not the most graceful species within the Avian class, they build untidy stick nests and the one we rescued from our chimney some time ago was a sorry specimen but I do have a bit of a soft spot for them.

The Great Pigeon Rescue

One morning as I was at my kitchen sink gazing out into the garden I saw a very elegant collared dove had come to feed. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a sparrow-hawk swooped down onto the unsuspecting breakfaster. Now that sparrow-hawk was the doberman of garden birds - all power and pointy bits. The dove flapped about a bit beneath the talons in a frenzy of fluffy white feathers but it didn't stand a chance. I can't help thinking that one of my pigeons would have put up more of a fight. It was all over very quickly and I felt extremely privileged to have borne witness to such a primitive and violent spectacle. Unfortunately, the most sensitive of my daughters also happened to be looking out of the window. Her eyes welled with tears as she sobbed the words "I feel sorry for the one underneath". It is hard to explain to a distraught child about natural order.

I spent a good deal of time gazing out of the window yesterday, not at birds but at clouds. I am plucking up the courage to enter a competition that requires you to send in a video of you stripping from winter clothes down to summer skimpies in 12 seconds. Trying to find an angle that would make my video stand out against other entries was tricky. I don't have a fantastic toned body nor do I have a potentially comedic bad one. It's just sort of  average. I don't have any spectacular clothes or props or the possibility of choosing an outstanding location. My only thought was to strip in the rain. 

It seemed like the perfect day - pleasantly mild, bright sunshine but ominous black clouds hovering. I watched those clouds edging closer - my excitement and apprehension building - then disappearing to reveal blue sky. It was so frustrating. It did eventually begin to rain. When my daughter arrived home from school she was absolutely drenched. However, in the time it took me to dress myself in my carefully chosen, easy to remove layers over black tankini (slightly on the small side!) any downpour had diminished to an unimpressive drizzle. As this was going to be a strictly one-take project, I waited for the perfect moment, carefully monitoring those ever present, slightly distant heavy grey clouds. The monsoon I was waiting for never materialised. Eventually, as the light began to fail, I gave up. 

The video camera is still set up, the outfit is in a neat pile by my bedroom mirror and it looks like today there will no shortage of the wet stuff. However, it is blowing a gale and is decidedly on the chilly side - not exactly conducive to whipping your kit off. I suppose it would make my video stand out though! 

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