Every Wednesday you will find me driving to Barnstaple for an appointment. I leave the house at 8.15 – 8.30 in the morning to be there for 9.30. Anyone who knows me really well, will realise that this is not necessarily as easy as it may sound especially when you take into account that I used to be ‘up with the lark’ every day for countless years in order to gather up the sleepy daughters from their beds to get them to school, and then get myself to work for an 8.30 start. However, since moving to Devon my hours have changed dramatically and I now find myself working quite often until midnight or 1 or 2 in the morning. Combine that with my daily medication and problem of not being able to shut down my brain for the day, bed is not an option until my eyes are literally shutting before I even attempt to take myself upstairs at night. Hence it means that the lark has been singing his/her heart out for many hours before I rise from my bed, so basically that means that a 7.30 am start is more than difficult for me. I usually nap downstairs in the chair on the evening before my appointment to make sure that I am present and correct for such an ‘early’ start.
But why am I writing all this? It is actually not pertinent to the point with regard to the incident that occurred two days ago on my weekly run, but I thought I would just mention it. I had to stop off for petrol in Bideford on the way – the easiest option being to divert to the garage which, although more expensive, is more convenient to get to than Morrison’s first thing in the morning. Leaving the main road for habitation, and remembering to keep to the 30 mph speed limit, I found myself approaching a group of birds that had gathered in the left hand lane and the middle of the road to dine on something that was laying across the white lines. I have no idea whether it was roadkill, a sandwich, or something the refuse collectors had left behind, but there was a group of around 5 crows and a young seagull tucking in. As is often the case these days, the driver behind me was acting as if they were trying to see what was in my boot and I was conscious of the fact that if I had to perform an emergency stop for any reason that they would probably end up actually in the boot of my car, so I found myself in a rather precarious situation. If these birds did not move – as their actions seemed to indicate – I would, quite literally, be placed in a life or death situation.
Then the crows saw sense, and decided to leave and flew to the sides of the road to await their next opportunity. The young seagull, however, decided that it was going to take advantage of this and stayed firmly put to get a greater helping of the spoils, eyeing my approaching vehicle with disdain as it continued to tuck in. I could swear that the crow on the right hand verge was flapping up and down and calling to the insolent, death-defying youngster to try to get it to move. Anyway, it remained firmly where it was so I had to slow down without causing tail-gait Charlie to slam into me, and swerved to the left. I think it was then that the bird flew off – at any rate on my return journey past the spot after visiting the petrol station, there was no sign of anything nasty having happened, so I can only presume it had flown to safety. I had always thought that seagulls had better sense, but this one at least seemed to possess the same lack of intelligence (or is it just plain ignorance?) in recognising the danger of us humans and our metal boxes, as do pigeons and pheasants.
I was then treated to the sound of various seagulls seemingly swearing at me all the time I was at my appointment in Barnstaple. Or perhaps they were just thanking me….I would like to think the latter under the circumstances.