Singing lessons for seagulls
I have very low hopes for it. But I am going ahead anyway.
I have not worked out where to post it aside from here. I’m thinking maybe just the old fashioned way … something hand written … maybe with a drawing … stuck up on the street lamps.
Apart from the wording and the picture I have no further ideas. Meaning I have not come up with anything but the ad. There are no teachers lined up, no native seagull singers who also speak. Nothing. No-one.
Seagull is my favourite topic at the moment. The main one. Often, only.
I was having a chat with a taxi driver today and the topic came up.
“Grey skies again. They say more rain” said the driver, addressing me through the mirror.
“Yes … at least it keeps the seagulls quiet at night” I said.
“Yes …” Then I broke into my story about the two gulls at our place, the ones with the deeds to the garden.
“Ah yes …” he said. Then “You need a peregrine …”
“Yes. A peregrine falcon” he said. “They use them in London to fend off the pigeons.”
“Do they really? I was thinking maybe a Red Kite or something …”
“Or a Golden Eagle “ he said.
A Golden Eagle!
“A Golden Eagle …!” I repeated out loud and then we were here, at the front of our building and I jumped out.
I crossed to the footpath and turned back. He was still there sorting out the meter but smiling, waving; a bonnie, cheery wave. A bright, fine Scotsman, his accent a mixture of soft, assonant vowels and clipped consonants. One of those Scottish accents that makes the speaker sound like they are whispering or reciting poetry. A barely there, murmured sound with a little sting, like a dram of Scotch whisky – just a wee snap at first, just a little nip, enough to catch your throat, then
heat of embers
of honey, pear drops, hay fires, night and smoke
If you have never tried it now is the time. Anytime really. Now is good. If you can find a Scotsperson to show you the ropes, better still. I thoroughly recommend this route. It is how we were smite even though I don’t really drink, meaning it is something of a marvel. Well that part is.
If you have a whisky bar near you the Scotsperson will meet you there. And they will know what to drink (Scotch) and what to spit out (pretenders.)
The cab driver was readying to zoom off. We had clicked over the birds; the seagulls with too much voice and no ear. The Golden Eagle.
Standing there, at the edge of the footpath, I pointed to the roof. First to one side, then to the other, then to both sides together, simultaneously. Like someone giving directions on the tarmac – to indicate the seagull residence. Their address had formed the beginning of my story and he knew what I was talking about.
He smiled some more, a big, cheery smile, nodded his affirmation and waved and smiled again. Then I went in.
But I forgot to tell him about my ad. If only I could find him at the top of the rank again. Or wave him down in the street. Maybe … maybe he would know someone. Have a telephone number or something. Be able to help out with posters, lampposts.
I am no singing teacher. And there are no peregrine falcons here. No Red Kites, no Golden Eagles. Only sparrows and blue tits and robins. Small fry. And blackbirds. And pigeons. And two others …
There is only ever peace when it rains now. Which means there is too much irony.
The seagulls don’t like to sing in the rain. I don’t know where they go when it rains. Probably clucking together under an umbrella somewhere. Like the rest of us.
Bedtimes here and I suspect for the whole neighbourhood, go like this:
“ … Sleep well”
“Yes, sleep welllll…”
If only they could read at night.
Or take some lessons …
The seagulls are married! And are parents! I learned this just now, from our neighbour. They have hidden their “baby” in a bush in the shared garden! Our garden! And now they circle around and around and around and squawk incessantly as a means to protect Baby!
… A baby!
It all makes so much sense! With so much rain and no-one in the garden they really did think it was abandoned – and the perfect place to bring up Baby, who is apparently huge! And they are such good parents they are teaching it to make it’s own way in this world all the while hovering close, offering courage and protection, like this:
I shall have to write a new notice now …