Category Archives: Fresh Air

Summer Days Giveth, and Taketh Away

Beautiful sunny day today – feels like summer. When I said this, Tim said ‘It is summer!’ But my infallible primary school knowledge tells me that summer is June, July, August, so I maintain this is a pre-summer bonus. A very welcome one – like every good Englishwoman, I expect overcast skies as standard, so any sunny day is an instant happy-maker. I imagine a little vitamin D counter underneath my skin topping up with a little ‘zzziiiing’.

Surveying the landscape

Like falling off a log...

We went for a walk in the park this afternoon, foregoing the Sunday pm sleep for once, and wandered around on the grass and picked daisies (ok, that was me) and got excited about the mini steam train we found in an unexplored corner (ok, that was Tim).

The park was full of dog walkers and tennis players and young families reclining under trees, all looking very contented. The usually introverted inhabitants of our little island become much friendlier when the sun comes out, I’ve noticed. I find it much easier to like people generally, and tend to smile benevolently and slightly idiotically at all and sundry. I expect my freckles have come out in force – they never need much encouragement – but I have decided not to mind this time.

The lovely weather has, however, resulted in an unhappy chain of events that culminated with a face full of pigeon this morning. Yesterday we were at the temple, and as we were about to leave, wound down the windows in the car to pause and have a drink without overheating. Much to our dismay, the passenger side window did not take kindly to being wound, and collapsed into the door with an ominous sound of buckling, splintering plastic. Have you ever really thought about how useful a passenger window is? Well, it is. It keeps the noise out. It keeps your hair in roughly the same style as it was when you got in the car. Best of all, you can drive faster than 50mph without puncturing your eardrums with shuddering air pressure. Our journey home on the motorway was lengthy, deafening and decidedly ruffling.

Thankfully, the car was still on our drive this morning, so we headed off to church as usual, still windowless. We’d just entered the 20mph zone when I noticed a large pigeon on the opposite side of the road, about to get run over by an oncoming car. Silly bird, I thought. While thus distracted, a FAT, FEATHERY, BEAK-AND-CLAWS PIGEON OF DEATH attempted to fly in through my open window. Luckily for me, it clearly misjudged the angle, and wrapped itself around the door pillar instead, in an explosion of feathers and flailing wings. My fear of birds, and pigeons in particular, is fervent and longstanding (if I were inclined to analyse it, it would involve something along the lines of getting flapping things caught in my hair). I flung myself across the car so quickly I wrenched a muscle in my neck, and screamed and screamed and sent Tim almost veering into the other lane. The window, safe inside the door, chuckled nastily.

We had a conversation about ultimate fears once, and Tim concluded that mine would be a large bird pecking at my face, while telling me that I was fat and stupid and leaving a runny mess on my beloved volume of Arden Shakespeare (Tim’s would be having his tickets to Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference slowly burned on a fire built from the wreckage of his laptop and phone, I think). Well, forget all that. Getting a faceful of exploding pigeon has won all the prizes. Meanwhile, without a window, the car sits out in the sun, enjoying the unexpected breeze.

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