Sunday, April 27, 2008

Devon Predators

If you visit any coastal place in England, you'll likely see a sign warning you not to feed the seagulls. Acording to the sign "they might look pretty but they can be aggessive and could easily injure people, especially small children." These signs are generally regarded by most foreigners(certainly the Greek ones!)as yet another proof that the English are lilly-livered softies.

Peter and I have had many a chuckle over the past 3 years about the vicious Devon Predators (and continued feeding them, needless to say.)

Mother Nature once again had the last laugh.

Last week we were running some errands in a neighbouring town. It was a lovely day so we had made some sandwiches and went to a park to have a picnic on the grass. I handed the sandwitches around and sure enough, the seagulls spotted the food and gathered around, waiting for bits and leftovers. Nothing new there. We threw them a few crisps and bread crusts, and Matilda had a great time calling out to them.

SCENE: Mother, Father and young children are having a good time. The sun is shining, their cheeks are red, and their laughter tinkling. They are the picture of health and care free cheer. SUDDENLY... A cloud moves over the sun. In the distance, thunder rumbles.

More and more seagulls seemed to be gathering around us. Peter laughed and said "Look! We're surrounded." Suddenly, I became aware of just how big Devon seagulls are. They're as big as our cats, with their wings closed. They could certainly easily take them (Domino would be too slow for them, and Scrabble would be too stupid.) Their beaks are as long as my finger, and they have a red mark on the side. The blood of their previous victims? Their eyes are a dead, pale yellow. Three or four of them stand in front of Philip's buggy, beaks wide open, flap their wings and scream. I can see right down their throat. It's pinky-grey, and dirty.

It's all starting to seem a bit spooky now. Matilda hugs Peter's legs, and says "What do the birds want, daddy?" I get up when a seagull gets close enough to start pecking at the plastic bag that holds our sandwiches. All around us there are maybe thirty seagulls. Suddenly one of them flies at Peter and grabs the sandwich out of his hand. Another one starts pecking at the piece of bread Philip is holding, and he starts crying. I swing my plastic bag around, like an old lady trying to deter a mugger. I don't manage to hit one. It's just as well - I wonder if they would retaliate. As it is, all they do is take a couple of steps back and watch us. We quickly pack up (me swinging the bag around the whole time) and get up to leave. A gang of seagulls follows us until we get off the grass, then goes off to find the next victim, and we breathe a sigh of relief.

I still reserve the right to make fun of the signs warning us not to feed the pigeons though. ("they might look pretty but they can be aggessive and could easily injure people, especially small children." ) Now THAT is far fetched.

...Until it happens to YOU.

Thunder crackles. Maniacal laughter echoes in the distance.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

15 Minutes

OMG OMG I'm famous! I'd like to thank God, my family for making sure I grew up into a fantastic young lady, my children for making sure my superior genes survive...
Did you notice my nifty little gimmick at the bottom of the blog? It lets me know where in the world the people who have been visiting my blog are. Very good for the ego! (Who is the person reading from Paris??? Is that you Elita?!)

Chief Interpreter: Confusio say... "Once a student, always a student."

Without further ado, here are some pictures of the crew doing what they do best -making a mess! (Notice Peter doing the washing up. Unfortunately I had to crop the picture so you can't see the shackles around his wrists. Don't worry, I do take them off so he can go to work.)



After the messy play, we had to hose down the sproglings, so Peter had to abandon his post. He kept himself busy scrubbing the highchair though. Idle hands and all that jazz.



A moment of bliss. Matilda is feeding Philip. In case you have trouble figuring it out, Matilda is being Piglet and Philip is being Winnie the Pooh (well, at least she got the "Pooh" bit right!) Notice a cameo appearance by Peter doing the dishes. Aaaah... now let me just put my feet up for a bit!

Points of interest:

1. Isn't it perfect that Matilda sees a pink ballerina outfit and decides she will wear it to be Piglet? No Princesses here, thank you!

2. No, you didn't see her picking food up from the floor and feeding it to her brother. Anyway, it's good for the immune system. Yeah.