Friday, 10 June 2016
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I was dreaming of those Elizabethan girls. Burlesque dancers, with their soft, downy feathers and leather gloves that slapped across my face. They smelt of vinegar, salt, and rotting burgers and they sang in a deafening squawk as they moved across my dreams. It was another hot night. It felt like all the air had been sucked out of Cardiff and, even with my windows open there was barely a breath of breeze. The dancers were moving closer to me, sexy, seductive, sweaty. Their feather boas brushed my face; they were closing in. I was being suffocated by them. They started laughing, a squawking, Janice from Friends type laugh.
I woke in a pool of sweat. At first I thought I was being suffocated by the humidity. But humidity isn’t soft damp and smelly like the weight on my head and as far as I knew humidity doesn’t have feathers.
When you have your window open at night you might expect the odd moth or mosquito to fly in and irritate you, but what do you do when you wake up and there is a seagull sitting on your face?
Seagulls are nasty bastards. If one has ever swooped down and stolen a bag from your hands, you’ll know that they don’t take no for an answer. They’ve got strong wings, dead eyes and beaks that would be classed as illegal lethal weapons in 143 different countries worldwide and I had one sitting on my head like it was king of the castle.
Should I move? I wanted to move, I wanted to shoo the bloody stinking bird off me. But what if it attacked. I was naked and didn’t think I’d like a gull pecking at me. But if I stayed still, I would have a mouthful of feathers and a nose full of the smell of the sea in my nostrils, and when that sea is next to most polluting power station in Europe, it’s not the most alluring of smells.
The bloody thing was moving. It stood up, I took a deep breath while I could. The leathery webbed feet slapped my face as the bird turned around, it ruffled its feathers and then nestled down again. The smell got worse suggesting my nose was rather too close to the cloaca for comfort. Although the bird seemed perfectly comfortable. It was time for action. I had to hatch a plan before the bloody gull hatched an egg.
The idea was simple, move down the bed as fast as I could and wrap my whole body in the duvet to protect myself from the counter attack the bird would no doubt launch. I counted myself in, three, two, one.
I scrambled. The bird flew off my face and I managed to get the duvet around me. The gull was mad. The wings flapped, the mouth roared its disapproval. A wing thumped me in the back. I rolled off the bed and onto the floor and with the duvet still around me managed to get the bedroom door open and get through it. I slammed it shut hoping to god the seagull hadn’t come out of the room with me. I listened for a second, before deciding the noise was coming from behind the door. I dropped my duvet defence and was relieved to see I was alone in my flat. Okay, there was a seagull trapped in my bedroom but I could deal with that problem in the morning. For now, I just wanted to wash the smell of the sea off my face.