I overslept. It was damned near 0730hrs when this gaggle of horn-honking ne’er do wells made it their job to wake me up before the whole of the day was wasted.
Geese can be unbelievably noisy, especially if they are hungry from their overnight fasting and wholly intent on persuading each and every narrowboat to open its hatches and feed them. I neither opened the hatches nor fed them, the smudge on the photograph above is because I took the photo through glass…
Mind you, they were quite right about it being long past time to stir my stumps. This was my reward for flinging off my striped pyjamas and performing a few stretching exercises (and, yes, coughing and scratching at armpits and …things… counts as exercise). I poked my angelic little face up agin a porthole and the sun poked me right back in the eye.
Just look at it. No high-rise monstrosities, no thundering, smelly traffic jams, no seething throng of greasy humankind all screeching for attention and blood and a number 32 bus and unbelievably lousy latté in a soggy paper cup. From what I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a fair bit, “living” in a city or a large conurbation is all about desperately avoiding noticing the world that you live in, about avoiding contact with other life-forms, about creating a fragile, battered and beaten little make-believe bubble of faux-isolation around yourself. Interaction with wildlife in cities generally means wondering if that pigeon is going to move before you kick it out of the way.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am a country mouse, not a city rat.
Having realised that they were not going to get breakfast out of me, my feathered alarm clocks with watertight arses paddled on. Doubtless they created merry hell with the next boat they came to. I do hope so – the next boat along is in a marina, among hundreds of others. Rich pickings, I’m sure.
Even when I lived for some many years within twenty-five minutes drive of the centre of a real city [Manchester], I didn’t love the city – I just loved what I could get there. I loved the restaurants, the clubs, and most of all I loved the entertainment – live orchestras, live theatre, acts of the calibre of Cirque du Soleil and those things that my generation refers to as “rock concerts” with the big names. If I could have got those elsewhere then I would, as a preference, have got them elsewhere!
I’ve lived in and near to other places that were officially cities but aren’t really – Lincoln, Norwich, Blackpool.
Lincoln is picturesque, but chaotic to drive in. Norwich is more of an overgrown town than a city, and it only has one horse (deceased). Blackpool, being a seaside place is as tame as they come, and fun in a totally tacky sort of way. I’ve worked in London, right in the centre on the banks of the Thames, I’ve worked in Leeds, Brighton, Bristol, Washington, almost all of those sorts of places, but never Birmingham or Sheffield for some reason.
Wouldn’t give you twoppence for any of them really. Not even a penny. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t shell out a farthing (unless buying them to immediately re-sell, lock, stock and smelly barrel).
Can’t see the sky because of the high-rises and the light pollution, can’t see the trees and the grass (because there is none). Elbow to elbow, cheek to jowl and everyone bad tempered and rude. No thank you. It is of course, the corporate, political and town-planners dream to someday cover the entire planet in one big city. I count myself lucky that I shall no longer be on this planet when that happens.
I shall have packed my bags into the boot of the Hutsonmobile and scooted off into outer space long since, warp factor “get a ruddy move on, Doris”.
Star-trekkin’ across the universe, only goin’ forwards, we can’t find reverse…
Actually, I drove across Australia once to the strains of that song. Adelaide to Darwin via Alice Sprang and that big red rock of Mr Ayer’s. The rest of the soundtrack was Tears For Fears and Kate Shrub (she’s grown since) and much, much fine music of a fine music era. I like Australia, ruddy place is big and not yet under concrete from coast to coast.
I have little doubt that some grubby little politician somewhere is working on correcting just that oversight. G’Day, we’ve got room for another McDonald’s over there but make the drive-through big enough for road-trains. If the koalas are causing lumps in the road just flatten ’em with a shovel before you pour on the tarmac. Escalators up Ayer’s Rock (and no, I won’t call it Uluru, that’s not my name for it, it’s someone else’s).
When I am Lord High He-Who (Must Be Obeyed) the town planners and the developers alike shall be introduced to short ropes and long drops. Then I’ll bury the whole lot of ’em under one of their own motorways.
Now, back to my question for you.
How the hell do I re-set the alarm time on a goose? Is there a button or something?