Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Doves, pigeons and rats

The Swedish language does not differentiate between doves and pigeons, both are called "duva" so one needs to say whether it is a city dove, meaning pigeon, or a forrest one, still meaning pigeon, but a nice one.

I don't know about you, but I associate London with pigeons thanks to Mary Poppins, and am therefore more forgivingly inclined to the London pigeons then say, to Swedish ones. Because face it, pigeons are rats. Albeit with wings, but rats they are. So, even if I really like Mary Poppins, to feed pigeons and think this is nice and quaint... I always did find that..rather funny..

Passing St James park, I saw the funniest scene. A boy of about eight was happily feeding about three pigeons, while his parents were fondly filming this scene of bonding between man and beast. Watching this, my opinion swayed ever so slightly in favour of pigeons.. but once I had passed I heard screaming that sounded as if somebody was attacked. I turned around, and saw a radically different scene than the one I witnessed just moments ago. A big flock of pigeons had arrived and not only was the poor boy covered had to toe in pigeons, they also seemed to be quite dissatisfied with his supply of food and were picking at him quite ferociously. I am not sure, but I think that Alfred Hitchcock and a little budgie somewhere not too far away were laughing. I am NOT trying to say that the pigeons then took of with the boy, as I walked on and did not watch the carnage, but I don't think that it is altogether impossible.
When I passed later, the pigeons were washing their (bloody) feet in the Sepentine...

London trophies

I love London. It does not have the elegance of Paris or the buzz of New York, but only in London are you overtaken by four horse- and carriages, accompanied by riders, and it turns out being a school on their way to - I think- polo practise. All the kids have riding outfits, that there is a professional name for, I am sure, and look so English you have to hold yourself back in order NOT to turn into a paparazzi..

Passing a real estate agent, I noted that the flats don't have living rooms, but reception rooms.

I remember reading in a book (84 Charing Cross, by Helène Hanff) that if you go to London in search of the literature, you will find it. Since I much rather shop for books than for anything really, my big problem was the airline limitations. (and, of course, the limitation of getting to the place that currently is my home- it is so isolated from anywhere that it might as well be Sibiria) (my impression is however, that through the history of times, it has been very easy to be sent to Siberia, so this would be the key difference..)

Anyway, after coming home (which again, very very difficult and involved crawling, begging and buying a bottle of champagne to get a lift) I am all of twelve books richer and, am just embarking on placing a post order for more of the above. And, like a child at Christmas, this little pile was arranged so that it would be the first thing I saw when I woke up. (needless to say, getting up and going to the bathroom in the middle of the night dis-arranged the pile and nearly killed my toe - another advantage of paperbacks..)