My current office – our current office, as, both freelance and incorporated into a Hey Why Not Hire Us We Write Stuff company – is in the roof of the flat we have been living in for six months.
It is nice being in the roof. Five floors up, facing over the rooftops out back of the house, and the main stuff we hear through the skylight is the sweet singing of little birds. Apart from in winter, when it was mainly rain and dark cloudy winds and the sound of my will to live leaking out of my ears.
There is the occasional seagull noise, of course. Brighton has seagulls. Theyre big buggers. Seriously big. It must be all the abandoned chips they snaffle after everyones had their big Saturday night out, as well as all the ice cream cornets they steal from unwitting daytrippers. Theyre big, and mean-looking. Theyre basically the size of horses, but meaner, and with pointy bits on the front, like angry unicorns.
There are some that live on the roof next door, that watch with one beady eye each as we get up in the morning, as if plotting to break in the second we go on holiday. Or that they might not bother, since they have nothing but disdain for us after all. Sometimes they make a threatening PSHAWWW noise to back up their intentions.
And sometimes, at this time of year, they make other noises. The kind of noises a mummy seagull and a daddy seagull make when they love each other very much. I had forgotten they do this. In the last few days, however, I have remembered. And remembered that, (not very) coincidentally, almost exactly four years ago I noticed them doing it, precisely the same.
Or not, actually, exactly the same. Not the same as today, anyway. When, in the middle of a particularly intense bout of contcentration, when I had been tapping away on my keyboard, Small Cat curled up on my knee, managing to tune out the light bumping on the roof tiles above, and the faint Unk unk unk unk unk unk unk noise that went with it.
When suddenly, a tangle of mid-coital wings, beaks, feathers and feet came tumbling down the roof, rolled inelegantly over the skylight, and continued, gathering momentum, toward the edge of the roof where, I glimpsed, as I leapt up screaming at the gashes a startled Smallcat had left in my leg, they somehow – ahem – disengaged and flew away.
I just hope that they managed to get over the inevitable shame and embarrassment and continue their date elsewhere. Because it seemed to be going VERY well. In seagull terms, anyway.
Or, in fact, in anyones terms, I suppose.
Quite glad the sklylight wasnt ajar, anyway. It struck me afterward that if it had been, the combined weight of bonking pterodactyls would have flipped the window, leaving them on the office floor, Smallcat through the roof, and me feeling quite the gooseberry in my own house.
Fucking seagulls, eh?