Thursday, March 18, 2004

"Is Colleague K happily spouting off down below?"
Me: [Blinks a few times in surprise.] That is sooo rude. I can't answer that."
Line Manager: [Stunned and baffled pause] I was asking if he is okay and if he is happy taking the course in the conference room downstairs.
Me: Oh. [Breaking eye contact that will probably remain broken for the rest of the day]Yes, yes, he's fine.

I just caught sight of myself in the mirror and have realised how grey and haggard I look. This is because I was up for a large part of the night listening to a cat killing a pigeon on the stairs just outside my fucking bedroom window. Darling Taxloss slept through it all, having exhausted himself on the (table) football field (/ table) but I, being rather full of cake and Papa's cooking - and the mental image of my wee cousin growing an enormous bottom through over-dancing - was less restful and I kept getting jolted awake by the sound of panicked wingbeats, smacking the floor in fright and then rattling the bin tucked away under the stairs.

It was 3.30am and I had been asleep for a while when the sound of something whacking the window woke me up and I was, frankly, crapping myself in fear. Our bedroom faces the stairs leading down to the front door from street level and you'd have to quite deliberately come through the gate and turn down the steps to hit the window and so I was frightened, understandably so. Then the sound came again and I heard wingbeats... then, it being 3.30am and having read too many Neil Gaiman novels, I thought "Holy crap! It's a tramp, coming to find shelter in that little space under the stairs where we keep the bin, and he's actually an angel and he's having a fight with something from the dark places!" Then I was really scared. And curious.

So I got out of bed, hopped over to the window, pulled the curtain back gingerly and came face to face with the most evil tortoiseshell cat central London has ever produced. It didn't move... because it was watching an injured pigeon freaking out two steps below and this cat clearly didn't want to give up it's new toy, despite my jittery banging on the glass. I just went back to bed, thinking: Well...okay... there's a cat killing a pigeon outside my window, and the pigeon is clearly in distress because it's freaking out and beating its wings really loudly and... oh; that was the sound of it dying, a sort of mournful cooing that faltered and then stopped. Nice. And then there was a lot of feathey rustling, maybe even some cruching noises? and fuck it, I'll just try and get some sleep and deal with any messy dead massacred pigeon on my doorstep in the morning.

There was no mess this morning (and I did chicken out and send Boatie Flatmate out to investigate before I would peep round the doorframe...). Just a small drift of feathers over the stairs.

I need more sleep. Bah.

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