Monday, December 01, 2008

draining, in love, starlings

Posted by Picasa At the end of platform 1 just before the tunnel, something to stop the wall bulging under the pressure of the water table.

"You look very in love today, " a young man who is dishing out leaflets in Bond Street this afternoon says to Heidi and me, as we politely decline his offering.

There used to be a crowd if not a proper murmuration of starlings in the Grove at this time of year. At the moment, there are only a few lonely birds. Meanwhile, I hear on BBC Radio 4, this morning, that there are an estimated five million in Rome just now. In despair at the volume of their droppings and the all pervading smell, the authorities are playing recordings of starlings in distress, to persuade the birds to go elsewhere. If the sound of the recordings on the radio is anything to judge by they will already have departed rising unanimously in one of those marvelous, formations, that wheel and change shape in the evening sky.

3 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

Interesting to speculate on what changes in behaviour conversion to Catholicism might bring about in a starling. It didn't seem to change EWaugh much although he maintained he would have been a much more obnoxious person had it not happened.

The mind boggles - a deliberately chosen cliché since I have decided to look up "boggle" in the dictionary. In fact the primary meaning is "to hesitate to do something because of doubt, fear or scruples". The more familiar definition, as with the example above, is "Used in mock bewilderment or ironic speculation." which is admirably concise and modestly elegant.

Plutarch said...

Thank you for the definition. I agree about its elegance. When my mind boggles in future I will feel altogether happier about it.

Dave King said...

There was a fabulous image of the Rome starlings in the paper a few days ago - it looked as though all 5 millon had been caught in the one photograph.