A bird that I think is a variety of pigeon got into our conservatory this morning. The poor thing panicked and flew full tilt into the windows repeatedly as it tried to escape. It must have cracked its skull before we got it out. Since then it has staggered in the autumn leaves outside, occasionally hopping around, seeking height, catastrophically insane. We tried to give it water and food, but it still understands that humans are danger so it is using the last of its energy to get away from us. It’s dying. There’s not a great deal we can do. When we get too close its movement sends up a cloud of flies that are probably already bedding eggs into its feathers. Its instincts are more finely honed to avoid humans than they are to shrug off flies. I suspect that it avoids us for preference because we are big, clumsy and obvious. Not because we are a destructive plague to nature. But perhaps it’s a combination of the two. Maybe the insanity has given it perspective.


8 artists who live in London relaxing in the countryside. There are donkeys next door, flies everywhere, loads of birds, bats, bugs and bloodsuckers. I’m trying not to kill anything, which makes it hard with the mosquitoes, but thankfully they are infinitely more interested in the pale skinned members of the group. I never really get bitten if there are alternative food sources. Brian and Rebecca are dish of the day. I’m emergency rations.

I had to spend ages getting this Hindi self-tape down, which became antisocial. I tried not to let it eat the whole day, so I familiarised myself and sight-read it while filming myself in the sunshine as that pigeon glared at me. “Look at you, messing around while I’m dying.” I could hear it think. Everyone else was off having fun. I was filming myself talking to myself in a language I didn’t understand while that mad skullcracked pigeon reflected me back to myself through its little dark eyes.

Brian had tried to give it water earlier. I tried again. It still feared humans too much though. So I sat in the conservatory and it came and stared at me through the glass as I tried to upload videos of myself to the internet. Slow slow upload. So slow. I couldn’t stand the avian scrutiny. I went for a drive, leaving my phone at home to work.

We rely on technology so much. I got in the car and realised I didn’t know my address. I had no map. I know nobody’s number. If I got lost I would get very lost. But I found a wood and walked in it. I found porcini mushrooms, but didn’t have my phone with me to confirm so I left them. Even if I’d been certain I probably wouldn’t have brought them to the table as I don’t want to kill my friends from idiocy. But all my habits revolve around grabbing this phone. I write my blog on it. I play my music on it. I navigate, film self tapes, upload movies. This morning I spoke to a man in India on it. He was on a bus and he taught me how to pronounce some phrases. It’s amazing what these things can do. Impossible. Wonderful. I took a photo of a dying pigeon covered in flies on it. Here it is. It just looked at me. Four foot was its boundary for me.

Self tape is uploaded. Time to get stuck into the last night prosecco and enjoy the fact that people have come home now and the pigeon has slunk round a corner. We’re making too much noise.

I suspect I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and it’ll be sitting at the end of my bed. As I rub my eyes in disbelief it’ll keel over and die. Meantime I’m going to help cook dinner. And drink more prosecco.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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