Sunday, 17 July 2011

...And then it all went up in a puff of feathers.

I'd not seen a pigeon explode on impact until this evening on the A3. It was an unfortunate incident, however I blame the stupid bird for flying across the path of a speeding Honda Jazz at roughly 70mph. The driver (female) looked incredibly shaken and distressed as I overtook. I, the heartless creature I am, tried to stifle the giggles. Any one overtaking me, would have thought me a crazy woman. Upon looking in the rearview mirror after pulling infront of the pigeon-killer, I saw the birds headless carcuss mushed up against the grill.

I shouldn't laugh really, the pigeons can't help being brainless (or in this case headless) and I wouldn't  like to be the woman peeling the pigeon from the front of her car. What a nice surprise she'll have had when she reached her destination. A balding dead pigeon.

So the weekend finished with the bird explosion, the most exciting event to have happened in the past 56 hours ( I must include my Friday night, because my weekend starts at 5.01pm)

I find that my weekends are primarily for relaxing, catching up with friends and doing all those activities in the week that you have no time for (or more likely, can't be bothered to do). But this weekend was another weekend without Frank, and Miss Hendo and Miss USA were missing too. Unfortunatley for me, they had decided to book annual leave at the same time. Needless to say it has been a rather uneventful and quite week in the office followed by an equally quiet weekend.

On saturday morning, Mumma (now an invalid due to a intoxicated incident with a bucking bronco) lounged on the sofa with an ice pack, catching up on a television box set that she missed when it premiered.
Now I will be the first to argue that Sex and the City shall never lose its place in the heart of many women, each of them hoping their lives might be a little more like those of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. Or if not like them, then at least worthy of an internationally acclaimed series.

After watching any episode of this brilliant programme that has a cult like following, I pretend that I lunch with friends all the time, that I live in a beautiful brownstone and have an incredible shoe collection. Of course none of this is even remotely true or even likely to blossom into future reality, but I pretend nonetheless. So on saturday afternoon, spurred by desire for new reading material and a little escapism from the mundaneness of the week - I slipped my feet into my favourite pair of heels, put on my new trench coat (for a little of that classic chic-ness) and my film star sunglasses (a gift from Frank to complete the look) and drove into the city, parked and wandered through the throng of saturday shoppers to the quiet escape of Waterstones. Now this is not something that any of the SATC girls would consider (with maybe the exception of Charlotte) but I felt I looked the part, regardless of my selected activity.

So call me an oddball, I really don't mind - or choose another carefully selected endearing term for 'weirdo', but I love bookshops and libraries. I prefer the shops because they have a particular smell, and all the pages are crisp (See? Strange girl) I spent two and a half hours perusing the shelves in the basement of my favourite bookshop. It has comfy chairs and low lighting and it's so unbelievably quiet. Nobody makes a sound. Even the cash registers don't beep. Its odd really, to find somewhere so peaceful amidst the hubub of the high street, and people respect the tranquility. Never have I heard a rowdy bunch of shoppers enter the store, and if they have I believe they were escorted quickly from the premises.

I intended to purchase only three books with the remainder of my birthday pennies from the parents. But the problem with  the "three for two" offer is that you want to make sure that you are buying the best three books possible.

I kept picking books up , reading the back, putting them down. Selecting another, reading the first chapter and then returning it to the pile. It was this indecisiveness that resulted in my careful selection of not three, but six books.
You see, you can't select four or five in this instance because the third and sixth book are free - it would be rude to leave the shop without the literary work of some potentially unknown author when you aren't being charged for it.

I felt like quite the educated young lady, until I reached the 'classics' shelf and realised how few I had read. I will not disclose the actual figure for fear of it ruining any predetermined ideas about my education and knowledge. I shall make it known however, that not once did I pick up one of those "chick flick" books. They have the brightly decorated covers that scream "fun" and "simple". I love them (on occasion, when my brain is addled and requires easy words to mull over) but I felt that that nearly three hours of perusing and careful selection would be wasted if I left with an array of simple reading.

I paid for my six books, and refused the offer of a Mr Men bookmark. Apologies Roger Hargreaves, I would rather not have Mr Bump looking at me as I read. No hard feelings of course.

I wondered what else I might do to fill my solitary afternoon. There were no museums and no art gallery to wander around to expand my capacity for knowledge and culture. So I went to Starbucks. When in doubt a double shot, extra hot, tall skinny cappuccino with a shot of irish cream syrup always sorts me out.
So I sat at the window of this coffee franchise (which doesn't smell like ground and roasted coffee beans and more like stale air conditioning) and watched the world go by. Soon the coffee was gone, and I wished I had bought a muffin to silence the grumbling from my tummy. But no. I refused the option of additional extras because Starbucks have now printed the calorie content of all their beverages on the menu board. Now, I am no calorie counter, but when someone shows you how much 'stuff' is in your drink, you begin to feel a little self concious when you order cake too!

Naturally my parents were shocked by the amount of pennies spent, when I'd only intended to buy one book (alas the well considered marketing strategy of book offers and impulse purchases). So much money for words!

So now I have five books to read (sadly I am a quick reader and the stack of books was just too tempting. You must all read "When God was a Rabbit" - and no, I am not blaspheming). However I feel these five books will provide great comfort when the delayed shock of bird manslaughter sets in.

And because it is such a great way to spend a quiet rainy afternoon, I shall never buy a Kindle.

N.B Isn't it odd that a word to describe the unlawful killing of another being without malicious intent, contains such a happy word? Man's-laughter ... makes a mockery of the justice system don't you think?