Sunday, August 21, 2011


Well this is the morning aftermath of what started out to be a really relaxing night of reading and chilling and just enjoying the amazing weather.

On this breezy night, I had a good book, a cold drink and a comfortable reading corner with a good light. It pretty much doesnt get any better than this for me.

After every few chapters Id get up to look out over my tiny balcony and see the spotlighted turrets of the monuments against the sky and take in a deep breath of contentment and experience the "I cant believe Im really here" moment again.

After about an hour or so of this luxury, on the dot of 9 o'clock, a distant rumbling began. It made me think of the sounds of war and bombers and at first I thought some idiot had his TV on TOO loud.  Then it dawned on me that it was August 20, Hungary's National Day, in the same vein as July 4. The bombers of my imagination were just row, after ceaseless row, of ear shattering, building shaking, fireworks. They were distant but they were loud. I figured they couldnt last forever and so left my door open as not to deprive myself of the delicious cool evening breeze.

At 9:30 the noise and light show stopped as abruptly as it had begun and I resumed my reading.
At this point I should say that in the last week or so I seem to have developed a floater in my left eye that translates into seeing a slight black line in my periferal vision. As I was reclining and reading I though I saw a black shadow moving around the room out of the corner of my eye.  When I looked up from my book, I found there was a panicky little BIRD, who seemed to have come in through the open door and was trying to find his way out again.

Who was more panicked, me or the bird (a little tiny one), will never be known.
Every warning I had ever heard about flying rats and birds as carriers of plague, flooded my consiousness and I went to war with the tools at hand. The tools were actually my long handled broom. I ran to the kitchen, 3 feet away, located my weapon and leaped onto the bed, the better to reach the pestulant invader as he swooped around my 12 foot high ceiling.

Of course this weapon, rather broom, was the very one I use every day to keep the dust and city detritus at bay, so when I took a sweeping whack at the enemy, I managed to cover not just myself but my bed and bedding with all of the dust that has accumulated over the last few weeks.  But I fought on undaunted!  GET OUT OF HERE BIRD!!!  Whack, swing, miss, whack again. miss again. A really strong backhand broke the head off the broom but missed the bird.
I now decided that the best approach to this would be to think like a bird. Up till now I had just been bird-brained and really didnt want to harm the frantic creature, just guide him out the door he had come in through.
The broom handle didnt seem like it had much chance for success so I changed my strategy. Keen observation informed me that the invader (aka Atilla The bird) kept swooping between the 3 lights I had on in the room. I reasoned that if I turned off one then he would be in a more direct line to go out the door as he swooped from one light to the other, like in an airport runway. If finally dawned on me, that if I had no lights on, he might see the lights outside and head there.
The challenge with that strategy of course was did I have the nerve to be in a completly dark room with a swooping bird. (Tippy Hedren revisited!) No I didnt but I also had no choice. I didnt dare consider my usual standard of measure, "Whats the worst thing that can happen?", but closed the lights, closed my eyes and held my breath.
When I stopped praying and turned a light back on I was mercifully alone. Well I had a room full of dust to clean up and linens to change and disinfecting to do but the invader was vanquished.
By now, I'm sure someone is wondering why the screens didnt keep birdie out. Well it seems that here in Europe, they dont use screens. The feeling is that screens keep the air out.  Well they might a little but I have a newsflash for them.
They also keep out  the birds and that's a good enough trade off for me.

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