Sunday, 22 April 2007
The figs on our tree are appearing early again this year. Last year when this happened we looked forward to our first fig harvest, hunting out recipes for fig tart before the summer had even begun. Then, suddenly the figs disappeared and it took us a while to work out why. The bluetits had come to play in our garden and particularly liked the fig tree and we particularly liked the bluetits so we didn't mind them staying - what we didn't realise was that the bluetits particularly liked the figs too! Bizarrely both the bluetits and the figs left our garden - thanks to the SEAGULLS!
One hot day after school we decided to have a picnic in the garden and no sooner had we started to eat when a seagull divebombed my daughter skimming the top of her head! Just as we sat up to run indoors it did the same to me. It seemed that the seagulls had nested on our roof and we had chosen the day that the eggs had hatched to picnic! My husband,(assuming some kind of Dr Dolittle stance), tried to calmly talk them into submission but to no avail and we realised our garden was no longer ours.
The local council advised me to wear a helmet in the garden, waving a stick above my head to ward off any attacks. And so for 2 months I hung out the washing wearing my daughter's Barbie helmet (I'm not joking) carrying a rather pretty orange floral umbrella in the air! By this time one of our cats had left home (not to return until the end of the summer when the seagulls had moved on) and my daughter refused to go outside to play!
We had promised her an outdoor Birthday party in July as this was our first Summer here but it really was too risky having 20 screaming kids and 2 ferocious seagulls in the garden at the same time. Fortunately she is Narnia mad so we hastily erected an enormous old Scout tent that a friend had at the far end of the garden, put up a gazebo and various parasols and decked the whole lot in red and yellow bunting - Aslan's camp! The kids were herded from one awning to another and for once the seagulls were too perplexed to bother!
Not wanting to go through another summer like that we've just had a net put over the flat roof on part of our house and the neighbour has had his chimney stack spiked to prevent a new nest being built. The seagulls have returned and are busy doing what the birds and bees do at this time of the year but have yet (hopefully) to find a spot to nest on our roof!
Unwilling to upset anything else we have decided not to cover the fig tree in some kind of giant hair net and deprive the bluetits of their figgy banquet. This way we can enjoy the birds, they can enjoy the garden and fingers crossed for a second harvest!