Imagine the title of this post being spoken in the kind of voice typically heard in a horror movie trailer. Maybe with some chilling, high-pitched, psycho violins reminiscent of stabbing.
But we’ll get to the seagulls later. Mothers’ Day 2018 in Canberra was pretty low key which is just how I wanted it: a chance to sleep in, teach Spider Boy how to make my breakfast (after he ran into my room at a reasonable hour to give me a beautiful card and origami box he’d made) go to Bunnings for a sausage sandwich and some double-sided wall adhesive, and a little walk and coffee by the lake. There were no seagulls. But there were chips, and former-Sydneysider Spider Boy commented how lovely it was to eat chips by the sea, while lakeside at Kingston Foreshore. I knew what he meant. But just as well we weren’t by the sea in Sydney, after what I heard next…
On the way home from our pleasant little lakeside stroll, my sister Senorita Margarita called to report a savage seagull incident in the Harbour city. She and my mum had decided to take a ferry from Rose Bay to Circular Quay and enjoy some fish and chips by the water. According to the Senorita, just as Mum was about to tuck in to her seafood lunch, fish on fork on its way to her mouth, a seagull swooped in, stole the fork from under her nose, slapping her in the cheek with its wing as it flew off, fork in beak with the fish still attached. Then it ate the fish and dropped the cutlery on the ground. Not only a violent thief, but a tosser!
As my sister recounted mum’s seagull encounter over the phone we both started laughing at the sheer gall of the gull, but then I was laughing so hard I nearly ran the car off Yamba drive. My laughter was hypercritical, considering I got annoyed when Spider Boy laughed at me spilling my flat white on my new felt winter hat that very afternoon (and in case you’ve got a mental picture, I wasn’t wearing my hat at the time)
The Senorita reminded me of another seagull event at the Quay a few years ago, when one decided to move into her lustrous blonde curls during her lunch break, while its seagull sidekick did a fly-by and took a bite of her sandwich as she brought it to her mouth. Yes, the Circular Quay seagulls are particularly bold.
Later that day after hearing about Mum’s seagull drama, I rang my dad.
Dad, who has recently moved to the Blue Mountains just west of Sydney, had ventured back to the East for the weekend. We swapped stories about our Sundays. He complained about Sydney traffic, Sydney queues, Sydney prices, Sydney attitude and annoying and expensive Lexuses and Range Rovers in Centennial Park, and how he’s so happy that’s all behind him now that he’s moved to the Mountains. (I must admit, I do love being able to visit him there.) And then I told Dad about my peaceful Mothers’ Day in Canberra, and about my Mother’s not-so-peaceful day in Sydney.
While relating the story of the savage seagulls at Circular Quay, it occured to me the Seagulls were just like Sydney itself… they were, in fact, very Sydney seagulls.
“Yes!” agreed Dad. “That’s exactly what they are – Very. Sydney. Seagulls!”
In May 2014, I blogged about a family outing where we experienced another particularly rude seagull event coupled with terrible service from an ice-cream vendor. Here’s an edited version of Sunday drive: savage seagulls, snakes and service with a snarl…
My sister Senorita Margarita, Mum Spider Boy and I decided on a nice low-key beach area. So not Bondi. We drove south and ended up at Botany Bay.
We bought fish and chips and made our way down to the little beach facing the airport runways. There was lots of interesting things to look at, and balmy weather considering it was May.
We perched on the wall of an elevated garden bed since all the benches were taken. Suddenly, A flock of seagulls descended. Spider Boy wanted to run, run so far away (sorry, any chance to bring up the 80s).
Spider Boy was edgy. He tensed as the seagulls squawked and edged closer to his lunch. “Should I give them some lunch?” He asked, obviously hoping that feeding them would make them go away.
“No!” I squawked. “If you do that, they’ll never leave! They’ll just get louder, closer and more annoying! Like Mummy nagging.”
So we sat there uncomfortably perched on the garden bed, sea grass tickling our legs, seagulls staring us down, wind blowing my hair in my face.
Suddenly a rampaging toddler disturbed the status quo, throwing out the delicate mutual respect Spider Boy and I had achieved with the flock of seagulls. They squawked, they flapped. Spider Boy jumped. Then I felt something drop onto my fish and chips paper at the same time as hearing a distinctive splat! I felt something wet on my hand and leg.
I looked at my lunch fearing what I knew I would see there, and I’m not talking about tartare sauce.
“A seagull just pooed on my lunch!” I shared with my family and passers-by.
“Well at least a seagull didn’t land on your head!” said The Senorita. “That happened to me once you know!”
Here are some pics from Sunday…