1st-4th of May, 2017: Birds, Gastropods, and Phones(oh my!)

Monday, 1st of May

It’s MAY! And to celebrate, I had a really exciting day at work.

Proof here!

Tuesday, 2nd of May

I tried to take a video of some swallows swooping through the greenhouses at work, mainly because Haitham really likes them. But instead I got a video of nothing, because as it turns out, swallows fly really damn fast.

Here’s why Haitham likes them. Because one of his favorite singers, a pretty well-known folk singer round these parts named Martin Simpson sings about them.

I have to admit, while I may not love Martin Simpson as much as H does, I do appreciate his lyrics on this one.

April sun on Slapton Ley
Between the lagoon and the haunted sea
I was thinking of war and cruelty
When spring’s first swallow split the sky

And I was lifted above all care
As the swallow swung through the salted air
Come from savannah and desert and sea
To mark another year for me

A sailor’s tattoo like a prayer on my arm
To bring me home and safe from harm
Though rocks may melt and seas my burn
Dark swift and bright swallow shall always return

Bright swallow, sweet spirit of stockyard and barn
You lighten our days with all of your charm
Bring hope to the sailor upon the wide sea
And mark another year for me

Swifts sythe and scream through the city dusk
Late to come and first to leave
But come they do and leave they must
Hot August nights, their absence grieve

And how we miss their impudent glee
This devil’s bitch, this mystery
This sprite that sleeps upon the breeze
And flies and feeds behind the stores

And for you, my love
And eternity

Haitham really likes the alliteration of “spring’s first swallows split through the sky.” I have to admit, it is fitting. Did you know some flocks of swallows doing maneuvers in the air is called a murmuration? (Even more fitting, as the compilation album this song appears on is called Murmurs.) You’ve probably seen starlings do this without realizing–it’s amazing to witness.

patternity_murmuration-at-dusk

Wednesday, 3rd of May

Another day off–huzzah, huzzah! I do enjoy my mid-week break, mainly because it allows me to faff about a bit, but also to run my errands without worrying about offices being closed and what not. As it turns out, Haitham was also off, this being his first day squeezing out the remnants of some of his yearly vacation days. So, what better to celebrate than to run errands… together?

Gotta love adult life, eh?

We ended having a wander around town, harassing the folks at our local mobile phone business yet again. That’s a story in itself, but to make it short: my phone is seemingly unfixable. It has been sent off for  “repairs” (them updating the software), whereupon after sending it back the fault reappears around a day after. So this being the second time we’ve gotten it back, but only the software being updated again, Haitham very politely but firmly asked them to just send the phone off again knowing full well it wasn’t fixed.

The upside? If it’s still not fixed after the third time, I get a new phone. The mediocre news? Here I am, with my temp phone going on about three months now. Pffft. I can hardly complain though considering they lent me a spare in the first place.

 

Later in the evening I had a meeting with one of the volunteer coordinators with the RNIB. When I finished with that, I decided to amble my way back up Leith Walk and up Calton Hill, one of my favourite scenic perches in Edinburgh. Mainly because it looks right along busy Princes Street and all its most recognizable architecture: the Balmoral hotel, Scott monument, and of course Princes Street Gardens.

But Calton Hill also has some monuments of its own. One of which my parents will recognize as I escorted them there and watched as Dad tugged Mom up that giant first step onto this monument much like Haitham and his mate Geof hoisted me up on my first visit. It’s fondly called “Edinburgh’s Disgrace” because it was never quite finished as a full-scale Parthenon replica, and was abandoned in 1829 due to lack of funding.

Either way, it’s a great place to have a wander, take in the scenery, or just to tourist-watch (which never fails to amuse). I observed a guy very strategically placing a teapot on a carefully arranged blanket, crouching down to line up his mobile phone shot taking in the view of the Forth beyond him. On the other side of the hill in front of the Disgrace, I spotted this wee girl doing her thing, which looked a bit like interpretive dancing.

IMG_0216

You do you, honeychild!

Thursday, 4th of May

Have I mentioned how pretty my tulips are? Last year a very determined squirrel proceeded to dig up and nibble a portion of every one of my attempted tulip bulbs, leaving me with a big mess and no tulips. This year I wised up and planted winter mix plants (cyclamen, violas, pansies, and evergreens) on top of the bulbs and the result:

IMG_0228

I  feel like a proud mama, especially when I come home and see them glowing in the evening sun like here. This is them at just about the end of their flowery lifespan, so gotta enjoy ’em while I can before they get the ol’ snip!

 

 

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