Now look, don’t get me wrong, I love birds, as those who know we would freely admit. yesterday morning, however, they were having a laugh.
The first assault was mounted yesterday when a small bird, possibly one of our surrounding Serins. Francine, bless her, Had put some laundry in our travelling bucket to soak prior to washing. She stood the laundry-containing bucket just outside Guillaume’s door. When she returned to take it to the laundry, she discovered that one of little avian friends had pooped right in the bucket. “Bother!”, uttered Francine, or words to that effect.
It could have been worse; our avian friend could have pooped on the laundry once it had been washed. Bearing this in mind, Francine was particularly nervous about pegging out her now bird-shitless washing. “Shields up, Franco!”, she commanded. I manoeuvred our parasol into place over our travelling washing line as Bird Shield 1 in the hope that it would protect against any additional cling-ons.
One bird made clear its displeasure by pooping on Francine’s left arm as she sat in her chair. Fortunately, both these initial assaults were just minor weaponry. I rushed for some toilet paper to clean up but the bird was already miles away. [The old ones are the best!]
This morning, Francine woke us early – 5:00 AM! – to go to Mèze harbour for a dawn photo shoot. 5:00 AM is no time to put the bed away se we left it until we returned. When we did return and I set about stowing the bedding, I noticed a small blemish on one corner of my pillow. “Curious”, I thought, sponging it off with a dampened sock. I glance up and was horrified. The source of the curious mark on my pillow became horribly clear. Guillaume has a very large sunroof which, in this climate, it is very nice to have fully opened – propped almost upright. The resulting large hole in Guillaume’s roof tends to let in insects so the sunroof comes complete with a fly screen which we habitually leave closed. Our fly screen was now caked in bird shit, not small bird shit but 5 megaton bird shit. The not quite vertical sunroof was similarly caked by another 5 megaton blast. Actually, it could all have the fallout from a single 10 megaton strike. Evidently an avian friend approaching the size of a Golden Eagle had been roosting in the tree branches above Guillaume and had scored a direct hit with its morning movement. “Bother!”, I muttered, or words to that effect.
In this baking heat, bird shit is a bit like Jetcem ® – it sets like concrete and it sets very fast. The longer I left it the harder it would get so I was anxious to clean up as soon as possible but how? A serious sponging would make a serious mess saturating the inside of Guillaume. I removed the upholstery and stowed it in the bathroom, then spread our groundsheet (purchased as a bicycle cover) over Guillaume’s floor and benches before setting about sponging down. The tenacious cling-ons on the fine mesh of the fly screen proved particularly tricky since there’s really nothing to press against. Guillaume’s roof itself was one helluva mess. Using our step, I managed to gain access through the sunroof and clean him as best I could.
OK, fine for now, but two more nights here would likely have poor Guillaume caked in guano again. We could leave the sunroof on a lower setting and avoid a repetition of the fly screen caking but in all likelihood he’d still get splattered again. After a little thought we managed to combine four old guy ropes with the corner eyelets in our multi-purpose groundsheet and deploy Bird Shield 2.
Our antics and bird engineering amused our neighbours greatly.