Posts Tagged 'Kilchattan Bay'

Requiescap In Pace

dead bird

“Oh dear”, said the spouse as he made coffee at the Buteshack on Saturday, “there’s a dead bird over there beside the planter on the seafront.”

I rushed to the window to see if it was Pegleg. My favourite gull has been missing, presumed dead, for several months now, but it turned out that this wasn’t him.

“Looks like an oystercatcher”, I observed mournfully from behind the net curtain. The forlorn mound of inky black plumage on the verge next to the road had a distinctive flash of white, and I could just about make out a hint of vermilion leg against the green of the grass.

“Poor thing”, I said, “it’s a bit undignified lying there next to the bus stop… I’ll put it down at the low water mark once the tide’s gone out. It’ll be like a Viking funeral but without the flames. Or the longboat.”

“You’re on your own with that,” said the spouse, shuddering.

Later, once the tide had ebbed to reveal the familiar rocks dotted about the exposed sea bed, I approached the deceased bird with great solemnity and more than a little trepidation, since I had no idea how long it had been there. On getting close, however, all solemnity was lost when I realised that I had been planning a burial at sea for a discarded black baseball cap with a white emblem on the front.

Time to make that overdue optician’s appointment…

Mr Kipling Saves The Day


Spotting that the neighbours at the Buteshack had strung Union Jack bunting across the front of the tenement in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the spouse was determined not to be outdone.

“We could hang something in the windows”, he said excitedly, looking around for inspiration.

“But we’re not even into the monarchy”, I said in protest, “and what are you going to make bunting out of? We don’t have any stuff with us.”

“Quit your moaning and have another Mr Kipling’s Special Edition Diamond Jubilee French Fancy”, insisted the spouse, offering the remaining gaudily coloured red white and blue cakes in their special Union Jack box.

“Don’t mind if I do”, I said greedily, as I watched the discarded red white and blue striped cupcake liners being expertly cut into quarters and folded over a length of thread. When the last cake was safely on its way to my steadily enlarging hips, and the last bit of paper cutting had been done, we stood back to admire the spouse’s handiwork.

“Well done, hun”, I said, noting the overall effect. “I approve. It’s very French.”


The Wanderer Returns

“Wow, look at that rainbow!” shouted the spouse as he rushed to get his camera at the Buteshack this morning. I put down my tedious attempt at writing a project for the students and leapt to the window.

“Never mind the rainbow, Hun”, I shrieked, “Look! Pegleg’s back! HE’S ALIVE!”

My eyes tracked a familiar dangly-legged gull as he swooped across the fleetingly sunlit scene. I’d been looking out for him for months with not a single sighting, and feared that he’d finally gone to the big lamppost in the sky. Only that morning, I’d come across a perfectly preserved single gull wing attached to a bare ribcage on the beach, and had speculated with sadness that it could easily have been Pegleg. “You’ll never know which one’s him unless you find the legs”, said the spouse a tad unsympathetically.

I was now glad to know that the unfortunate wing on the beach belonged to some other gull and that I could look forward, once again, to plenty of Pegleg spotting opportunities when out and about in Kilchattan Bay.

You Can’t Keep A Good Gull Down

“Oh no!” I gulped as I spotted a seagull with a broken leg perched on top of a lamppost near the Buteshack. I looked away quickly, feeling slightly faint. One of his legs was straight, but the other was twisted, and jutting out at a horrible angle. His white neck feathers parted gently in the sea breeze as he watched his friends diving for fish, and I felt sad that nature can be so cruel sometimes. I reckoned he’d be dead before long and hoped he didn’t suffer too much.

Well that was five years ago, and I am pleased to report that Pegleg the seagull is still very much alive. His distinctive silhouette (pictured) makes him easy to spot in flight, because his now paralysed leg dangles uselessly from his undercarriage instead of being tucked neatly into his tail feathers. He commands the skies over Kilchattan Bay at feeding times and, although he doesn’t do much walking these days, he’s just like all the other gulls and can spot someone unwrapping their fish supper several miles away.


Kilchattan Bay, BBC weather forecast: sunny

The spouse was a man with a mission this morning. He had spotted a rather nice piece of sawn-off tree stump washed up on the beach near the Buteshack yesterday, and had decided overnight that life wasn’t worth living without it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t remember exactly where we had seen it, so had to retrace our steps from yesterday’s epic windswept walk along the sand. Fortunately, there was no icy biting wind nor bad-tempered cows this time, so I was able to happily peer at bits of sea glass in the low winter sunshine, while the spouse reunited himself with his beloved stump.


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