Wednesday, April 4, 2012

birds of a feather...

Yesterday I went ice-skating with Mr. PP and TFTF (Mr. Professor Pants and TooFastTooFurious – for those first time readers.) I managed to fall spectacularly and have a nice big fat roastie for my troubles (Yup, been showing it around town.) Turns out the tricky part isn’t falling. That happens very quickly. Turns out the tricky part is trying to get up again. That happens veeerrry slowly. Drawn out embarrassment of diabolical proportions. Picture a starfish, (hint on general body position on the ice) sans suckers, trying to erect itself and claw it’s way toward the buffer-wall-of-shame.

Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that I’m prone to embarrassing myself almost on a daily basis.  Big surprise, I know. Along these lines, there was not one, but two incidences of mispronunciation this week at gym class. The first time I mean to say “COUNTS” and the second time I meant to say “under-CUT”.  Such roguish words those.  

The most exciting incident of this week however, has to be credited to the arrival of a Little Crake to our neighbourhood.  Yes, the birding community was positively twitching with excitement about the little chap whose navigation got all cocked up (metaphorically speaking, of course - he’s a Crake not a chicken.) Instead of flying back to his breeding-ground of Russia, or Bulgaria, or somewhere dog-gone north, it went south, and for the first time EVER (yes, EVER, folks) was spotted south of the equator. SOUTH OF THE EQUATOR you hear! This is seriously exciting shit.

Who would we be if we didn’t cruise down to the vlei (boastful ‘Ehem… OUR vlei’) to check out the Crake.  Words can’t describe the clamour.  I’ve been to less busy rock concerts.  Best Kisser filled me in on how the world of ‘birding’ is fiercely competitive, nothing short of cutthroat. Apparently there’s constant pressure to be the individual who can ‘log’ as many different species as possible.  Rumour has it that there’s a woman and man (rotating places 1st and 2nd) who have been going neck and neck for years, flying hither and dither at the drop of a hat to see this or that lesser-spotted species. On imparting this info, a friend of mine (oh the ignoramusness of us unbirders)  exclaimed “Why don’t they cheat?  I mean who would know?”

Ah. Enter ‘THE LENSE’. Compulsory equipment for true birding aficionado’s. So much for those ‘outdoorsy types’ having simple needs.  Just nature, some khaki pants and a BIIIIG MOFO of a camera lense that costs about as much as a hospital wing. 

And that’s just the start, then there’s the travel expenses getting there and back to see the birds. I met a whole bunch of people who had flown in for the day (FOR  THE DAY, I TELL YOU!) from Joies just to see the now famous crake. To prove a point as to how far these twitchers will take it, a friend of mine who works as a bird guide, is travelling to Bhutan tomorrow to guide a tour.  Bhutan I tell you. No one even knows were that is!

The outfits, fortuitously, don’t cost that much. Lots of two-tone khaki, perhaps some green, with splashes of intermittent brown.  One chap went all out and got a camo lense to match his camo cargo shorts. Needless to say they were quietly scoffing at my grey mélange leggings and white frock. They didn’t actually say anything, I could just see it on their faces. (I'm not going to comment on footwear because I actually own a pair of crocs and people in crocs shouldn't throw... oh, you know what I mean.)

So. No longer will I feel guilty about enjoying indoor activities and not enjoying more outdoorsy ones. Turns out, I just can’t afford the great outdoors. A three day drunken shopping spree at Cavendish would cost me less.

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