The birds (thanks Daphne, Alfred)

Seagulls are always protective when it comes round to this time of year and they’re raising their young.

Babies here, a few years ago in June.

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We’ve walked Pippa down Ragged Staff and along Queensway and had a few near misses as the huge birds swoop down at us and then just before hitting us suddenly shoot back up again. Or maybe the trees interfered with their precision flying and targeting.

So Partner and Pippa sauntered out for their evening stroll up Town Range towards the Eliott hotel.

Just as they were approaching a small bar, El Cortijo, a seagull attacked. And this one was right on target. He cleverly dive-bombed from behind. Partner’s first thoughts? ‘****ing hell, the bastard’s shit on me!’ But when he put his hand up (silly thing to do in my opinion) to feel the extent of the damage, he realised it was blood dripping from his head.

They kept walking, because a dog’s gotta do what a dog’s gotta do.

Interestingly more than half the people who saw this blood-spattered man wandering around Main Street looked away. The others (there’s some hope for humanity) asked if he was all right and did he need any help.

At the (Angry) Friar, he met a few people he knew. One advised him to get a tetanus jab.

A police officer asked if he was OK too.

‘Yes thanks. I’ve just been attacked by a seagull.’

‘Did you get a description?’

‘Yes, it was grey and white, but didn’t leave its name,’ quipped Partner.

And with that, Partner and Pippa wandered home.

He considered the hospital option.

I rang. ‘My partner’s been attacked by a seagull, does he need a tetanus jab?’

‘Yes, it’s best he comes in. But he might have to wait a while.’

So off he went out again, still covered in blood, walking down Main Street, en route to St Bernards. And bumped into the same copper, this time with a colleague, who looked horrified, but was immediately reassured by Copper No 1 that it was just a seagull attack and Partner was on his way to hospital.

At casualty, there were loads of people milling around. Yup, he was going to have to wait. It wasn’t the UK type of Saturday in A&E, well it was a bit early for all the drunks, just the usual Gibraltarian social gathering sort of mix.

Partner explained the attack and said he’d not had a tetanus jab for more than 30 years. He was whisked straight through. Queue jumping par excellence.

A nurse gave him a test for tetanus immunity, and unsurprisingly he came up totally lacking, ie it was a negative result. It’s the ProTetanus test (UK) or TetanusQuickStick (TQS) in Europe.

It takes up to ten minutes to do, a quick finger prick and then it’s dropped onto a tablet type thing (looked like a dishwasher tablet, he said). There are two markers. One to establish whether the test has been carried out correctly, and one to show whether or not there is tetanus immunity.

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This comes from this interesting study which looked at whether it was cost-effective to introduce TQS into the NHS.

In retrospect, I can see no reason to have given Partner the test. He’d said he hadn’t had a jab for more than 30 years (accident on construction site) so why bother with the test? All it did was prove what he said. Surely it’s for cases where people don’t know their medical history or can’t remember their last jab. I haven’t had one for 30+ years either. Good service from a patient perspective, poor use of resources from a managerial one. But, if you read, or skim, the CEP study, it says that staff were over-immunising people who turned up at A&E departments. And, when you’ve just been attacked/knocked on the head by a seagull, or anyone/anything else, can nursing staff actually rely on someone’s word/memory?

Tetanus

Brief digression. I have a vague family familiarity with tetanus. My father got it. Apparently he stood on a rusty drawing pin. He rapidly seized up and was in hospital unable to eat or speak. Lockjaw is a truly accurate name.

His friends naturally visited and joked about how good it was that something had finally shut him up. My mother was somewhat worried. The tetanus mortality rate can be 30–50%, depending on location.

Clearly he recovered, and the tetanus had two lasting repercussions. The first, was that he could no longer drink loads without getting drunk. After not many drinks one evening he was found sitting in a dustbin lid singing merrily away (he couldn’t sing). The second impacted on me. I was not allowed to walk around barefoot. I received vile pink frilly slippers every Christmas which I refused to wear. In fact, I totally ignored this annoying ban and not only walked around the house barefoot, I walked around the garden barefoot too. Surely the trick is to make sure there are no rusty drawing pins around? Not reduce my civil liberties. It’s an interesting parallel with knee-jerk government reactions though. Rather than eliminating the problem – leaving rusty drawing pins lying around – one brings in an unnecessary law as a nanny state preventive measure.

The UK has an immunisation programme (from 1961) and in 20 years, 1984–2004, there were 198 cases reported. In 2013, there were seven recorded cases in England and Wales and no deaths.

NHS info about tetanus and whether to go for a jab after an accident.

Back to the story and A&E

On finding out Partner had no immunity, it was jab time.

Baje los pantalones, said the Spanish nurse.

You’re joking, said Partner, and held out his arm. Hopefully. Aquí?

No, she said. They were doing this in a real English/Spanish mix. And she pointed to his arse.

He dropped his trousers.

Mmm, she said. Buen músculo. Well, yes, always been one of his ASSets.

Quick jab, clean up the blood, and antiseptic the wound and he was off. Going out, a medic said, ‘oh, you’re the one who was attacked by a seagull’. No doubt it’s all round Gibraltar.

Jumped on a bus home. Total round trip door to door? Less than an hour. Excellent service Gib HA. Many thanks. Also, thanks to the police officers, and everyone else who was concerned about his welfare, including some of our immediate neighbours. Much appreciated.

Top tips:

Don’t walk near seagull nests with big dogs (pretty difficult when seagulls are all around).

Wear a hat during baby seagull season?

Never mind the monkeys, watch out for the seagulls in June.

Never get cleaned up before you go to A&E. Blood and gore wins the day, or evening.

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103 comments on “The birds (thanks Daphne, Alfred)

    • Ah! Suzy that is really funny. We both cracked out laughing.

      Seagulls must have sort of paranoia. They were walking at street level and the nests are on the rooves, three storeys or more high. Or maybe it’s the old ‘Pippa looks like a wolf syndrome?’

      Thanks. He seems ok so far. Even the sore arse after the jab has worn off.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I was thinking this was a review about bird books. Or is there part two.
    I hope the fellow is well now. Never seen anyone attacked by a bird, so this must be the closest one I have.
    Good day friend

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, dear! Evidently, it’s unusual for Partner to return home covered in blood. It’s a regular occurrence on The Husband’s part. I usually say, “Why are you bleeding?”

    To which he replies, “Am I?”

    Then I point at the offending body part (usually the head which, incidentally, I found him using as a prop on Saturday afternoon). Sigh!

    Glad to hear all’s well that ends well!

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    • He’s done it on the odd occasion, usually work related. Cutting himself with a Stanley knife for example, or just generally knocking into something on a building site, hence he wears toetectors, hard hat, overalls, gloves etc, but things can still happen. This was a bit more gory than normal, but yes, I recognise the ‘am I bleeding’ syndrome.

      Hopefully. Tetanus has a 4–10 day period to appear, but with the shot, fingers crossed.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I did not realize tetanus had such nasty repercussions. It’s been nearly as long since I’ve had a shot, and I’m always wandering about the countryside in old shoes or wading in streams in bare feet. Thanks for the tip, and I’m glad Partner survived the attack of angry gull.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I’ve been super aware of it because of my dad, but I haven’t been overly zealous about protection/immunisation, I just knew what it could do. But you can’t walk round wrapped in cotton wool.

      Apparently the immunity from the jab tends to fade turned 60, or something like that, I only glanced at that info, we’re not quite 60. Yet :D

      I think the gull was a bit unfair, Partner wasn’t climbing up houses to look for nests, merely minding his own business. I think Pippa is the key factor, but the gulls go for the tallest bit, hence Partner got the attack. Thank you.

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          • What no summer parasols? They are really popular around here during summers to shade walkers. Mainly used by nannies with strollers and those from MX or South America. The locals just stay indoors…for months. Too hot.
            You have really aggressive seagulls. (Snowy couldn’t have possibly given that one the evil eye and then ducked under Pippa who happened to be standing near the tallest of the crowd?
            Lockjaw. Constantly threatened with it as a kid. Never knew anyone who had it or about the lasting effects.

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          • Nah. You only ever see people with umbrellas in summer in Spain. No point paying out twice. They serve the same purpose. And yes, indoors here too during the heat of the day.

            Can’t blame Snowy this time round. He was inside. They’ve never gone for him. Big dog Pippa is clearly the perceived evil baby eater.

            Apparently it was pretty dire. But we are talking 1950s here so a loooooong time ago.

            Liked by 1 person

          • People nice?
            Society was different then. Without AC more were outside and interacted with neighbors then. There was more conversation, books read, and real debates without the internet and limited TV.
            Sometimes I think never have people had more access to information and primary sources yet are less informed and more gullible/easily led.
            Wonder what the next big game changer will be…plague? That has shaken up the game board before.
            We somehow have retreated from the space exploration – it’s staggering forward, but few are involved/interested. Some ocean research – little enthusiasm. Lots of digging up of selected parts of the past for reinterpretation. (At this point, I need more coffee and to go see what the cat wants. Keeps yowling for room service)

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          • Can’t say I’m interested in space or ocean research. I’m more focused on feeding people and stop destroying the environment, all of which *could* be achievable. And a little redistribution of wealth.

            People are not taught how to research any more. Or to think. Ergo: a better class of idiot now exists.

            Hope the room service was approved of.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Research of space, ocean, and land produces great products to improve human existence. Alternative locations to grow food will be come mandatory at some point considering how long it takes to change human behavior/habit. Using food sources for fuel is also unwise/stupid. Everyone must learn to live smarter and with more care of shrinking resources.
            (If it’s not one thing it’s another for Staff)

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  4. Ouch! I’m glad he’s okay. We don’t have seagulls here(where I live) but those mocking birds are pretty mean critters, too, during baby season. I was walking Bitzer the other day and suddenly there was all this screeching and carrying on. I thought they were about to attack us but when I looked up there was a rather large hawk perched on a branch near a nest. Those mocking birds were going nuts!

    Emergency here is awful. I had to take TheBrit about a month ago on a Saturday because all the clinics had closed by the time he relented and decided maybe he needed to be look at. We were there for about eight hours. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • You ain’t on the coast then? Actually in the UK you would get them a fair way inland, allegedly driven in by the crap weather at sea. But mostly we’ve lived on or near the coast.

      Never seen a mockingbird. Nearest I’ve got was reading the book which I didn’t understand.

      Only thing here at weekends and weekday nights is hospital. Your experience sounds like standard UK ones. The Brit should have felt at home ;) But seriously, both me with The Ankle last year, and A this weekend, had super-fast super-efficient treatment. Mind you, when I was reading around, I did see something about a time factor for getting a tetanus jab ie the sooner the better.

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  5. I’m walking round with a tennis racquet in case I can get some revenge for partner.as one flies over.You can’t hit a Welshman with impunity. Anyway, my daughter lost an ice cream cornet to one some years ago and they owe me for that too.
    xxx Hope you’re OK. Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • He is mightily impressed with that. Many thanks from him and cwtches from me. He hit a Welshman once. He didn’t know he was Welsh until afterwards and came home distressed!

      A couple of walkers lost a sandwich to our dog on the Cleveland Way.its not just seagulls. But they were waving it around in his face, it wasn’t a direct attack, more that he thought they were offering. Labradors are greedy after all.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s good to know about seagulls and tetanus shots. I’ve let mine lapse, and I get all sorts of little injuries.

    As for checking one’s head after an attack, it’s understandable. Me personally, I’ve been injured on the head before, and these things tend to happen without ready access to a reflecting device. It’s good to make sure there’s no gray matter exposed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well seagulls are prone to scavenging on landfill sites and in rubbish bins as well as generally grubbing around so if the talon breaks the skin …

      I don’t think he was worried about the grey matter. Just didn’t want bird shit on his head, so in that respect, his wish was fulfilled.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my days that looks nasty! I had heard of seagulls attacking – they go after pasties in St Ives – but injury is a whole new level. Hope it’s all patched up and the jab does its work. Reminds me to remind Son to check his tetanus record as he works outside most of the time digging at the moment … I don’t really want to escort him to out A&E – they aren’t as efficient as yours!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I did quite a bit of reading before I posted this, seems it’s a real problem in Cornwall with postie shaving to change their routes/not deliver mail! And there was the chihuahua puppy that was pecked to death last month (I think), not sure where that was.

      The wound looks pretty minor now although he’s not washed his hair/head when he’s got in the shower. Depends what son’s got. The vaccination thing I didn’t get should last years, he should have had that? Otherwise it’s the ten yearly thing I think. Note, I haven’t bothered considering it :D

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My mother would second the advice about looking as bloody as possible. My dad was a housmaster in a boarding school so it was a fairly regular occurrence that she’d have to drive some kid or other to casualty (dad had to stay and look after the other 70… and me). I remember her taking me down there when I broke my collar bone. She kept on asking me if I was about to faint every time someone came near. In the end I asked her.

    “What’s with this fainting nonsense?”
    “Do be quiet darling, please. Just follow my lead and look as ill as you can or we’ll be here all night.”

    So I did and we were through in record time. Later she explained that if you’re bleeding, they’re fast, if you’re throwing up all over their nice clean floors (and not drunk) they’re fast and if you’re neither it’s imperative that you make them think you’re potentially about do do either of those things: bleed or hurl, so they see you before anything untoward happens that would involve getting the mop out. Obviously if you faint then there’s lots of potential to bang your head or nose on the way down and bleed all over. Hence her pretence that I was on the brink of losing consciousness. I have to give her, it worked.

    Cheers

    MTM

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    • That’s a great story, I read it out and we were both in hoots. Reminds of when my cousin dropped me off at Kings Cross and parked illegally, putting a Nurse On Call or some such sign on the window.

      ‘Can you limp, darling?’

      This was years ago, but I’d already had two ankle accidents by then. Could I limp? Is the Pope Catholic? I think she was quite impressed with my credible limp. Even better these days of course.

      Panic attacks are a neat addition to the repertoire. :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Love it, she sounds cool and also sympathies about the limp from a fellow life long limpy.

        Mum is splendidly non standard. I remember another time, we were late and just going out when one of the staff came in shouting, ‘yoo hoo! Elisabeth! Are you there?’

        This lady was renowned for her ability to talk and talk and we really didn’t have time for a half hour delay. My mum and I exchanged looks of startled panic and she then put her finger up in the universal sign for shush and dragged me down the hall – in so far as a person can drag anyone while on tip toe.

        ‘We will never get there if we let her see us!’ She whispered and bundled me into the coat cupboard, joining me and shutting the door after us. We hid there in the dark until the lady had gone.

        “We were going out,’ my Mum explained. ‘so it wasn’t wrong, we’re just pretending we left a few seconds earlier than we actually did.’

        My dad was similarly eccentric so I guess my brother and I hadn’t much hope of being much different.

        Cheers

        MTM

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  9. Had to laugh at the injury pictures. Of all the ways to get hurt, who would believe? He’s definitely got a new nickname now.
    Here if you walked down the street bleeding like that, you’d (walking with him) would probably be thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and tossed in a police car. He’d be strapped down and taken to a ER trauma room, patched up and interviewed by authorities, and then handed over to a victims advocacy group who tried to tell him it’s ok to cry and tell the truth. Hopefully the dogs would have enough sense to make a break for it and run home.
    So easy to complicate life. (Like, why bother with testing? it’s been years and obviously needs a shot.)
    Hope Partner feels better.
    (Snowy or Pippa tried to leap up and snatch that darn bird out of the air to keep it from escaping, right? Always grab the snake that bites you, they say. Paw waves to all!)

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    • Well people moan about the macaques but this was one mean sneaky seagull.

      That’s a great story of what might happen in your part of the world. But this is Gibraltar. In fact, when he saw the two police officers together, the one he hadn’t met earlier said, ‘oh, I’ve seen you before, walking your dogs’. He knows a lot of the police but didn’t recognise this one, yet, he’d been seen at some point. So, they know you’re local. You can imagine the chat, ‘have you seen the British man who walks the big furry dog and that little white one?’ ‘Oh yes, they live blah blah, been here years, etc’.

      Got to do the tests. People don’t tell the truth. And then factor in the stupid. Can’t take anyone’s word anymore. So, it costs ten minutes extra of time and one TQS test. The way of the world.

      He’s well enough to go to work :). Dogs? No interest in birds. I ask you. A previous one did. He was most annoyed they flew away JUST as he was about to catch them. Little teases.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Like the old cheery TV show said, “Nice to be where people/everyone knows your face.” Smaller places have many benefits
        Here, bluejays are the dangerous ones. Attack with great speed and strength.
        One of the basics they teach in med school now: “Patients lie.” Funny that when I was a kid the first thing they did when you walked in with a cut/wound was to jab you with a tetanus shot. No discussion. Guess it was the lockjaw fears. I do remember the scary tales that were real

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        • Pros and cons to it. Need to fit in and not make waves. Walking Pippa, and even
          Little Rat, makes A stand out. Pippa is sooooo distinctive.
          Bluejays huh? Diana, below, has talked about crows in Canada, BC I think.

          That’s an interesting one. But, it figures. Can’t take anything on face value any more. Plus, gotta take any shock factor into account. Someone was talking to A about going to A&E and how he was going to go home on his bike. Totally didn’t remember he’d been taken there in the ambulance.

          I never had one that I recall. Only got one for travelling that I recall.

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  10. Awww… I love seagulls! (but, you already know that) It probably mistook the short grey hair for breadcrumbs… bless! And why didn’t doggy do his other duty and bark at said seagull? (can’ get the staff these days, hey?) :D

    I have to admit, I’ve never heard or seen anyone get attacked by a seagull before. But as you mentioned, it could possibly have been overprotective about its young. Having said that, Pat has had the great privilege of being shat on… a couple of times. I just tell her, it’s a sign of good luck. :D

    A looks like he’s tough enough to handle it… although, he does look a bloody mess (in more ways than one) The tetanus shot (along with admiration of the arse) will take care of things.

    Look on the bright side… he got to moon a nurse and got away with it… Sonrisa, senorita! :D

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like them too. So does he. Personally I think it was a revenge move. One of them must have heard him say the other day ‘Bloody seagulls have been shitting on my Land Rover.’ Asking for trouble IMO.

      Big Dog rarely barks. Probably didn’t even notice it. More interested in being told he’s handsome and beautiful.

      Loads of stories about seagull attacks on the tinties. Which you only ever look up after a seagull attack …

      I don’t think the nurse knew how privileged she was. The first woman to see his arse in more than 30 years apart from me. Unless the nudist beach counts. There’s an interesting one. No one asked if he wanted a male nurse present while he exposed his musculo. Still, I guess everyone got something out of it :D

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, he was def asking for trouble there. ;)

        No doubt pods wouldn’t have taken up the challenge had it been him? :D

        No, but I bet they would have were the genders reversed, hey? But, I’m sure A isn’t complaining. It does raise an interesting point though, just because men don’t really care as much (or get offended as easily about such things), does that make it right? Something to think about for your next rantoblog on clouds? :D …After all, it’s about dignity too, right?

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        • Can never tell with Pods. A’s head is too high up for him to worry about. Although he could no doubt leap that high.

          It’s an interesting one. Not sure it’s about dignity, rather potential inappropriate behaviour by naughty men. Women aren’t naughty :) My personal nurse last year in hospital was male, and I had no issue with it, he was a nurse FFS, but then I’m not hung up on bodily exposure anyway. I’m out of touch with the UK so no idea what goes on there these days, but in Gib pragmatism seems (sensibly) to rule.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Maybe it was just Johnathan Livingstone trying to pass to the other side and Partner got in his way.

    Glad it all turned out well . . . and, did you get your booster?

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    • No, not looking for debate; merely asking. Last year we got boosters for the baddies because of the drop in vaccination rates in kids (can’t trust herd immunity anymore), and got my tetanus booster as well. But, I do get cuts and scrapes working with metal implements, yard stuff, etc. and I rather retain my capacity to ingest large quantities of alcohol . . . although I never avail myself of that particular ability.

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          • Geez…I read the post incorrectly and thought he was walking Snowy and then I thought that maybe something had happened to Pippa, because why wasn’t Pippa going for a walk, and I have been on a bit of a blog break – so have now been trolling your posts to see if I missed something but then reread just to make sure and noted my mistake. My god, I need more than a hat……..my Welsh roots showing???

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          • Nah, Pippa was a bit poorly recently, think he pulled himself going down the stairs, but he’s still kicking on with the odd dose of Meloxicam for his ancient joints. He just has two or three walks a day but he seems well enough for a centenarian plus.

            It’s difficult catching up after a break :( especially if you think you have missed something critical. But no worries, not this time, touch wood :)

            Liked by 1 person

  12. I have been menaced by seagulls but none ever attempted to land a blow. I have been attacked by an owl, though, which silently swooped from behind. I was told the next day there was a sign I had missed – BEWARE OF THE OWL – but seeing it in the dark was difficult. Someone had amended the sign to read BEWARE OF THE TOWEL. Jokes don’t get better than this. It didn’t occur to me at the time to have a tetanus jab. Good idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Check out owl attacks. Major issue in the Netherlands. Interesting your attack was the same, ie from behind. Most of the info says there are hissing warnings from birds first, and dives, yet, a swoop from behind without warning is totally different.

      I like the joke except, it’s not really helpful … is it?

      Well, for next time, now you know. I doubt we would have thought either had Jen not mentioned it. * Thanks Jen*

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  13. love this post and the comments that follow! Glad partner is fine and taking the attack in stride.
    We have loads of gulls here,, but I have no idea at all where they roost, and I have never heard of anyone getting attacked by one. The gulls here tend to beg for treats and will surround eaters of fish and chips (especially) at the beaches, but I’ve never heard of one attacking. I got shat upon a couple of times (once when I was walking down a gangplank on crutches and sporting a full-leg cast). I was not amused — but also not injured. Just rather grossed out. (Is that an expression used in Gib or the UK?)
    I was also shat upon by a pigeon flying overhead in some European train station many years ago — and it not only made a mess of my clean shirt, it also hurt! The lady who kindly helped clean me up was adamant that I was in for some good luck.
    Instead of gull attacks in this part of the world, we run the risk of crow attacks. We have a lot of crows. A recent newspaper article suggested that anyone approaching an angry crow (or a young-un on the ground) change their trajectory right away to avoid said crow(s). Why? Because not only will the parent crow attack — and intend harm — but will also remember you for at least three years, and will tell all its friends about you. And you will become an ongoing target for a murder of crows. Nesting season here is (I think) from April to June. People in crow-nesting territory tend to wear big hats or carry umbrellas or something to wield in self-defense.
    If you want a link to info on crows in my neck of the woods, here’s a link to a local newspaper article:
    http://www.theprovince.com/life/Murder+mystery+reason+crows+flock+Burnaby+every+night/9085538/story.html
    A local hiking trail by my place had a sign posted at the entrance for about a month earlier this year: “Warning. Nesting Owls in area.” I was half tempted to go for a wander, because I have only ever see two owls in the wild, but decided the warning was perhaps to be heeded — especially since the sign was askew more often than not. Perhaps knocked off center by those racing past in pursuit of safety.
    Tetanus — I learned something in your post. Three somethings, in fact. I was always told that tetanus is always fatal. Perhaps this was a long time ago? Glad your dad survived! I was also not aware that a) there is a test to see if you are still protected, or that b) immunity drops at about age 60. Perhaps I should get the test, and a booster while there is still hope of another ten years of protection…?
    Sorry for being so wordy. Should remember not to post in the middle of the night when I’m very very tired…

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    • Thanks Diana. There’s quite a lot of stories about seagull attacks, especially for food, in the UK media. I think we understand grossed out, I’m not sure it’s in popular usage though. Think I’ve avoiding the flying deposit experience, but yes, it is meant to be lucky :D

      The crow story is interesting, and of course, they were crows in the birds as I recall. I can’t remember what they were in du Maurier’s short story. I read the article, it was really interesting. Thanks for that link.

      We have owls in our pueblo, or at least I hear them when I’m safely tucked up in bed, so have no inclination to go looking for them. Don’t think I’ve ever seen one.

      Well, I think it was more fatal in the past, and immunisation has reduced the number of cases. My dad’s case was in the 50s sometime, mid 50s say? Don’t know for sure. I suppose there is a test for most things these days. The TQS test seems pretty efficient though. I quite enjoy doing posts like this as there is an opportunity to learn lots. Plus, I fell on a couple of decent clinical studies.

      No worries, enjoyed your comment. I tend to have a cut-off point at night, as I know I won’t make sense!

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  14. On the story going round, I told someone I had been at school with that I had transitioned, and it went all around Argyll. Swans are worse than seagulls, though: a man I knew had his leg broken by a swan.

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    • Small towns eh? I think I passed through Argyll. Or maybe even stopped. I have a vague memory of a long street. On stories, they do go round quickly here, but sometimes end of like Chinese whispers.

      Yes, swans can be evil. Broken leg? !! :(

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      • It is a county, not a town, but you don’t pass through it: nowhere is through it. There used to be a ferry to Ireland from Southend but it closed because it was used for gun-running. So unless you get lost, turning left when you should go straight on, you miss it.

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        • My apologies Clare, I suspect I was thinking of Ayr (both begin with A huh?) However I have def visited Argyll including Dunoon, Gigha, Colonsay, Jura, Ardnamurchan and probably others I don’t recall right now. All of which I really liked I might add.

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  15. The gulls in Cornwall are vicious muggers too, but the one who attacked partner…blimey. I’m also glad he’s ok. Were he in a major city in the UK he’d still be sat in A&E now. The record for myself was twelve hours waiting, and almost everyone was covered in blood too. The joys of the city.

    “I received vile pink frilly slippers every Christmas which I refused to wear.” – I feel your pain. I too was the recipient, relatively regularly, of the horror that is…the pink slippers. (Shush Hariod, that is not a euphemism, get thee to the cold showers right now). No matter how hard she tried, my mother failed to get me into a pair. Gah.

    – sonmi upon the Cloud

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    • As seagull attacks formed the bulk of my reading over the weekend (along with clinical studies about tetanus) I am well informed about the Cornish seagulls. Clearly a more aggressive breed of seagull down there. Or better ice cream or fish and chips. Or maybe it’s the pasties? Twelve hours? Jeez. I hope you had a book. I’ve got a mental image of an A&E department looking like something out of Halloween, Dracula, Buffy, Twilight etc.

      The worst attempt was the ‘mules’. A cunning attempt to convince me they weren’t slippers, they were ‘mules’. Even pinker and frillier than ever. I didn’t like hurting my mother’s feelings, but manipulation can only be tolerated so far. The only mule was me, who obstinately refused to wear them. I’m sure they were a death trap anyway.

      I still don’t wear slippers. And don’t get me on men who wear slippers. Especially ones disguised as animals. Weird. Just weird. I wonder if Hariod wears pink frillies or furry bear ones? …

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      • “I wonder if Hariod wears pink frillies or furry bear ones? …” – By all the Gods…you know about his thing collection?!!

        I’m laughing at the mules ruse. I recall shortly before leaving home, returning from my first holiday abroad with friends, and my mother said “I have a surprise for you” and shoved me towards my bedroom door. I slowly pushed it open, to find the room had been completely redecorated. No posters, no charcoal drawings, no myriad of specifically placed crap, (my treasures and rock collection). No. All gone. And in its place…pink. Everything was fucking pink. Wallpaper, bedspread, curtains, white and pink furniture, soft new pink carpet (shoots a warning glance at H), and the piece de resistance? A pair of new fluffy pink slippers, in my size sat in the middle of the floor. It was like a Hitchcock film directed by Barbie. I literally screamed. *shudders*.

        – s.u.t.Cloud.

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        • Have to say my bedroom was pink. It got increasingly pinker as I got older. NOT MY CHOICE. Posters of Marc Bolan were only allowed in the wardrobe. Christmas presents included a pink dressing table set, hairbrush, comb, mirror etc :( I was on a policy to whiten it up somewhat, but never made progress. When I was on my world trip, and helpfully decided to marry someone I’d just met, my mother was gutted. Her plans of installing a festoon blind (pink no doubt) in my bedroom shattered around her.

          I never had a pink carpet though :) My mother made up for my betrayal by redecorating her bedroom even pinker (incl carpet). Two out of three bedrooms were PINK. When Partner was at college (decorating) he was actually taught that as women age they get more pink in their preferences. I have a white flat and a White House at the finca there is NO PINK. I have no pink clothes.

          I feel for you retrospectively. I also laughed. Did you ever get to sleep in the sugar plum pink bedroom? Or did you have lurid pink nightmares? *shudders* indeed.

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          • I did. Gah. It led to an aversion to pink, candy/baby pink most specifically, that remains to this day.

            I finally don’t mind cerise. (In its place.)

            The whole saga led to a very ‘un-girly’ girl growing up, the exact opposite of that which mother planned *laughs*. I spent most of my teens dressed as Jim Morrison, leather trousers, (before I was even vegetarian of course) white shirt, studded belt etc – and then decided to shave my head ala the Red Hot Chilli Peppers at the time. She was totally thrilled. Almost passed out with joy as I recall *Laughs a great deal*.

            – s.u.t.Cloud

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          • I bought a shocking pink Pringle top and skirt edged with black. This was before I’d been Coloured Beautiful and diagnosed as autumn. A friend (?) told me I looked like a petunia. What with that and the Autumnal revelation, I abandoned pink for evermore.

            I bought a pair of leather trousers in Germany. Bonn maybe? Fifty nine Deutschmarks I think. Then I bought a pair of rather nice red ones. In Leeds? I really liked leather trousers. Before I was vegetarian …

            I never forgave my mother for having my hair cut short in junior school. I went the other way. So Farrah:

            https://everypicturetellsone.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/not-rich-not-poor/

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          • Very glam indeed! And here’s another similarity for you. When I was eleven, my mother, (who had never let me have very long hair, but did allow a basic unpleasant pudding bowl style to go on), marched me to her local hairdressers and said “Give her a Lady Diana!”. The woman chewed her gum slowly, then chopped my locks to an average length of around three centimetres all over. She then parted it (as much as could be parted), on one side, and said “There ya go”. I looked more like Buster Bloodvessel than Lady Diana I can tell you. I hated the lack of hair so much that I vowed never to have it cut by anyone other than myself again. I stick to my vows. And as soon as I had any length to it at all…I dyed it blond like you! Hahahaha. Your hair was a much better ‘Farrah’ than mine, though that was the look I was after too. I gave up, got rid of the blond, and let my natural curls have their wild way with me. And so it remains.

            – s.u.t.Cloud

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          • Yes. Mine was rather pudding bowly too :(

            When I had a proper job, I made the effort to get it trimmed regularly. For some reason, I got it cut in Spain once, on holiday. It was much better than me British hairdressers, so I saved on the regular bills by just getting it cut once or twice a year on holiday. After that, I decided there wasn’t much point getting it cut at all, I just cut the split ends occasionally. Can’t say I brush it very often either.

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  16. Wow… had lunch with a bunch of seagulls yesterday. They were remarkably well behaved, and I had no idea they could turn. The worst of them I’ve encountered is turning outdoor dining into a war waged by diners, waiters and their hungry selves. No matter how many times you tell people not to feed them, someone does.
    Were you in Australia during magpie season? The risks are the same as you describe for nesting seagulls. Apparently if at risk, wearing an icecream bucket on your head does the trick!

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    • Is Cymrophobia a real word? Can’t be. Would be Cymruphobia. No. He doesn’t. Well, not big, tall and mean. Got the Celtic face. I’m more of an evil Viking I guess.

      Actually I think she was anti German/husky. The only times they ever swoop are when we are out with Pippa. Probably a Spanish seagull that prefers life on the Rock :D

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  17. Oh my goodness what an awful thing to happen. I was going to say that not looking at them (in the eye, or just being a bit submissive around them) always seems to work, I never make eye contact with them when they are hopping about on the terrace, but if it attacked from behind that throws that theory out.
    We have a couple nesting on the roof, and I have taken to feeding them, which has a) made them a bit friendlier, well they don’t go berserk every time we go outside, and they no longer fly off when I go outside with crumbs for them and b) they’ve gotten very territorial and chase off the other gulls. Which makes for a bit less bird poop on the windows! Haha.
    Hope the partner is recovered :-)

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    • At least the fear wasn’t rabies. This year 7 of my graduating students are going to Wuhan, China for a year and have been advised to take precautionary rabies inoculations before going there. This consists of two $300 shots, taken two weeks apart, none of which is covered by medicare.

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  18. I’ve heard about seagulls attacking folks like that and now I know it’s true. Poor partner! Good thing he got the tetanus shot.

    Around here we have the Plovers that want to attack you if you come to close to their nests. I am sure they can do the same damage. They’re very quick.

    Best wishes for partner and Hugs to all. :D ♥

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  19. That was quite an altercation! I hadn’t read it before so thanks for passing along the link. I’ll now feel thankful the next time I get shat upon by one. . :)
    I’ve now got to get two little urchins out of bed; they’re going to Day Care today and Nannie will have a quiet day. ..their parents have gone off to Port Douglas for a break! You’ve got leg bruises, I’ve got a sore back. . . :)

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    • Hey C.not good was it?! Yeah, bird shit beats a beak attack. Plus the health risks of tet. Did you know geckos spread salmonella? Clue: leave animals alone!

      Get out of it. Nannie loves it all. Especially the two young cuties. Even me, an inveterate child non-person could be taken by the redhead. My non child partner is incredibly good with kids. Weird.

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      • Let’s see. . .great with kids, easy on the eyes and has a great butt. I’m intrigued! (How’s that for a sexist comment, eh?) ;)

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        • How can we not recognise a nice arse? But, we don’t necessarily want to have sex with owner of said sexy arse. That’s the difference.
          I forgot to say, he is great with women. Because, he does the non predator thing, as a neighbour said today. He really is fantastic because he just treats women like people. Uh! In our 31 years together there have been two? women who haven’t liked him. I really respect him for that. That women of any age, including teens and old women, well older than me!, feel comfortable is a big thing. And that’s how we should feel with men.

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          • I figure if I said those things to him, it would be flirting. Said to you, it’s an acknowledgment of your excellent taste!
            Don’t know if I told you before, but hubby has three sisters – I credit them with ‘bringing him up right’. .. He also loves women and they love him back! Here’s an example: While I’ve been gone, I had a female blogging friend come to visit him (he met her once, last year in New Hampshire) and she brought along her two twenty-something daughters and son. He said he had a great time with them all!

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