Well. It's (hang on, let me check) 5.39 a.m. Yes, a mere twenty to six in the morning, the skies have barely pushed back the duvet of night, and already the alarm clock of birdy tweeting is in the air.
It started (I am in the nearly unique position to tell you), with the first twit at twenty past four. Twenty past four! What are they doing out there that is so important that they have to tell the world about it at twenty past four! Even I wait until a reasonable hour to go on and on about Doctor Who... Anyhow, whatever it was they were doing it big time by half past four. There I lay with the duvet pulled up to my forehead (not that I listen through my forehead, you understand, I was just trying to pretend it was still the middle of the night, mmm...dark, warm...smelling slightly of onions...) when outside in the hedge it sounded as though the bird equivalent of Britain's Got Talent was going through the audition phase.
I tried to poke the duvet into my ears to prevent the noise-leakage, but my ears aren't big enough. I wrapped my head in the pillows but the need to breathe drove me out again, and still, outside the window it's all 'lalalalallala - look how feathery and happy we are....I just ate a worm, you know...did you?...oooh,yes, big, fat, juicy one it was...'; full on avian water-cooler gossip being conducted outside my window. I considered throwing something at them (chiefly I considered throwing a cat, having one conveniently to hand), but reasoned that even the largest feline-impact ( and he's a pretty large cat) would only take out a very few of the culprits. Mostly by squashing, since he's not one for chasing, although he does try to convince me that He Is Hunter by leaving conspicuous piles of feathers around the place and sitting next to them with a complacent smile. I think he buys them in.
So. There I lie while something that sounds like a snoring machine is giving it its all somewhere round the window ledge. Whatever bird it is that has a song that sounds like 'tweeeet...tweettweettweet....tweeeet...tweettweettweeet' is the first on my list for extinction when I'm put in charge of the next Ice Age, I can tell you that. Then there's something that sounds way too perky and over-excited, like a twelve year old girl let loose in Boots the Chemist's make up department with a twenty pound note. That one particularly gets up my nose. Then we have the standard-level 'chirp chirp' (those ones are small and brown, like little fluffy lumps of pooh, I've seen them at their chirpy chirpy thing, perched on the fence - if big fat cat ever builds a ladder they are in such trouble...). None of it too offensive, taken singly, in reasonable doses at a civilised time in the morning. But when you're lying there in that warm, dozy half-sleep state wondering whether you can turn over and catch a few more hours, smelling the night-onions wafting up and knowing that no-one can see your morning-hair, then the last thing you need to hear is that first, ominous, twit.
Launch Party Prizes! - This Thursday 24th July sees the launch of my second novel From Paris with Love - just in case I haven't mentioned it before (which, um, is highly unlikely...
1 day ago