A Siege Of Bitterns*

“Tanya, it’s Seb,” Mum calls through the bathroom door.

“Where?” I shout.

“On the phone,” Mum calls.

“On my way,” I shout, hauling myself out of the bath, pulling my towel round me.

“So, the thing about garden birds is that they’re an artificially sustained population,” Mum is saying into the phone when I make it to the lounge.  “They’re dependent on people feeding them.  Yes, that’s right.  Have they told you about the Canadian Lynx and the snowshoe hare and…”

“Alright Mum, thank you,” I say, taking the phone off her.  “Hello my darling, how was it?”

“Not too bad,” Seb says.  It’s a bad line and his words crackle.  “It was the best one I think: although in a way it was the most ridiculous…oh, I got my poster back and I got sixty two percent and I thought I’d screwed it up so that’s good.”

“Well done darling,” I say.  “You’ve done it: all four exams.  I’m so pleased that you got through it and…”

“Well, I would’ve got through it anyway,” Seb says.  “However badly they’d gone or…”

“I mean well done for getting through them when they seem to have gone OK,” I say.  “Am so proud of you.”

“Thank you my lovely,” Seb says.  “You are sweet.”

“I am,” I say.  “I’d better go because Mum’s friends are coming to play bridge in a minute and I’m in my towel and I’ve got to be dressed when they arrive, but thank you for calling,” I say.

“I wanted to call now because I might have a couple of drinks later,” Seb says.

“Good plan,” I say.  Wish I could be with him.  Miss him.

“Speak tomorrow my lovely,” Seb says. 

“Bye darling,” I say.

Dad is fixing my broken chairs in his office and Mum is playing bridge in her study with her chums.  Am watching Breaking Bad: just finishing off season three at long last.  Ahhhhh it feels good to be back in the world of Walt, Jesse, Saul and the others.  My worries recede.  Am accustomed to spending a fair amount of time alone when am in the flat, and over the last three weeks have spent all my time with the parentals.  Hopefully, as I get stronger and mood settles down, will be allowed out of Mum’s sight sometimes.

The attached photo is to remind us all to get our free information packs for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of January.  Our one has arrived and contains a big poster of all the garden birds as well as postcards and window stickers.

Happy Friday everyone!
*2014.  By Steve Burrows.  A birder murder mystery book one.  Starring Inspector Domenic Jejeune.  Set in Saltmarsh.


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