Thursday, 5 June 2014

Shelter from Helter-Skelter


I checked up on the Peregrines just now, and the Bath chick's camera feed is not working, but the Norwich 4 are sitting around preening themselves in preparation for lift off.


Yesterday, H.I. was watching them doing something similar, when an adult flew into shot and dropped a small gull onto the scrape (that's what these platforms are called) without landing, then tore off again leaving the chicks to rip it apart for themselves. Just feeding one chick is light work compared to what the Norfolk parents have to do.


Coming to the end of their maturation process as they are, the four Norwich chicks are the same size as the adults, and they sit around on the bones of all their previous dinners as they wait for the next one. They remind me of those paintings of George and the Dragon - the dragon's lair carpeted with the half-eaten remains of humans who thought they could outwit it in combat.

I know it amuses you all to hear of uncomfortable or ridiculous situations that I find myself in, mainly because of all the comments I receive when I relate them here. I can almost hear the stifled laughter in your voices as you express your concern for my safety and well-being.

I have yet to step put of the house, but when I do I will have half an eye out for a 6' 3" inch woman with black hair, who is wearing an olive green, military style, peaked cap above a shockingly decadent expression on her very open face. Well, it's open in one way, but firmly closed in another.

Some years ago, H.I. had to divert an obsessed woman stalker away from the target of her affection - a fellow teacher here in Bath. She was eventually sectioned, but made life very difficult for the man for about three years - that's a long time to be stalked.

Having seen 'Play Misty For Me', I have long since ceased to find anything flattering about being obsessed over - not that I think the woman in the cap is. I think she may just be looking for customers in her new venue, as I have never seen her before.

I know from experience that if it seems that you can do no wrong in the eyes of your companion/partner/girlfriend, then it is only a matter of time before that form of 'love' turns into pure hate, and - as the Bard put it once - hell hath no fury, etc.

As Sarah pointed out, this sort of encounter is something that women put up with on a daily - if not hourly - basis when walking down the street, but beside being chased down a dark street in Rotterdam by a bunch of Leather Boys, I have never received this sort of attention from another man.

There is a house here in Bath which is a refuge for women who have been abused by their male partners, and although its exact address is supposed to be a secret, most people know where it is. Apparently, the occupants are - in the main - Eastern Europeans or Somalians, and I don't know if this should be an encouraging sign about how British males have changed their behaviour.

I have a friend who is the same size as me, but was beaten up by his tiny wife on a daily basis and didn't know how to deal with the situation. We ended up by forcefully extracting him from his own house, then gave him moral support as he filed for divorce on the grounds of cruelty.

I have been beaten-up just the once by a girlfriend, but I let her get on with it to get it over and done with. She had come all the way from London just to hit me, and nothing I could say would have persuaded her not to.

She was a Yemeni Israeli - a rare thing in this country, to be an Arab Jew - and had trained in the Israeli Army as well as learning Karate in Japan. As it turned out, she was pretty hopeless at hitting people, but managed to break three of my ribs with a lucky strike as I pushed past her to duck for cover.

I have never liked the idea of hitting anyone, let alone women, but I told her I surely would if she came within arm's reach of me as I knelt on the floor trying to catch my breath. I must have said it with conviction, because she stayed away.

I have had plenty of mad girlfriends in the past, but I don't intend to resume my career with the woman in the green cap.

24 comments:

  1. I stear clear of anyone in any kind of military gear who isn't actually a member of the forces. I occasionally wear some German soldiery goretex trousers when out in the rain, but hide behind a gorse bush if I see any fellow humans.

    Nice to be back and catching up with blogs. I'd better look back at some of your posts......

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    1. Good policy, Em. Remember Hungerford...

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  2. Plenty of violent women in Norwich beating up their male partners, we can hold our own over here. I record them on the Police computer every day. The Refuge is always full of Brits, we don't get many Somalis here and the Eastern European women can give as good as they get.

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    1. Why do you think I chose to live in the West?

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  3. Methinks ye protest too much …… 2 posts in a row about the Stephenson stalker ….. I think that you fancy her on the quiet !!!!! XXXX

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    1. I think he likes a bit of rough on the quiet.

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    2. I think that, if the stalker is as muscular as the women in the picture, he might want to rethink things. She could help him lift some boulders.

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    3. Hang on, I have never - yet - accused her of being a stalker. I didn't see her once yesterday.

      There's nothing quiet about it, Rachel, but I'm not as noisy as John is - Russell bloody Crowe, etc.

      I am getting to the stage now where a fork-lift would be the safest option.

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  4. The nesting ledge must be called a scrape because in the wild the peregrines scrape a shallow depression on the cliff to carry on housekeeping. Chicks in the wild are as liable to a fall or a push over the edge as the ones living on the ledge in Bath.
    The new hooker in the neighborhood should be worth more than a few stories.

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  5. I thought you were just making fun in your last post. What I read now I don't like. My motto is keep away at the slightest sign of obsessive behaviour (by the way: avoid eye contact, that makes them feel accepted) - to be stalked I can't find neither attractive or flattering.
    Men or women who hit other human beings give me the creeps.
    You are tall and strong - nevertheless keep away from her; she might become envious of H.I, so a little problem can grow.

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    1. It's not as serious as you are interpreting, Britta. I am exaggerating it for the sake of the story. I want you to laugh at me.

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  6. Your colourful life never ceases to amaze me - I have led such a sheltered one by comparison! Where DID you get the photograph?

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    1. There are worse ones than that out there, Weave. Just turn 'safe search' off, and you'll see what I mean.

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  7. When i worked in banking years ago, there was one customer who made my flesh crawl any time he came into our branch. One of the tellers thought i was very hard-hearted because i did all i could not to have any interaction with this man. She changed her mind when he casually mentioned that he saw me working in my veg garden that morning. I had been at 6.30 in the morning no less, and in order to see me, he would have had to be on the interesecting road and parked on the grass's edge. He described what i wore that morning, and it was exactly right, so i knew he must have had binoculars with him.

    Some of the local state police were bank customers, and i took a ride over to the station to ask them what to do in this case. Legally, the man had done nothing wrong, but my gut was telling me to take care.

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    1. Now that is creepy. H.I. had a mentally ill stalker once, but I made him an offer he could not refuse, and he has kept away ever since. The police are - as usual - bloody useless in situations like these.

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  8. For some reason, I'm reminded of Robert Graves' poem, A Slice of Wedding Cake.

    http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2013/04/30

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    1. That link wouldn't open for me. I'll try again later.

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    2. A Slice of Wedding Cake

      Why have such scores of lovely, gifted girls
      Married impossible men?
      Simple self-sacrifice may be ruled out,
      And missionary endeavour, nine times out of ten.

      Repeat 'impossible men': not merely rustic,
      foul-tempered or depraved
      (Dramatic foils chosen to show the world
      How well women behave, and always have behaved).

      Impossible men: idle, illiterate,
      Self-pitying, dirty, sly,
      For whose appearance even in City parks
      Excuses must be made to casual passers-by

      Has God's supply of tolerable husbands
      Fallen, in fact, so low?
      Or do I always over-value woman
      at the expense of men?

      Do I?
      It might be so.

      ~Robert Graves

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    3. Thanks for that. Robert Graves might not have been so tolerable himself, I believe.

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  9. I wonder how she felt after smashing up your ribs? One would imagine the clutter in her head was probably worse and lasted longer than the pain of broken bones. I had a stalker at the local swimming pool once. He used to find me in the showers and talk inanely. Had he been a more interesting conversationalist I might have been more kindly disposed towards him, as it was I stopped going swimming and started running instead. The benefit of that is I have no breath for conversation and just run faster if I see anyone looming....

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    1. She did - in a quiet voice - ask me how my ribs were when I saw her a couple of weeks later. That was the closest thing to an apology I was likely to get.

      Making allowances for your inanely-talking stalker, he was probably just nervous. If you had invited him into the showers with you, he might have relaxed a bit and the quality of the conversation might have improved. Either that, or it would have stopped altogether.

      I have never - even in my youth - been any good at running, so I have developed techniques which involve fronting-up to adversaries, and these consist of portraying myself to be even madder than they are. So far, it's worked.

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    2. I think inviting him into the showers would probably have given the wrong impression entirely...
      I like the idea of pretending to be madder than someone else, although presumably that's a sliding scale that's hard to get right...

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    3. It doesn't so much slide as escalate - take Mexico, for example.

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