Wednesday, 25 February 2009


They kick it from the rooftops, drag it from in between the tiles, peck and pull and gather in beaks intent on the richest pickings. Seagulls who elbow like jumble sale regulars, hurl the discards onto the street below.

They are reupholstering their chimney stack turret with vivid clumps of moss. At it since dawn, creaking and chunnering together like shushing conspirators who don't want the neighbours to hear the latest trends, they arrange and rearrange their new nest. Above the hiss of rush hour, above the crashing pouring drifts of glass from the recycling trucks, they are plumping up their green velvet cushions.

I couldn't resist. I picked one up and brought it home. On the table in front of me, it's a pillow of an atoll that fits into my hand. Close packed with lush forest where no light would reach the ground, it holds the damp like precious treasure, waits for the next drink of rain. And I am thinking that if I lived on the windblast of a chimney stack, it would make for a luxurious bed.