July 2021 – The Seagull and the Nest

Since we arrived, a group of rowdy seagulls congregate in the spot on our roof we call the snack bar because there’s so much vegetation growing in and around the guttering.

By May, we realised one never went home.

Seagulls mate for life, spending their lives together and forming a lifelong bond with their partner. They work as a team finding food, protecting the nest, and raising chicks.

On our roof, whoever is keeping the nest warm at the time, gets non-stop food delivered by their mate. It’s become like Uber eats up there.

The silhouette inside the perspex roof and the incubation rota on the nest between both parents are seamless. Will, a mini camera and a super long monopod just avoided getting divebombed trying to get a better look.

By the first week of June, our baby had hatched, just the one, but it is so noisy. A few weeks in and they’ve started using the roof of our bedroom as a landing strip whilst learning to fly.

We are in the middle of a pretty fierce heatwave in July, and our baby gull has joined big flight school. It’s so fascinating how the young gulls tend to hang out in large groups together, making the sky or sea look like mini gull creches.

We moved our coffee breaks to a tiny slither at the top of the outside staircase as it seemed to be the only place to get a direct sea breeze, and it was from this spot, the newly named Seabreeze cafe, that we saw our gull’s first full flight.

When they dipped downwards, threatening to plummet, one of the adult gulls flew below and gently nudged them back up. It was so amazing, totally nerve-wracking but very special.

Alongside bird watching, we have been making do with old Smokey, a very small old gas oven which did amazingly pass its initial gas check in December. However, the knob got entirely and utterly welded late on Saturday evening. With the gas on high, I was getting mildly hysterical as nothing we did would turn it off. The emergency gas board helper told me to turn all gas supplies off to the house, which involved pulling a comedy red lever.

All is going well with the kitchen re-jig, although this oven debacle really set us back with other jobs. It’s a bit of a mess where old smokey has been disconnected and removed but the new worktop is arriving tomorrow.

The old one ripped off half the wall tiles when it came out, and we levelled the floor with leftover vinyl tiles; it had three linos thick depth missing under the cooker, I screed it to a similar level, and it’s gone in nice.

Doing any DIY in the flat is a compromise between functionality and budget versus taste.

Nothing in it complies with modern standards, we’ve already whitewashed the kitchen once and made it livable when we first arrived and we’ll have to have a complete refurbishment within the next couple of years anyway.

It’s absolutely roasting today. I’m painting the spare room so it can dry properly while we’re away, and Will is finishing the worktop installation, which looks great, apart from his initial shock when we opened it up and saw it had tiny pieces of glitter in it.

I’m not sure I ever described it very clearly, but I had given four other options.

This one blended in the best out of the very small selection available for our desired budget of £50. I think it looks o.k and Will cut it all by hand last night and it fits like a glove.

A very nice combination microwave/grill cooker is arriving Friday, so just a plug-in hob for now; apparently, our current workspace doesn’t pass the modern ‘hot zones stipulation’ for any other type of replacement cooker to be fitted.

Pot noodle anyone?

Watching nest actuvity from within the inside/outside

Baby gull 2 weeks old

Barbara Hepworth’s Garden looking amazing in the sunshine

Catching a cool moment at the SeaBreeze Cafe at the top of the stairs

Old Smokey rip out and the patch-up job

Painting the second gueastroom


You can read the next update here – August 2021 – All Problems are Solved with Great Design

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