*I didn't think turning 27 was necessarily something to celebrate but I wasn't given a choice in the matter.
To start I had breast of wood pigeon with crispy tattie scones, and a port and red lentil gravy. Then for my main course I had grilled loin of lamb with spring vegetables and a rosemary jus. I enjoyed my first two courses so much I had to have dessert too, so I had the Three Chimneys Famous Hot Marmalade Pudding with Drambuie Custard. It was all absolutely delicious, and I would thoroughly recommend the Three Chimneys if you're ever on Skye. It's not cheap, but the food is out of this world, the service is impeccable, and the location is unbelievable.
I regret eating that starter.
We got home about 8.15 this evening, intending to get straight into our jammies, and eat pizza in front of the TV. The cats were pleased(ish) to see us - Coco sulked and wouldn't cuddle me until I gave her a KitBit - and the house was fine. We unpacked the car, and I went into the living room to make sure everything was ok. I noticed that our fireguard had been moved. I then saw something white in the fireplace. I went to have a closer look and saw a pile of soot, debris and feathers sitting on the coals of the fire, and more of the same all over the fireplace, and the floor just in front. I then looked a bit further up, to the beginning of the chimney, and saw a pair of feet.
A pair of birdy-looking feet. Attached to something that looked distinctly bird-like.
I nearly crapped my pants of course, and I shouted for the Boy to come and have a look. He agreed that it looked a bit birdy, but was of the opinion that it was dead (he was unable to explain how on earth a dead bird would manage to perch in our chimney however). He went for something with which to poke the bird, for that is what it was. Now I should be precise here, it wasn't just a bird, it was a pigeon.
A WOOD PIGEON. One of these. One of THESE. In MY LIVING ROOM.
The Boy poked the pigeon with the end of a broom. It was most definitely NOT dead. The poor thing got a terrible fright - it squawked and flapped its wings so hard trying to escape from the nasty poking man that it dislodged yet more of the crap that was in our chimney, and did another enormous shit on our lovely living flame gas fire.
The Boy agreed that the bird was not dead and suggested, most unhelpfully, that we turn the fire on. It was at this moment, when he suggested roast wood pigeon instead of pizza for dinner, that I realised this was karma. I ate one of this bird's cousins. Possibly even more than one (I don't know how much meat you get on a pigeon, but I'm guessing not much).
I was in a bit of a state. I didn't know what to do - I kept saying to the Boy 'but what do we DO?', while he stood with his hands in his pockets looking at the fireplace, much like a plumber who looks at your boiler whilst trying to figure out how to break the bad news. In the end, we did what we always do - we phoned our mums ('But what do we DO?!').
However, neither of them were any help, so I phoned the SSPCA. We were lucky that the only animal inspector in Edinburgh and the Lothians was able to pop in on her way to another job - she dove straight in without a moment's hesitation, and after much flapping and flying of sooty feathers, the inspector pulled Priscilla the Pigeon from our chimney. She looked a bit bedraggled and indignant, and her tail feathers were in a sorry state, but she was otherwise ok (hurrah!). The SSPCA lady said she'd take Priscilla into the wildlife centre for a few days, to let her recover from her ordeal, and make sure her missing tail feathers would grow back ok, and off she went.
I took some pictures before I cleaned away all the mess the damned pigeon made, you can look at them here. It's nearly midnight and only now am I starting to calm down and relax after a long journey home from Skye, and an unexpected welcome from a wild creature in my living room. I think I need another glass of wine.
I'll put some of my holiday pictures up in the next couple of days.