Religiously, I take an early morning walk along my local beach which sets me up for the day ahead. This precious interim, where I feel completely at one with nature, has enabled me to observe many things. Seals, dolphins basking sharks and jellyfish being just a few. I also count as my friends, the many types of birds and land creatures. However, the species I find most entertaining is the Herring Gull. In spite of the roguish manner in which they raid dustbins, steal food from our plates and rob ice creams from children, I can’t help but admire their cheeky, outrageous and ignoble trouble-making.
Before moving to Torbay, we lived in a small village on the lower slopes of Dartmoor, a place where we grew our own organic fruit and vegetables. Naturally, several species of wildlife would help themselves to our crops, until we discovered a way to deter them. Large red and yellow balloons, showing big eyes, open mouths with plenty of teeth, drawn on using felt tip pens before being anchored with string in the vicinity of the crop in question, was all that was necessary to provoke fear into any would-be perpetrator. Especially when a breeze animated these grotesquely bobbing heads.
Harnessing the power of both the above observations, gave me the idea for my second book in the series of Witty Gritty Rhyming Tales for children. Rosie And The Rogue Seagull, is a book that has proved popular for all ages. A book quirkily illustrated and covering many hilarious happenings that we can all identify with. And remember, the reader is encouraged to write an additional ending verse. Maybe you can relay in rhyme your own observations of a rogue seagull!