I was walking back from church, where I had been taking some photos of the building for use on their website, also being produced by paddimir industries.
I was walking past the piazza (I should add that this is an optimistically named shopping centre, not an open space), when I spotted my new neighbours approaching. although my balcony overlooks their bathroom, I only really recognised them because of their overactive pitbull terrier. I was pondering whether we were on "saying hello" terms. I had said hello to the guy earlier that day, and he reluctantly responded, but that was within the confines of my estate. out in the wide world things were even more uncertain.
it seems we were not on saying hello terms, and just as I passed them, bemoaning the fragmentation of society, I heard an ungodly sound from above my left ear. I turned around to see two white masses about 3 ft away from my head and travelling at some speed. they had big black feet attached, and that was all i could gather as I ducked to avoid death.
one screaming swan whisked over me so closely i could feel the wings beating. another veered off to the left. the one that went straight ahead splashed down on the concrete just in front of the building. I stood amazed. it looked a bit shocked itself, and a little drunk. it began ambling around unsteadily.
so too was the very drunk man, with a very grazed nose, who approached me.
"at's a shame that, int it?"
"aye, I don't what's up with them"
"they thoat this wis watter"
I thought about it for a second, and there was wisdom in his words. the piazza was built over the river (for some reason) so if you were a swan on holiday flying along the river, you would be a little surprised to suddenly be staring at a big shopping centre and dashing software engineer.
"did ye get a photie uv it?"
I had forgotten about my camera. I had my wide angled lens and a filter on, but I started taking photos anyway.
"at wid uv been an amazing photie eh?"
"yeah, but it would have killed me!"
there can be no worse way to go out than to be engulfed in high-speed swan vagina for the sake of a photo
he turned his slurry attention to the swan, who was walking up the stairs towards us.
"err's yer mate oer therr!". it was true; the other swan was sitting in the middle of the high street stopping traffic, and looking a little traumatised. a group of ... well the kind of people who hang around paisley cross on a saturday night, were gathering around filming it on their mobiles and trying to feed it chips.
eventually the two swans met up at the bus stop on the side of the road nearest the river, so I left them hoping they would be okay, and not get on the number 20.