Freeloaders and commitment rings

Today after I dropped the boys off to their respective school and preschool, I decided to have a wander about Woy2.
I parked in the usual easy-to-park-with-no-impatient-shoppers place – further to walk to where I wanted to go, but less likely to back into a trolley.
I wandered about window-shopping and drooling over clothes and jewellery I can’t afford. I was specifically looking at rings, because a few years after I got married, my engagement ring broke. More accurately, the stone fell out. In case any of you are sad at the thought of a large sparkling diamond tumbling through the air in slow-motion and *clinking* against the drain in the shower, let me assure you that in fact, while I did lose said stone in shower (probably) it was in fact un-sparkling onyx. Set in silver.
In fact, when I found this ring, that I could see myself being able to live with indefinitely, I told C, “I have found my engagement ring. And you’re in luck. It’s going to cost you $14.”
He put his hand on his heart, looked deeply into my eyes, and working himself up to the very pitch of his generosity* said, “Rhiannon – I’d buy it for you if it were….twice as much.”
Anyway  so I tried it on again recently and it is really loose so I must have had fatter fingers when we bought it. Also, we have never got around to getting a new stone set in it.
So I am investigating rings so that Craig can give me a new ring next year for our 10 year anniversary.
Anyway I did a bit of that, and I also walked to K-Mart to check out their remaindered books and found a book I was looking for, for $4.  I then walked for about 10 minutes to a bakery I had not tried before, and bought a pie that turned out to be very good and a neenish tart that was rather disappointing. (It is my mission in life to sample neenish tarts from every conceivable bakery.)
I decided to walk for another 5 or 10 minutes to a nice park on the waterfront to sit in the sun (or shade should I want shade) with a nice view.
I could see the looks in the beady eyes as I approached a table…I knew I was going to be subtly and not-so-subtly pestered and harassed to share my food.
You might think  mean seagulls. But no.
First up I was approached by a large, slightly-scary looking white domestic goose. Its head was as high as the table top, and he had a calculating look in his ice-blue eye. He honked at me a lot. Next up was a large contingent of ducks. They sat around quacking hopefully and occasionally descended into bouts of inter-duckular biffo.
Then I was propositioned by a magpie  – I heard the distinctive magpie gurgle and looked around – it clearly was impatient that I wasn’t appreciated its good mannners in sitting on the bench opposite, so it hopped up onto the table and cocked its head at me.
Finally a willy wagtail jumped up onto the table and chirped at me. A lot. And at the magpie. And at the ducks.
The seagulls weren’t going to get a look in. So I continued to eat my pie and read my book, keeping a close watch on the surrounding duck population and making sure that the magpie didn’t get bold enough to make off my with neenish tart, which as it turned out would not have been much of a loss, but I wanted the opportunity to find that out for myself.

Because I didn’t throw chips this time, the ducks let me go with barely a glance, unlike last time when about 30 ducks purposefully waddled after me out of the park, which was funny. I felt like I should be capering with a penny-whistle and parti-coloured tights.

*paraphrased from a passage in Sense and Sensibility, about Edward Dashwood.


3 responses to “Freeloaders and commitment rings

  1. Maybe Tippi Hedren just had a bunch of food in her pockets the whole time.
    Hitchcock never explained.

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