Saturday, October 15, 2022


When I walk down Finchley Road on my way to and from work, I pass some buildings where flocks of pigeons are often flying above the rooftops. They must live in the nooks and crannies of the structures, one of which is an old telephone exchange that looks like it may be largely unoccupied. I took this video last week, trying to capture their looping, circular flight patterns. Be warned: I got dizzy recording the video, and you might get dizzy watching it!

Yesterday morning Mrs. Russia e-mailed me to say the gigantic scaffold on our patio would be taken down that day. Dave and I both thought, "Yeah, right," but darned if it wasn't gone when we got home in the evening. That's a relief. Mrs. Russia initially told us this entire project -- replacing their window and repairing their roof -- would take three days. Instead it took a month!

(I wonder if they really told her three weeks and she misunderstood? I don't see how anyone could look at the scale of that job and think it was going to be done in three days.)

Dave had to go to the hospital last night for a spinal tap. Why he did this is a long story -- basically he's had a hand tremor and his doctors are trying to figure out what's causing it. I joined him there when I got off work. He did it privately, through our insurance company, so he had a private room in a swanky hospital in Marylebone. I waited while the procedure was completed, but when they wheeled him back into the room he said he had to lie on his back for four hours and I should just go home and take care of the dog. So I did. Dave showed up about 10 p.m. and he had a headache and some dizziness, but otherwise felt OK. He's still asleep as I type.

While Dave rested in his hospital bed, I came home and read an excellent graphic novel called "The Arab of the Future," by Riad Sattouf, about a boy growing up in Libya and Syria in the 1980s. We only have the first volume in our library but I'm tempted to order the sequels too.


Moving with Mitchell said...

Dave sounds like a real trooper. I’ve always heard spinal tips are an awful experience. I hope he finds help for the hand tremor.

You’re also brave. I never look up when a flock of pigeons are overhead.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I thought Spinal Tap was a semi-fictional pop group, not a genuine medical procedure. I hope they can get to the root of Dave's hand tremor and stop it. Must be pretty worrying on top of his issues with Crohn's. Will you be having a party to celebrate the removal of that scaffolding?

Andrew said...

Not quite a pigeon murmuration but close.

I think Mrs Russia is being disingenuous. It must be nice to have the scaffold removed.

Hand tremors? Welcome to my world.

Mary said...

Hope Dave is feeling better this morning. Not a fun procedure. Also hope he gets some answers.

Jeanie said...

I've heard spinal taps are miserable so sending good wishes to Dave that the procedure yields actionable results. And three cheers on the scaffolding. What a relief!

Peter said...

I hope Dave us feeling better and that they found the answer to the problem.
As to the pigeons, I bet there is a loft of homing pigeons on one of the roofs. At least in Brooklyn the looping flight means that there is someone on the roof with a white flag on a long pole encouraging his birds to excercise.

Bob said...

Just the words 'spinal tap' sends shivers up and down my spine. Hope Dave gets a good report.

Ellen D. said...

Hope Dave feels better and they find the fix for his hand tremors. I was thinking that video made you dizzy when you made it and then saw your mentioning that it did.

Sabine said...

Lovely shot of the pigeons. Within a small area, maybe 3 km from suburbia garden to next suburbia commercial area, the respect for or maybe, opinion on pigeons completely changes. In our gardens, we have wood pigeons which everybody cherishes and feeds and watches waddling through the beds picking seeds and worms, while in the square between the shops and bakeries and on the benches and under the trees in the commercial area, the same birds are called rats of the air, considered to be spreading disease and there is a feeding ban and much pigeon droppings to be cleaned by shop owners every day.
Best wishes to Dave and hopefully nothing to worry about it. I also have a slight tremor on and off and numbness in my legs and arms which, after similar exams, I have been told most likely is a side effect of the immune suppression I am currently on.

Ms. Moon said...

Lovely video of the pigeons!
I know that you and Dave must be worried. May all be well.

Ed said...

I had a spinal tap once as a teen. I hope to never get another in my lifetime. It wasn’t a comfortable procedure… at least way back then.

NewRobin13 said...

I hope all is okay for Dave and that the test results will be helpful.
Great news that the scaffolding is gone. Yay!
Nice pigeon video. Reminds me that I should make a video of the huge flocks of geese flying over our house on their way south for winter.

Debby said...

I hope that the spinal tap gives answers. I had one years ago, to try to pinpoint a headache so severe that morphine did not provide any relief. I can honestly say that because the spinal tap did not hurt worse than my headache, I noticed nothing at all. I can also say that it provided no answers, disappointingly.

Good luck to Dave.

I too believe that Mrs. Russia was deceiving you.

Sharon said...

That is quite a procedure for Dave to endure. I hope it helps lead to the discovery of the cause so it can be properly addressed.
Those pigeons appear to be doing a type of murmuration. It's kind of hypnotic to watch.

Boud said...

I hope Dave gets answers on the tremor, not a fun thing to deal with. He's a trouper, with his health issues. I'm wishing him well, and don't show him the dizzy making video. He's got enough to deal with.
On the other hand, Mrs Russia should be forced to watch it for three days, weeks, that is.

Pixie said...

We do a lot of spinal taps at our hospital, it's the only way to deliver chemo to the brain. Fortunately our docs are excellent at it, so patients seldom complain of any pain.

I hope he gets some answers.

We have lots of pigeons here too and I love watching them fly like that. There is a flock that fly around on Whyte Ave as we drive back and forth to work.

Margaret said...

Hope that Dave gets some answers and that the aftereffects from the spinal tap are fleeting. I hope to never have one!

Red said...

In my humble opinion, pigeons are dirty and a nuisance. they should be controlled in some way.

37paddington said...

The scaffolds where I live are coming down too. Sending all good wishes to Dave. I hope he had a deep delicious sleep, the kind one often has after medical procedures, and wakes good as new.

Kelly said...

I love to watch birds in flight and we have quite a variety around our pond to keep me entertained. I see wood ducks most every morning. Yesterday I watched a Pileated Woodpecker. Like Mitchell, I did worry you might get more than you bargained for if they flew right over you!

I sure hope Dave gets definitive answers from his procedure.

ellen abbott said...

What a relief to have that scaffolding gone. I hope the docs figure out what the problem is with Dave. I'd hate to think he went through a spinal tap for nothing.

Catalyst said...

We have been missing our bird visitors since we moved to our new home but I thought I saw one flying off our roof today. Rain, though.

Steve Reed said...

Mitchell: Dave said it wasn't too bad. He just had a headache afterwards.

YP: I think the tremors are actually related to the Crohn's. How, specifically, I'm not sure.

Andrew: It's possible, but why wouldn't she just tell me up front how long it would be there?

Mary: Fingers crossed!

Jeanie: Yes, it's SO nice to have it gone.

Peter: You know, I never even thought of that. I guess it's possible. Or do pigeons naturally fly in circles around their roosts, whether they're being deliberately "exercised" or not?

Bob: Me too, although now, because of YP's comment, all I can think of is the band!

Ellen D: Yeah, I was REALLY dizzy when I tried to keep walking! I'm sure I looked ridiculous to everyone around me.

Sabine: I suspect you're onto something and I think Dave's case will be resolved in much the same way. I think they'll find the tremors are caused or exacerbated by his medication.

Ms Moon: I think Dave is more frustrated than worried, to be honest.

Ed: Maybe it's better now. Dave said he didn't feel much at all.

Robin: I'm fascinated by the patterns and behaviors of birds in the air, the way they all seem to be communicating.

Debby: Well, my theory is that even if we get no answers, it rules out a lot of things. Which in itself is an answer. Know what I mean?

Sharon: It IS hypnotic! They do this all the time.

Boud: Ha! Pigeon torture!

Pixie: It seems like putting fluid (chemo) INTO the spinal column would be really painful. I'm pretty impressed your docs can do it with minimal pain.

Margaret: I'm with you on that!

Red: There are an awful lot of them, and I think there are legitimate questions about how they effect other bird species.

37P: He felt pretty normal pretty quickly, fortunately!

Kelly: I used to see pileated woodpeckers near my mom's house in Florida. In fact I think I've blogged a picture of one.

Ellen: Well, the way I look at it, it's never for nothing. Even if there's no positive result, at least we have hopefully ruled out some things.

Catalyst: If you keep your bird bath and feeders at hand, you'll see birds soon enough! They'll find you!