Grand Hotel ballroom,

Tap dancing in grey tailcoats,

Seagulls on the lawns.

(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

For Carpe Diem: rehearsal

Seagulls will lure worms to the surface of the earth by imitating the patter of rain with their feet. If you haven’t seen this happen, do a search on You Tube for “seagull tap dance”. I always think the “worm charming” seagull looks really self-conscious – it’s something to do with the way it keeps looking all around while it’s pattering, as if it’s thinking “Is anyone looking? Have they noticed my flat feet? And my inside-out knees?” But maybe it’s just English seagulls who are so easily embarrassed.

We saw a pair on the seafront yesterday when we walked down to witness the highest spring tides in nearly 20 years. One was dancing, faster and faster, and his mate was by standing by his side, appraising his technique with her head cocked. Looking rather deflated, he finally gave up.

When we passed by again a few minutes later though, they were both dancing away vigorously. Maybe he’d caught a big, fat, juicy worm in the meantime and she’d decided to swallow her pride (after he’d swallowed the worm).

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