26 – Printemps qui commence

My sommelier exam is becoming somewhat imminent and I really should start studying any day now.  And I really really wanted to over the last weekend, true story. As they say, the way to hell is paved with good intentions. I was rather amused by how little changed from the university times, to be honest. Procrastination elevated to the form of art. The default mind-set isn’t helping either: with the awareness of having had prepared biochemistry in 3 weeks and chemical engineering in 1 week, and physical chemistry in just 1 night (ok, my brain was also 10 years younger, but whatever), I keep thinking: there is time, how difficult can a wine tasting exam be compared to, say, laws of thermodynamics (actually, that’s sort of easy)? Plus, I have been doing a lot of practical homework since months. Years, even. So, regardless my good intentions to move from practice onto theoretical knowledge, I started Saturday with cleaning my bike, then I took it for a short ride, then I went shopping to the market, then I proceeded by general cleaning of the flat (this is an evergreen, too, at uni during exams periods the dorm rooms were always spotless), then I cooked a bit, and then I read a couple of really good books. Obviously not the books I was supposed to study from. And then I concluded the weekend by watching a horrible cheesy girly film, whose title I shall not disclose, not even under torture. In short, I have done about anything I could think of that didn’t involve studying.


It’s spring after all. Even in London (for about two days, then back to November). Sun, mild weather, everything blossoms. Tout brûle en notre âme. Well, about that; I am not aware of anything burning in my soul, actually I am fairly certain my soul could not be set ablaze with an incentive of a can of petrol and a box of matches (that is of course a lie, but it’s better for all involved, me included, if we just pretend that whatever dwells in my soul is fireproof). In any case, my upper respiratory tract is burning alright. Spring’s sweet and gentle breeze spreads murderous pollen all over the place, my eyes are swollen, my nose switches between blocked, running and bleeding modes with impressive frequency, and I feel like all I ever wanted in my life was to be able to rip my throat open,  scratch it on the inside and soothe the tormenting itch. Ah well. I’m bound to start feeling better by roughly mid-August.

St. James park in the setting sun (and I really do need to clean my lens)
Buckingham palace

Spring also means that the Londoners are tormented by the nightly soundtrack of mating foxes. If you don’t know what I am talking about, you should know that London is full of urban foxes. There are talks sometimes that they should be culled,  however foxes remain the only natural predator for rats, so I guess if London gets rid of the ginger canines, it will be overwhelmed by  filthy rodents of roughly the same size. (And I would love to watch). Now, when foxes have sex, they produce this chilling high-pitched sound that resembles a desperate baby’s cry. Everyone who’s ever lived in London gets used to it eventually, but when you hear it for the first time, it’s shocking. Now, the foxes in my garden and the neighbouring cemetery, however, don’t seem to limit their love games only to the breeding season. I swear they are at it all year round (arousing my most profound envy).

Siegmund the Ginger Fox

Anyway: meet my friend Siegmund (as an homage to the Czech medieval king called Siegmund the Ginger Fox, nothing to do with the guy who claims that everything we ever think of is sex; no shit, Sherlock).  I have been seeing him around since quite some time, and there had been a couple of close encounters, like the time I caught him standing in the middle of my bedroom when I left the garden door open for 2 minutes. And I confess I had been trying to feed him ham on several occasions. Call me the Little Princess. Sunday evening, Siegmund brought his girlfriend around. Unfortunately, by the time I got my camera out, the lady fox was gone, but Siegmund kept hanging around, posing for photos and apparently unfazed by the flash. Now, you may wonder what makes me so sure that Siegmund is a male. I actually haven’t got a clue, I am not that knowledgeable about fox anatomy, but I guess that this explicit pose leaves very little room for doubts. But if anyone knows better, please enlighten me.

It’s a boy!!!

So, enjoy a little bit of wildlife photography in almost central London. I discovered that Lightroom had a function for correcting red eyes of pets. I tried my best. I have to admit that the pictures still look like taxidermy gone horribly wrong though.


Note: the title comes from Delilah’s aria from act I of the french opera Samson et Dalila by Camille Saint-Saëns, where Delilah sings about spring blossoming all around her, yet in her heart it still feels like winter.

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