RISING sea levels you’ve heard of. Rising seagull levels? I hear those every day. Maybe you do too.

The sound of seagulls wakes me up. When the working day begins, their squawks are the background to my video calls. And the timing is suspicious: in a brainstorm session, seagull cackles follow the daftest idea.

But I don’t live by the beach, rather on the top floor of an Edinburgh block of flats. And I am not alone in experiencing the effects of rising seagull levels.

Summer brought many posts about ice creams and sandwiches being snatched in gull attacks. And stories of gulls damaging roofs and bins.

Seagull levels seem to be rising so fast they may well change our future.

Seagulls’ abilities to target windows could have an impact, for a start. It’s certainly a challenge for my homemade vinegar cleaner and I’m curious to quiz window cleaners. ‘How much more squeegeeing do gulls cause these days?’ ‘Loads, missus. That’s why our prices are up. It’s the Seagull Surcharge.’

Gull precision also works on vehicles though there may be opportunities not costs here. Wherever it’s parked, the gulls get my car. I’ve tried under trees. Not under trees. In the shade. On the sunny side. Every time: splattered. Is there pocket money to be earned by kids going from car to car with kitchen roll and can-do-doo attitude? A new paper round.

Let’s move to ventilation. Given the crucial nature of circulating air these days, this is a big one. Seagulls regard anything high up as their territory; on the third floor, one cannot stick one’s head too far out the window. Whisper now: it’s crossed my mind to pitch the Scottish Government about a gull cull as a pandemic control measure. Hitherto impossible but stranger things have been authorised in recent times.

And if the above were allowed, is it too late for today, 12th September? A late shooting season, a tardy yet still glorious twelfth. The Euros were a year behind schedule. The Olympics too. This is just a lag of a month, albeit with a different bird.

Style now, and the danger for hair. Scotland already has hazards but to drizzle and humidity we must add the risk of being spattered.

Gull shields are needed. Umbrella-like accessories made of oilcloth. Maybe they’d also have a squirter and wipers like a car windscreen, though that’s starting to make everything heavy and most women’s shoulder bags already weigh a tonne. And we must be prepared to defend our gull defences: if I carry an umbrella when it’s merely spitting not bucketing, someone or other soon points out in their opinion there is no need for protection. It will be years before carrying a gull shield becomes the new normal. But it can happen.

Strangely I write this last bit in silence. The only time seagulls here go quiet is mid-afternoon. Kipping? Perhaps the future’s biggest change will be the demise of the cat nap, soon to be renamed.

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