Monday, July 14, 2008
Penguins, St Kilda
My angry brethren of the darkening ecliptic! Quaint little birds, fairy penguins would not seem to bear comparison with their sturdy Antarctic cousins. They are a backyard curiosity, a mere toy of a thing. They are excellent divers, let it be said in their defence. And better, as they come splashing among the rocks in the breakwind this mild winter evening, back from the sea and posing for photographs yards from the end-of-the-pier café, they prove themselves masters of an environment the emperor penguin would find sheer torture; in the same way that nipping across town to the supermarket in a sensible family car may be so far beneath the skill of your average sports car driver as to be almost beyond it. The comparison is hardly exact, but can stand. I say it can stand. The penguins did not stay long, and the evening turned cold. Still shivering, I found the Riesling in the café sweet to the point of sickening, and yet I drank it, grimacing, gladly.