Sunday 18 January 2015
Beefeaters Twitch across the Sky pursued by a Fair Failed Fuckwit.
I have been joined in this task by Lord Ludgershall who has a similar saw and a vehicle that may be a little camp for some men of the woods, although he does remove his crown and ermine.
The camera has been out and a short film is currently under edit with the working title "Into the woods with Vidal Sassoon".
But hey that's how we used to roll on these rivers.
A crisis has just occurred,
Unbeknown to me we have been long term subscribers to Sky TV and have had in our possession a Sky remote control for many years
This remote control, has just cashed in its chips half way through "Penelope Keith's Hidden Villages"
The remote control and Sky TV have now broken cover and my assistance has been sought over their repair. Which, with great magnanimity, I have agreed to do on agreement that we first deal with the more pressing matter of what business does Penelope Keith have in hiding villages, and when did she make the leap from bossy lead lady in the Good Life, to deranged despot.
Mrs Dooms- Patterson must be quaking in her boots.
The Sky TV lady on the phone has been most helpful and a new remote control is winging its way to us as I write, meanwhile our TV is stuck on something called QVC which is proving to be strangely addictive but may not be the case after five days of "It Cuts, It Dices, It Slices and all at incredible prices......."
This house is now teenager free after Child B turned twenty at the weekend. We are all grown ups now and the pressures that come with acting like an adult begin to press hard,
Which I still find difficult, but one day I may grow up.
Child B will be OK, he has just completed three weeks work with a planning company that was very grown up and for which he daily donned the sharp suit and pointy shoes of office, while Child A studies sociological issues incomprehensible to our befuddled minds. We popped out for a celebratory lunch at the weekend and it was Madam and myself who took to the booster seats in the back of the car.
BREAKING NEWS: Keeper causes upset at RSPB
Surely that's a given, in recent times.
Sunday afternoon and with wine on board, a belly fully of meat, and a mind to roam Madam, myself, child B and Otis set out for skirmishes on Bransbury Common. Access used to be restricted to people of the parishes that sit on its borders but now it seems that any old Jonny can rock up. As I have already stated, it is a magical place that has recently played host to a Fair Failed Fuckwit,
No, make that a Bar Tailed Godwit,
Or was that the beaky bird we saw in Scotland?
Just a minute, I'd better look this up,
Great Grey Shrike, that's the dicky
For many weeks cars have been parked just down the road by people driving many miles to take in the Shrike, along with complimentary owls and a hen harrier. On this afternoon there were no cars, so we set out for our post prandial parade confident that we would have the place to ourselves. We traversed the manor house with the intention of walking down the common, wading through the ford and walking back up the track that borders the wood on the opposite side of the river. A trek of a few miles in bracing air that promised to remove the fug of a good lunch. We soon encountered some fallow deer, which was a surprise this side of the A303, but they may have been the beasts that rocked up in the fields behind the house a few years back. As ever there were short eared owls and a surprising number of little egrets, a heron chased off a great egret, which was not on the bill and the hen harrier flopped about, golden plover lifted from the field bordering the common and a merlin flushed from the floor. With Otis giving of his best we negotiated the workings of a billion ants and approached the ford when it became apparent we were not alone. Massed on the opposite bank of the river next to the ford were fifty or so twitchers clad in real tree and armed with long lenses, the main body had formed up by the ford with pickets posted further along the bank in their efforts to take in the Shrike, and for the past ten minutes we had bumbled our way through their field of fire.
We were in a congenial state and retracing our steps would have been an admission of defeat, and meant a further ten minutes of shuffling back across their field of fire. So we pressed on regardless with our original plan of crossing the ford. Halfway across, the fug descended and it became apparent that either the river had risen or our wellies had got shorter, Child B, Madam and Otis looked to me for guidance, so in the spirit of Lou Nolan I urged us on toward the battery of long lenses with the cry of "Gentlemen, there are your guns". Boots soon filled with water and as we sloshed through the massed ranks on the other side, I am proud to say that all involved in the charge, got in amongst the guns, and made light of our water filled boots, before making our way to the wood a hundred yards away where wellingtons were emptied of water out of sight of the real tree crew.
We were perfectly within our rights to walk that way, and I think our "carry on chaps" air made that point perfectly, but with all those cameras it felt like a Norman Wisdom trip on the red carpet that drew little mirth, but distinct disapproval.
Which made us laugh all the more,
The Shrike's still there by the way, but is not tempted by the slice of sausage we leave out for it daily.