Friday, November 18, 2005

Once more into the beech

We went for a walk in a beech wood just outside of town today. On the way there we passed a new residential development draped with that strange construction fabric which prevents pedestrians from being hit with flying debris. Or keeps the whole thing gift-wrapped so that people are more likely to buy off the plan, perhaps. Around the middle of the big gift-wrapped development there was a ribbon of enormous larger-than-life posters of people living their lives wearing expressions of ecstasy as a result of Private Leisure Facilities and Total IT Connectivity. Shudder.

Mercifully we were shortly beyond the precincts and parked in the layby favoured by the local doggers. The eroticism of this boutique activity escapes me in the same way as Mile-Highing. Aircraft toilet? How is that sexy? On the other hand, I don't know why the woman in the white bikini on the giftwrap poster with the indoor swimming pool shared by 450 Exclusive Residents was having a transcendant moment. Clearly the cultural moment is passing me right by.

The wood was gorgeous. Quiet and cathedrally, as beech woods tend to be, because there is nothing growing in them except beeches, and in this wood, a wild privet hedge around the edges. And a frost-hardy fungus or two. H picked them and sniffed their gills, because that's what you do. Neither of us knew what any of them were, though. We said hello to a blue tit, who behaved like an old guy who doesn't like neighbours much. He cocked his blue beret and let us have it. My Collins bird guide says that it was a "scolding series": ker'r'r'r'rek-ek-ek. *Lock and load* Get orf m'propertay!

Blackbirds, on the other hand, rustling like ninjas in the first fall of leaves. Shhh. rustle,rustle Silence. rustle,rus... Beady eye appears. Hello blackbird! It is huge with cold and privet berries, which are everywhere.

I'm home now, and my bird is eating the sugar sprinkles left over from a donut I bought earlier. Ah, nature.

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