Another 'ear worm' is harrying me today. It is the second of Edward German's three dances from Nell Gwyn. It is a haunting little tune but my brain is doing it to death. I ought to be whistling the third dance - one frequently mocked or parodied in comedy sketches: think Monty Python's fish-slapping dance.
A couple of rabbits scuttle into the undergrowth. I don't see many mammals on my walks, and only an occasional amphibian - a frog or two on the lower, damper ground. I've not seen a reptile at all and am unlikely to do so - unless Christopher Chope puts in an appearance.
I'm feeling a bit down in the dumps today. An enquiry has concluded that democracy is being undermined by the harvesting and misuse of data in order to manipulate people. Was an enquiry necessary? After all it was only, to use the technical jargon, 'stating the bleeding obvious'. This has been going on for many years, when rich and powerful people such as Rupert Murdoch (whoops, I'm back to reptiles again) take over a huge proportion of the media and then employ carefully selected statistics to misinform their audience. God help us!
Striding across damp fields I see that some Creeping Thistle has been sprayed. I confess to being a little disappointed but I do recognise that this is a working farm and not currently a candidate for re-wilding. In his book, Our Place, Mark Cocker laments that 'Britain (is becoming) a country of nature-rich islands amid an increasingly uniform ocean of chemically treated monocultures'. Here on Foxhill Farm Matt is doing his bit but unless he is prepared to get in a herd of goats or something similar the thistles will need removing by other means.
But there is no doubt in my own mind that walking in the countryside, herbicide-tainted though it may be, does help to lift depression. The in-word is 'mindfulness' - looking rather than just seeing - and this is surely key to enjoying the surroundings and returning home with spirits lifted.
Anyway, where was I?
I had entered the farm from the east, the windmill gradually appearing, the grasses hiding the ugly graffiti defacing the base. It occupies a superb position, able to make the most of westerly winds as they sweep up the scarp slope.
|Newnham Windmill came into sight. 30 July, 2018|
Looking west from the base of the windmill into Warwickshire.
30 July, 2018
The Oak Bush Cricket is superbly camouflaged.
Foxhill Farm. 30 July, 2018
The hawthorn Shield bug is by no means confined to hawthorn.
Foxhill Farm, 30 July, 2018
Cocker, Mark (2018) Our Place. Jonathan Cape
Tony White. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org