I think I broke the law today. I sat on the bench halfway up the hill. Luckily I didn’t have a flask or that would be classed as having a picnic…no-one was with me, no-one was nearby, I touched nothing as I sat down and stood up. My mask is in my pocket and my hands are sanitized. It was twilight, birds were singing themselves to roost. I could just hear the M1 - a silent neighbour the first time - so people are moving, not here though. Just for devilment I sat on the bench on the way down as well.
Late afternoon, and as the sun slips down a scumbled sky the colour of luminous oatmeal the bare branches of the apple tree are gradually leafing with small birds. Sparrows and assorted tits are queuing for a last stock-up at the feeder to sustain them through a long, cold night. They are joined by a male blackbird, feathers fluffed and plump in profile, his orange bill a bright focal point in this sepia landscape. Beyond the apple is another tree, an oak, and the stark tracery of the one against the other – the warp and weft of it – is heartstopping.