Monday 27th September 2021, 3.15pm (day 3,686)
Is this the return of the much-seen Hebden Water heron that I call “Humph” (e.g., this shot)? Maybe, maybe not, but either way this was a much-needed piece of interest in another dull day.
Media rhetoric suggests we should all be grateful that Our Glorious Leaders have announced a ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown but none of that changes the fact that for now, and for weeks yet, there’s nothing to do. The ducks continue to have a far better social life than us, At least the evenings are getting lighter, the days (a little) warmer.
Two days of more-or-less constant rain and the Hebden Water looked like this in mid-afternoon. The general approach to flood defence here still seems to be, essentially, just cross your fingers and hope.
To stop the walls closing in any more than they already are I’ve been making a point of sitting out in a spot by the river in the early evenings, when the weather allows. Just to take some air, watch the ducks (my post of a few days ago was taken from this same point), have a couple of beers. Feel human. Clare joined me for this one and so, for 15 minutes or so, did fellow ex-Railway habitué Bernard, who happened to be passing with a bottle of his own. We talked. As much as anything, we just enjoyed the fact we could see someone else’s face, for real.
As government policy and public fear continue to ravage our lives and economies, I speculate as to what kind of future awaits, and ahead there’s an old-man version of me that just wanders through our empty town each afternoon to spend time watching the ducks. They are peaceful, good-looking creatures, they clearly have some basic society, with obvious couples, occasional spats and arguments, and an ability to understand and make use of the dynamics of water flow for their own personal edification. This duck seems proud of her own drake and watches the other two parade past in much the same way as might a haughty woman sat outside a café. To my eyes, anyway. There is little else to look at right now.
There continues to just about be enough visual interest around my locality to keep this all going. Who knows how long it will be before Authority deigns to say that we can not just travel to other places, but stay there, and explore. Until then, let’s fake it. The thing I like about this shot is that there’s little sense of scale. This could be a substantial island just off the coast, with cliffs behind that are hundreds of feet high. Or, just a little rock in a stream, well lit. You decide.
There is not a great deal going on in life at the moment; the weather is poor and it feels like dead time at the end of what has, admittedly, been a rather extended summer, at least in personal terms. But like these kids, I’ve gone ‘back to school’ — not that I find it any easier to accept than they probably do.