In the shadow of Heathrow

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Right on cue the air screams with the vibrations of a timely plane as it passes overhead, seemingly close enough to reach out and touch. This is Heathrow, one of the busiest airports in the world and arrivals and departures number in the seconds not in the minutes. Believe it or not you do tune it out to some degree but the sight of the giant metal Avians littering the sky is a familiar one and one you expect of a bustling city like London. Being somewhat of a country bumpkin myself i nevertheless feel very at home in my city second home and thrill in the vibrant diversity of it all. The hustle and bustle feels very compact and crammed in , with every available space untilised to the maximum and hardly a green space to be seen unless it be of the grass verge variety. Or so i thought.

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Following a maze of urban streets you step through the gates of a city park and are instantly transported to rural heaven. Along winding tree lined avenues, following the wild overgrowth of the River Crane, you would believe yourself to be in the heart of the British countryside and not infact in the depths of the largest city in England. Butterflies wheel and spin, vying for airspace as they dance their fluttering dance across the heat shimmering sky. The air of silence is oddly shattered by the alternating sounds of the overhead jet engines interspersed with the raucous cries of squabbling magpies. Crossing an elderly bridge to gaze down at rippling water and contemplate a game of ‘Pooh Sticks’ before turning a corner and stepping back in time.

St Dunstans church nestles serenely in a sunlit corner of the park showing visible signs of age yet none the less impressive for all that. Splitting wood and age worn gravestones announce proudly that this elderly house of god has been there for many more years than you and i could contemplate.

”Come inside” it smiles invitingly, like some beneign old grandfather welcoming you around for tea. Who are we to refuse and we walk carefully around the grounds interestedly peering at those gravestones visible enough to still be read. Yes old it is and the gravestones lay testament to its age. Who were you we wonder as we pause by first one and then many more of the higgley piggledy scattering of stones. Serene and welcoming and cause indeed to linger a while before continuing on our way.

Crane-Meadows
Much of a surprise then to round a corner and see undeveloped land as far as the eye can see. The alien bulk of a distant control tower the only blight on the otherwise rural looking landscape. Golden fields ripple in the gentle breeze leading to enticing looking tunnels of trees and yet more green and golden expanse. A flash to the right as a little grey body makes a dash for cover, white fluffy tail bouncing madly as it makes a bid for safety.

Bunnies!!

Yet another and then two more as they pause to consider our motives before either fleeing or dismissing us of no consequence and remaining as they were. We briefly halt our progress and tarry a moment to consider them as they in turn watch us a little warily but do not flee. Another is not so bold and dashes for the safety of a large patch of undergrowth yet perhaps it was not us who sent him there as a large magpie hops madly around upon the path infront of us. Just about to perform my usual superstitious salute i spot another and lower my arm in relief. The area is almost deserted compared to the overpopulated urban madness not a stones throw away, yet here it is peaceful and only the odd passing stranger indicates that we are not totally alone. Along the river we wander before out into the wide golden wilderness we step once more. Some thoughtful soul has cut a wonderful path of crossroads within the expanse and some time is spent wandering first one way and then another , randomly taking first one turning and then a  second. The bunnies give way to a lone kestrel soaring in the evening sky, clearly it is time for dinner and we are too far away to disturb his efforts and so he pays us no heed. Look another and yet another and still one more! Six we count in all and they swoop and soar in the warm evening air first gliding landwards before flapping madly to hold in some advantageous position. Glorious they are and so many is a sight to see but secretly i pray ‘dont catch a bunny, oh PLEASE don’t catch a bunny! ‘
kestrel
Again the raucous call of a bullying magpie as a tag team of the embullient avians lay chase to an unfortunate Kestrel. Clearly laying ownership to a small tree they are having none of the poor Kestrels attempts to gain perch there for some small moment of time. Two against one is no match and in defeat he wheels away to seemingly float upon the night sky with his bretheren. Pause for a ‘selfie’ for posterity and then it is time to let those jet engines intrude once more as the rural hideaway fades and urban life encroaches once more. How magical to find such a place so hidden from view in a most unexpected place and one i hope i shall visit again sometime in the future.

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Typically bridget

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We’ve all seen the movie right? The wonderfully hapless Bridget Jones drowning her sorrrows in a tub of Ben and Jerry’s whilst sporting the latest fashion in duvets. What is it about us women that immediately makes us dive for consolation in the form of something sinfully gooey in quantities we’d normally cringe at the thought of. I wonder why we’re so predictably cliched to the point that they even make movies about us highlighting our more obvious behaviour.

Guily *hand up*

Going through a painful breakup myself i shamefully admit i have become essentially Bridget although my Ben and Jerry’s is more of the M&Ms variety and far from wailing all by myself in a tastefully messy bedroom i have instead resorted to crime drama and moving furniture and sniffling over breakup songs on youtube. What can i say i like having control over something right now even if it is just the current days position of the sofa.
Why do we do it? I mean never yet have i seen a single movie where some dejected guy is welded dolefully to his bed whilst putting himself on the outside of a three gallon tub of ice cream. No, in movies men go out and get a new girlfriend whilst little miss slightly tubby has a minor breakdown and murders every break up song ever heard before sobbing hysterically that nobody will ever love her. Hmmmm not a good stereotype really i think. Yet that is exactly what we women do.

Then true to form being as predictable as we are we then launch head first into reinventing ourselves in a bid to ‘fix’ all of the things that are wrong with us. You wouldn’t be single if you were prettier, thinner, blonder, taller etc etc so partly in a guilty bid to rid ourselves of the results of our gastronomic decline we haul our spare tyre into the gym, buy endless new outfits (in a size smaller of course) and embark on a whole new look. Again hand up for i am guilty of all of those and confess to spending 20 minutes leaping about like a nutcase trying to squeeze into size 8 jeans.Perfect, exactly one size too small, something to aim for!! Horrified i had only realised just how womanly predictable i was when a friend sent me an article about the 7 things not to do after a break up. Oh dear well i’ve already done four of those only 3 left to go OOPS!! Who am i to disappoint??

Much later wailing along to all by myself along with Bridget on dvd i suddenly had a fit of the giggles as i realised that in the space of just one week i have, minus the cigarettes and alcohol, become Bridget Jones, spinster. Oh dear. Still you can’t help but love her no matter how hapless she is and i live in hope that far from finding me miserable and grumpy, those who know me will decide i’m adorable and indeed very’Bridget’
I couldn’t help but wonder as an aside just how many tubs of Ben and jerrys are purchased to be consumed in a non emotional moment and whether the company would actually go out of business should we women all cease to become such emotional puddles of unconsolable depression.
Still there is a lot to be said for reinventing oneself and may i be forgiven if i cannot raise my hand a third time,the gym definitely has a lot to answer for. Perhaps it is no bad thing to effect a change after all, perhaps the new me may be far better than the old and i have to admit i do rather like being a blonde again even if it is on the No No list of ‘after a breakup’
Perhaps i am more predicatably female than i ever imagined, perhaps we all are yet strangely i do not feel offended for once at the thought of being like everyone else. Duvets have their place and time in life as does Ben and Jerrys as Bridget and i both agree. Still on to number 5 on my list and time to fit into those jeans.
Better to be typically Bridget.