I started this blog in January 2021.

I write this – the blog’s first post – as we start the fourth week of the new year.

By now I imagined I’d have had chance to write about my trips up to the Lake District to start on Wainwright bagging, a visit to a racecourse to document my fortunes or a trip to a non-league football match to savour the sights, smells and sounds of these unique venues. I’d have like to photographed historic pubs and iron age hill forts.

But no, the Covid-19 pandemic has put pay to all those grand(ish) plans and we all find ourselves restricted to our immediate vicinities for the foreseeable future.

Whilst I could wait for things to get back to some sort of normality, and write about what I originally wanted to write about, I fear I could be waiting a long time, and this blog would lay as dormant as the beer pumps in the nation’s pubs.

So, I’ve decided to stop waiting and I’m going to write about small things, about local things, and start filling up this tiny part of the internet with my thoughts and words, which was the fundamental reason for starting this anyway.

With that in mind, below is a photo of a Stonechat I took on a frosty recent walk. We don’t see them round these parts all that often – partly due to their aversion bad winter weather and their subsequent bias towards southern and western coastal areas – so it brightened up a cold winters day no end.

In times gone by, because of their unusual chattering call (‘u-tack, u-tack-tack’), they were thought to be in constant conversation with the devil. The breasts, often featuring a red patch, were said to carry a drop of the devil’s blood and that the devil would break the back of anyone who harmed a stonechat’s eggs.

Seems fair to me.


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