In the Woods
It’s about eight when I wake.
Andrew is still unwell. He staggers with dizziness as he stands. I rush to both help him, and protect my Arthur Ferrier painting of Horace Roye which swings from side to side on the wall.
Breakfast is coffee and a bowl of chopped fruit. I want him to heal and recover, so fruit is in abundance along with tincture cocktails and various herbal brews.
A little after breakfast we agree to try a walk in one of our favorite places. But then, I get distracted by cleaning. We both head upstairs and sort clothes, folding them into little packages Mari Kondo would be elated by. The room is the bathroom, which was our bedroom prior to demolition. Now it’s a bit of a temporary set up with amble storage. After the tidy, it also looks pretty good in there.
We have two large bags to drop at the village charity shop and two for recycling.
After that, I drive through saturday traffic out of town to an ancient woodland. There are a few cars parked when gently bump the car over potholes.
Starting the walk, both pups are on lead. I see a couple with their pup walking towards us. Diligently they see ours on lead, so lead theirs. Sure enough there’s a bit of a barking kerfuffle as we pass. We turn the path to an avenue of huge trees, towering. The pups are unleashed and run with happiness around the trunks. Andrew reaches to hold my hand, he’s unsteady and so unwell. I hold his arm and we walk a very short loop slowly.
We follow the track deeper into the woods. My senses prick up. There’s something in there. I scan the forest floor for any movement. It could be a deer, it’s probably a deer, we often see quite a large group in that part of the forest. The feeling of being watched doesn’t shake. As we move between the trees we disturb birds further along, a red kite in a tree infront drops down and soars up. It must be deer, I assure myself, knowing that they can quietly pass without disturbing the birds further on.
As we near a clearing I smell a faint cigarette, it’s not the first time I’ve smelt someone smoking around here. There is a huge estate property half a kilometer the otherside of the woods. I’ve wondered about it before. This spot is so isolated and very rarely do we pass other walkers on the trails. The only other regular is a Lady and a snappy Rhodesian Ridgeback who live at the sprawling home, but from our chats she doesn’t seem the kind to hide behind tree trunks. I wonder what the story is here, perhaps a day laborer who is homeless, or a poacher, it could very well be a poacher, we’ve had close encounters before with dodgy solo shooters.
I wonder. We get to the car, pop the pups in safely. Andrew gets in, and for good measure, I immediately lock the doors. This area is famous for featuring on Midsommer Murders.
Home, we have lunch, a stir fry.
Then, I get to work reading through contracts with a client and new accountancy. Andrew is tired, he nods off every now and then.
Dinner is mainly mixed vegetables with some jacket and sweet potatoes. I have a catchup call with a business partner as we move things along. I think to myself about entrepreneurial memes and a glam life portrayed online. It’s far from when you’re building your own company. Afterwards I pour a glass of box wine and slice up a papaya. I eat half and leave half on the side in the kitchen. Andrew and I chat. Aura returns from the kitchen with a guilty look. I ask her what she’s done and she totters to her bed with her head hung low. Sure enough, she has scaled the side and helped herself to my papaya, one of lifes greatest luxuries. She has eaten the fruit, the peel and the seeds. She gets a telling off and spends the evening looking sorry for herself in her cave bed.
I have another wine, we’re halfway through Amazon Primes Startup series with Adam Brody. It’s gripping.
Around ten, or eleven, two large glasses of wine down, I shower and we fall asleep.