Today, I was on the day shift. Work was quiet and, unusually, we had more people on duty than were necessary. So I took myself off on a couple of long foot patrols. Away from the seething resentment at the office and into the cold but fresh January day. The sky was a clean duck-egg blue and the air was sharp and bitter.
There are parts of the site where I work which, although I have worked here for nearly four years, I had never seen. I decided to put that right. How long might I still have the chance? I walked for half an hour towards a distant corner of the site and crossed a field ready ploughed for a new stand of trees. I was out of radio range and no-one knew where I was. I liked that.
Click for embiggeration.
In some neglected woodland nearby there is a mediæval manor house. The woods are steadily encroaching, and have been since it was abandoned in the C17. It's hard to get to, as there are no roads or even proper pathways nearby, and I got proper muddy. The upside of that was that no-one had thought to surround it with chain-link fence and festoon it with Keep Out signs. It's just there, for anyone who cares to look. I spent a while in and around it, just soaking up the atmosphere.
There is a woodland ride nearby. Well, maybe not a ride: just a wide passage through the trees and undergrowth that has clearly been a major route passing the manor house at some time in the past. Plenty of delicate fallen twigs and dry leaves - and totally undisturbed by human footfall. It was eerily quiet and magically lonely.
And then I found the skull of a fox.
I left it there.