Along the canal today…a man on the bank as his 2 retrievers bounded in and out of the water…another man on a bench shaking, almost unable to roll his joint, papers everywhere…swans still on the nest, others swimming with 2 scragg-end cygnets safely between them with a bemused duck as an outrider…a small herd of young cattle standing where the canal has no lip, wading, lapping water from Leeds to Liverpool…I stop at my favourite place and lie on my back in the grass and watch the martins and swallows…in the shadow of these aeromaniacs the crows are leaden avian imposters…midges over the water are all atomic motion, only magnified and slower…the herons have gone and I’m yet to see a kingfisher this year…the noise of the jay takes a chunk out of the afternoon and spits it on the ground.

The police are armed at the station.

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