If you could use human terms to describe animals I would say that this blackbird looks worried. But of course human concepts don't work here. A more appropriate word would be predatory. On second thoughts both words might be used, which would sum up the avian condition. And the human condition too.
Enoch Powell, an austere Conservative politician with right wing leanings is remembered best for his notorious 1968 "river of blood" speech in the 1970s in which he expressed fears about the arrival of immigrants to the UK and the problems of racial integration. "As I look ahead," he said, I am filled with forboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood."He was a classical scholar and at one time an amateur musician of some distinction. But he gave up music for academia and never returned to it. On BBC Radio 4 yesterday his precise, lugubrious voice with its hint of a Midlands accent came back to me, when someone quoted his answer to the question: "Why do you listen so little to music?" "I do not think it a good idea," he said, " to awaken longings that cannot be fulfilled". A little sad, I thought and a hint of the human side of a man, notorious for the harshness of his politics.
Years ago someone whom I met in Australia bet me a fiver that Powell was an Australian. He was wrong of course. Powell was born in Birmingham, but it is true that he was at one stage of his career, Professor of Greek at Sydney University.
Despite the reluctance of the sun to emerge we sit outside the Compasses. Geoff and Ron are there and then come Brenda and George and Glyn. A party occurs and within a few minutes there is laughter and the World's problems, to say nothing of the usual ailments of the old and aging, are disposed of, if not entirely forgotten. Rain threatens. But who cares? There is IPA and Guiness and Pinot Grigio. It is Sunday, and this after all this is Tunbridge Wells, and The River Tiber is not yet flowing with much blood.