Tuesday 18 September 2012

A Wanstead first

Anything about? Immortal words, but no, there has been practically nothing. Well, does four Whinchat yesterday and two this morning count as nothing? On Wanstead Flats, pretty much it does, especially when they won't let me take photos of them. Easy to become complacent around here. No matter, as soon I will be abandoning the patch completely and heading up to Shetland, there to drown in BBRC rarities. Words cannot describe how much I am looking forward to it. For starters it means no Canary Wharf, always a plus, but to be up on those islands again, the smell of damp iris in the air, oooh it's gonna be great. If I can defeat the hand baggage police that is.....

It's a total nightmare. On the one hand, yes I do like to take too much stuff. But on the other, I might need all of it. How will I know 'til I get there? This is worse than twitching, much worse. I have it all written down. Weights, dimensions, combinations, the saddest and most tragic spreadsheet you could possibly imagine. I'm currently on about iteration 18 of what is coming with me. I've been absolutely certain about 17 times..... The biggest issue by far is that the itty-bitty plane to Shetland stipulates the maximum length of hand luggage at 40cm. My lens is 46cm long. This is a big problem. Epic in fact. And then there's the weight......Do you actually want to hear about this? No, thought not. But it consumes my every waking hour, and Mrs L is bored now, and I have to tell somebody. Work? Forget it, this is much more important. I've just about worked it out, but it involves taking the lens in a plastic bag, stuffing the camera down my pants, and crossing my fingers. Wish me luck.

Anyhow, first-world problems aside, Wanstead has been cooling off, though we are approaching Ring Ouzel season, so it could all kick off again. And as migrant numbers have falled, so dog numbers have risen exponentially. This morning was incredible, everywhere you looked, ranging in size from rat to pony. No utterly crass behaviour, but perhaps I'm hardened to it now? However on the poor behaviour front I did get one opportunity to vent forth, and remonstrated with a guy for chucking his drink can in the Alex scrub. I was amazed to find that the two friends he was with agreed with me and said it was out of order and that he should pick it up (we couldn't find it....), and that they were all three of them very sorry, that it was a big mistake and that it wouldn't happen again. Eh? You what? I could barely believe it, but I'm telling you - it happened. It was profuse, and it was genuine. No abuse, no swearing, just an apology. A Wanstead first, and I was taken aback. The state of the nation is such that I always expect to be rounded on, shouted at, sworn at. I always gamely carry on regardless, somebody has to stick up for the place or it will turn into a total shithole. So to actually get an apology from somebody who knows that they have stuffed up (i.e. a grown man chucking litter around like a schoolboy) is totally mind-blowing. It'll probably never happen again.

Just a Crow. No reason.


  1. You could always go on the boat. Like a mill pond last year, but I won't mention the previous year.

  2. Congratulations on your successful litter remonstration! Faith in the human race survives another day.