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Eastwood, Portishead, Redux

Water Vole

Middle of June. Late afternoon. A recipe for no birds. And so it proved but I had to get out: too much time hunched over the laptop, recreating my genetic algorithm thesis – the next door I’ve chosen to close on the path to riches.

No birds, apart from juvenile pied wagtails. But possibly a water vole. Not in the woods obviously but in a rhyne on the way over. Something swam across, trailing a tantalising wake.

This is the time of year when hardcore birders turn to butterflies. Eastwood had its share. Red admirals, for sure. Speckled woods too. I had no idea at the time but the creatures I saw were speckled and in a wood. They must live up to their name, right? Well, they do and speckled woods they were.

The Royal Inn is the final reward for checking out this bit of Portishead. The northerly was a smidgen too keen for sitting outside but I enjoyed a pint of George Best from Cheddar Ales. How appropriate for this period of World Cup celebration, which stage he sadly didn’t grace: Northern Ireland never made it there in his prime.

How England could do with someone of his talent now.

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