Sometimes it's all too easy to see a city as a cold, human dominated place, taken over, paved and 'developed' (what a marvellous misuse of the word that is) to an inch of it's life, literally. But in the corners, the dark places, it's not nearly that bad.
The Eel Pie Island fox in a previous post knew the safe places, was healthy, confident in the (admittedly waning) daylight, shareing the space rather than hiding away. It's always fascinated me that a street at 1am is a completely different place than at 1pm, a different habitat, seen by different eyes and used in different ways. Cyling through strange bits of south London last night, two foxes calmly trotted along the street, in a way they wouldn't have done at ten in the morning, feeling I was in their space rather than they were in mine. Tonight, again, a peaceful meeting of eyes with another, more local fox more than made up for the other late night Saturday wildlife - the drunks in the car shouting badly thought out abuse at the cyclist (I deserve something more original that d*ckhead, surely). Watching them, slaloming up the road and not noticing a green light as they chose their next CD, they merited a voiceover from Attenborough or Oddie as much as any creature.
Admittedly, I prefer the foxes, the plants that grow up through the cracks in the concrete, the smiles and the triumphs of sharing rather than taking for oneself. Humans - surely a lowering of nature's tone, the lowest common denominator of life itself - don't have it all their own way. Even here, in a place of concrete, bricks & asphalt.
A life-changing week 40 years ago - This is what started my love of canals: a holiday with my parents in 1978 on a Wyvern hire boat. We went north on the Grand Union from Linslade to Stoke B...
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