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God makes the rules man...
‘Any sign of John yet?’ came Adrian’s voice on the intercom.
Graham checked the monitors. ‘No boss. His car’s outside but he’s probably talking to the trees. It could be another sprint finish this morning.’
John Charman wasn’t talking to anything. He was standing silently with his binoculars to his eyes watching a bird on the edge of the woodland near the security fence. It was a wryneck, not a rare bird but uncommon enough and so well camouflaged that it could easily be missed with its habit of staying quite still and relying on its patterned plumage to hide it. He hadn’t seen one in the wood before, so it was probably just a visitor passing through on its way to Africa. He lowered the binoculars and looked at the trees by the fence. The finances were suffering from cutbacks but apparently the trees weren’t. Some branches were reaching over the fence and could be a security risk. No doubt the fairies would report the problem sometime. Although the wood seemed to be typically English it wasn’t. In some parts there were cedars and other imported species amongst the ancient oak and beech. In the past someone must have laid it out as ornamental rides for some great estate and now nature had taken it back, imposing a greater reality on it. That was why he walked there in the morning, to air his soul in that reality before entering the unreal world of office work. He turned and headed back towards the Pumpkin in the depth of the wood. To one side a mature tree which had been felled by a storm years before lay rotting slowly in the deep leaf litter, but it hadn’t died. Enough roots remained in the ground to sustain some of the branches, which now grew vertically up from the trunk like a row of new saplings. The grim reaper harvested this deciduous landscape regularly, but compared to animals plants had a different attitude to death and an ambiguous view of individuality. With no-one to tend the trees in what had once been someone’s impression of Eden they were ignoring all the conventional boundaries.
He moved quietly for a large man, but not so silently that the creatures around weren’t aware of him. He noticed the head of a green woodpecker peering round the trunk of a tree at him. As he walked the wary bird edged around the tree to stay out of sight. Everything in this wood had secrets to keep, the animals and birds, the fairies outside the Pumpkin and the staff inside.
Wasn't trying to make lite of anyone's misfortune, but was rather humorously referring to the great white in the image.Yes, it is, and for the many poor souls whose homes have been repeatedly flooded it is not something that they can smile about. Much money is being spent on flood defences all over the country, but they often prove inadequate.