I came across a female stag beetle today, who had won a fight with a cobweb and was celebrating by taking a rest on the warm tarmac footpath. The busy, narrow footpath used as a haunt by impatient people. A hand was proffered to initial scepticism, but upon finding the hand was warm, this seemed like a better deal.

I then spent five minutes trying to persuade her to dismount and take to the nearby bushes, safe from feet.

I always stop here, at the rural crossroads, to send her a photo of the pebble that someone painted rainbow and left, nestled under the postbox.


Dirty feet swung idly as they perched on the container stack, regarding the seething mass of people below. This place was the beating hearts of the Associative. No bland Agreement Halls, no offensively opulent Grandhouses, no Trade Farms for them. Such places were constructs, fakery. If you wanted to know what's happening, you watch the people.


I came to a stop to allow a pedestrian to cross the street. We waited as four people driving cars, having noticed us, carried on regardless. Eventually the pedestrian crossed and was all smiles and thank you's. "Not many courteous cyclists around these days!" he said, with complete and genuine lack of irony.

I push my packcycle along the path with one hand, melting '99 in the other. In this 30°C Sun I prefer the shade. Bench after shady bench are occupied until movement ahead attracts my attention to the sole occupant of the next. I ask if I may join her and she welcomes me. We talk of how we love this place and of others and she regales me of stories of cycling in her youth.

Were it not for her gaily-swinging legs I may have walked on by, and yet, could I have resisted such a soul?

A single leathery motion. Silent, at an acute angle. Then it was gone. Absorbed back into its inscrutable, ultrasonic darkness.

It was a blink. One frame. A mere flicker.

But it knew. It sent for and heard me, in my predictable cumber. With clicks of superhuman delivery it discovered and avoided me with nothing but a turn of the wing.

We have a tea shop in town which always sports an interesting and delicious assortment.

I opted for a pot of Malibu Dream. The waitress said she hasn't sampled that variety yet so I promised to give her a review.

It took the lunch and the empty pot to condense the taste into a succinct reply.

"How was the Malibu tea?"
"It tasted of cherry kisses and welcome sunshine".

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