Tuesday, 14 June 2016

You are the Quarry

A summer's morning - cool because we're talking a UK summer.  Light mist over farmland, lapwings whirling and skylarks singing to their mates in the nests below.  The sound of my feet on a gravel track.

I veer off right onto the Ridgeway, marvelling at the expanse of land in front of me, and giving a nod to the remaining towers of Didcot Power Station - grey top hats away in the distance reminding me that I'm not entirely in the sticks.

There is no-one else around.  Or is there?  Hard to tell until half a mile on I come across some bird watchers, readying their lenses on an old train bridge, turning them towards the landscape.  I wonder what they're looking for but they've already been distracted from their efforts by another runner who has voiced my curiosity.

Feet push further through grassy tracks, nettles sticking out with the express intention of stabbing me and cow parsley that is up to my shoulders - how does it get so high so quickly?  And then I spot her.

It is another runner.  A woman. 


We're a little way apart but an incline slows her down and I begin to catch up. 


Getting closer now, should I say something?


I spot the ear phones.  She can't hear my footsteps.  The track is too narrow for me to zip past so I call out a gentle "good morning".

She says "SHIT!" as she jumps.  I jump.  And the rush of adrenaline makes me feel like an animal that has been surprised.  A cat that has pounced only to find the mouse has sharp teeth...  I laugh and say sorry and use the extra energy to race away, down a blossom covered track that leads me home.

Soundtrack: You are the Quarry by Morrissey

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