Following the necessity of a hasty trip away from Orkney and down south into England, I've been having a few culture shocks.
I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that things which I haven't seen for ages will now look somewhat different, in light of the changes to my life, 21st Century progress and the world generally moving on.
For example, take the humble Dunnock.
Now, the habits of these small birds have exercised this blog on previous occasions, most notably here and here. Yes, I have ranted on and off about the promiscuous shenanigans that three Dunnocks often engage in, but my comments have, more than not, been about the almost Victorian attitude that we pin to the lifestyle of this bird. In the time since I last saw this species on a regular basis, which would've been back in jolly old MK, the world has moved on considerably. I will leave you to judge whether that is for the better. So, when I spotted a couple of Dunnocks in my brother's garden, the passage of time and recent celebrity culture had a strange effect upon my reaction.
"Crivens, what's that twerking under the bird feeder?!" was my questioning cry, trying not to spill a mug of tea in indignation at the blatant sexualisition of a neatly manicured lawn, blossom-laden hedging and lush herbaceous borders.
I think it's probably time for me to head back north to the open vistas of Orkney. For although its landscape is as indelibly marked by the human hand as everywhere else, life there is more in the grip of the seasons, the weather is more likely to clip you around the ear, and it is the sea with its finger on the 'Destruct' button.
And the garden at Tense Towers is currently Dunnock-free.