The rain has stopped, the sky is blue. On Google weather, a little row of bright sun icons line up for the days ahead. My bad humour has broken. This morning, blowing off work for a walk in the country, I wouldn’t have swapped my muddy black berry lined path for the Boulevard Saint Germain.

Having spent the last two months in the city, I was in the mood to be charmed to see nature at play. The acrobatic swallows were again out in force. the same fat wood pigeon of yesterday was perched on the same branch of the tree and beyond him, the large dog fox appeared again as if on cue, out for his evening stroll….

Until he paused…

And crouched…


Even from a distance I could almost see his muscles tense as three of my father’s stupid pin headed guinea fowl and beloved bloody peacock meandered straight into his orbit. The peacock in particular seemed to stroll straight towards him, almost as if to say hello. It was like watching the first half of one of those carnage filled documentaries my father watches on a loop on the nature channel.

Much screaming from my bedroom window wasn’t enough to deflect the foxy little fecker, which is why I found my self scrabbling over a brick wall, ducking under electric fencing, up to my ankles in mud, waving my arms frantically to scare him off. To be honest he seemed less frightened rather then slightly miffed. He’d trot off a few feet then pause and look back as if to say ‘Bother, are you still there? How terribly tedious’ until eventually, bored, he took to the hills.

Meanwhile the brainless and ungrateful guinea hens and peacock resisted my attempts to herd them to safety by flying left, right and centre. When I eventually managed to drive them back over our wall, I realised, to my chagrin, that I couldn’t get myself back over it, agility is not my strong point.

Hence, feeling slightly guilty for interfering with the fragile circle of life I had to trek through muddy fields in my good patent shoes till I could find a gate to get myself back out onto the road towards home. It all felt a far cry from France until negotiating my way around cowpats put me in mind of dodging dog shite on the streets of Paris.