Saturday, 4 August 2012


Scene: The Pinkfoot Gallery, Cley

Lovely Pinkfoot Sarah (on the phone): Mr Comparethemarshtit has just come in.

Pause while unidentified interlocutor responds.

Lovely Pinkfoot Sarah: No, he's like Banksy; he never reveals his true identity.

The identity of the interlocutor was revealed, however. It was Mike Dawson: birder, gentleman, friend of artist and conservationist alike, and commercial director at Swallowtail Print.

I was visiting Sarah under Banksyesque cover as recently she's tweeted cryptically about a scarce and wonderful animal she's been seeing locally. I was bent on getting to the bottom of things.

Sarah was kind enough to share her spot for seeing this wild wonder and this evening Leanne and I went to try our luck. The creature in question never came, or if it did we never saw it, but we witnessed a sunset of rare drama: a bruised, bloodshot sky to the west and leaden curtains of rain to sea. A barn owl wafted past, a hobby snipped the sky and every space between the clouds was packed with shrilling swifts.

As for Sarah's rare animal, well, I'll be back.

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