Glorious walk tramping across farm which was once scored with productive ranks of baby carrots, baby corn and baby leeks, all growing under halos of water cast by overhead sprinklers and destined for the shelves of Tesco (has anybody questioned British preference for juvenile vegetables, btw?). Not like that anymore: it’s 1,500 acres of debt-ridden, abandoned, tangle of weeds now.
Omo Bright dogs no longer just Bright; thanks to the thick undergrowth we – they, Anthony and I – were forced to battle our way through – they are now cheerfully bedecked with burrs, like a pair of fat blondes who have over-accessorized. Anthony walks barefoot. I – shod – high step like a dressage pony fearful that I may step on a snake. I probably look quite silly.
Snakes are not uncommon here and walking through weeds as high as an elephant’s eye is – frankly – to foolishly tempt fate. I walk behind Anthony (five paces – in manner of good African wife, but not out of respect, rather as a result of theory that he will either chase reptiles from our path or stand on them before I do). I have met cobra often on my walks and I always afford them courteous space. Some Africans suggest that to witness a snake cross your path is an omen of good luck. Some suggest it’s exactly the opposite. I think it’s largely a question of where your feet fall.