Write Away. The weekly column by Leighton Buzzard Writers. This week by Jane Hogg...
A man in bright orange stands under a tree. And this is odd, because he is all alone beside a ploughed field. I see him, unseen myself, from my second floor bedroom window.
My house on the edge of Leighton Buzzard has a view to die for. That’s why I chose it. From my room I watch the seasons come and go over unspoiled farmland. The sun rises; the moon rises; stars peep.
The man in bright orange has circumnavigated the field and disappeared. No, he is not a pastoral elf or a figment of my imagination. He wears a high visibility jacket for his job. He is fiddling with the newly erected plastic sheeted boundary to the newly planted field.
High visibility jackets have blossomed to a ridiculous extent. They were supposed to be eye catching; to signal danger. They now appear on the list of paraphernalia required for driving on the continent. They are so commonplace that they are no longer “hi-vis”. The brain just blanks them out.
What danger is he exposing himself to; this brave little figure on the field’s rim? I suppose he might be digested accidentally by a combine harvester, but surely he would hear it coming, even if it was behind him! I suppose, heaven forbid, he could collapse on the job. The jacket might help the paramedic. Another, more treacherous thought occurs. The jacket would make him easily identifiable from the air. Maybe a snoopy helicopter or glider has been deployed to ensure he is not skiving!
I look again at my beautiful field. I’m nervous when I see these orange or yellow clad people around. How long is it before the march of concrete catches up with me? How long before my view will be spoiled forever?
Meanwhile I am glad that a new crop is in the ground, happy to watch the roe deer calf dance in the corn, to hear the owls at night; the surprised ‘churk’ of the cock pheasant, and the harsh cry of the muntjac.