Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Friends dropping in...

More rain. So more records of our villa neighbours in Turkey. It is amazing how much life goes on around us - Leeds has the same, albeit smaller and less vivid. I've just been to the International Mediaeval Congress here where a paper called 'The thousand tiny itinerants of St Guthlac's body' made the same point on an even more intimate scale. It reminded me of an excellent book I read years ago called 'The Life that Lives on Man' by Michael Alford Andrews, who also wrote that great study of the Andes, The Flight of the Condor. No condors in Turkey, but loads of excellent storks. We caught the crab incidentally, with meal leftovers (gristle, not the waste disapproved of by Gordon Brown). Or rather, it caught itself. We tied the bait to string, the crab grabbed it and refused to let go, even when hoisted on to dry land out of the stream which ran by the villa. We did the same with eels - another set of local inhabitants - but never actually landed any more than halfway out of the water. Thank Goodness.
The crab also prompted evolutionary thoughts. Back in the stream, it was set upon immediately by eels and terrapins who wanted the meat. But it fended them off and hoiked itself out of the water up an almost vertical stone wall, snuggled itself into a niche and finished its feast in peace.

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