Wonders of the modern world, number eleven, Bushey Park
Actually, the reality is more striking — by far — than this rather bad picture. It was a mid-late autumn afternoon in Bushey Park. I'd never been there before. Apart from anything else, I always thought Bushey Park was in Bushey — Watford-way, that is. But I found myself round Bushey Park way the other day and decided to walk to Teddington Station via the park — which seems to be vast.
There was a warning on the gate about how I couldn't go in there because there would be live guns firing. Then I realised that only applied to the weekend nights. Then I remembered something about there being too many deer in the park and how they needed to cull them. (And I, being me, wondered what their meat would taste like. And where you could buy it.)
But nothing prepared me for this. A stag with a full set of antlers, having an afternoon nap less than ten metres from the path. When I raised the camera to take the shot, it was even better, in fact. There was a bird wandering about all over the stag. I thought the deer was a corpse, in fact, till an ear twitched and the bird flew off.
I'm sure Bushey Park regulars are surprised at my surprise but, well, you don't expect to see this kind of thing in a London park. All kinds of other things, yes. Things which are illegal in many parts of the world, including inner London, yes. But a fully antlered stag, no.
For once, I feel innocent.