I was on the estate this afternoon, and on what seemed like the first proper day of summer. As a coda to my previous post, I was happy to find that the field on Dunstall Walk was actually looking more beautiful than ever before - full of cow parsley and brimming with dozens of skylarks all spiralling up and down, on the wing, like little living Harrier jump jets.
A man in his early 20s was standing outside one of the houses on the walk (actually the one where my Uncle Tony used to live in the 1970s) and he asked me what I was doing, so I told him how about my research and how I used to live here as a kid in the 1960s. We chatted about the field, and about a horse that's grazing there now, and he went on to tell me how he'd never live anywhere else. I asked him why and replied "it's quiet, and open, I like the space", much like anyone might have said fifty years ago upon being rehoused there, away from the town's slum housing. Then his girlfriend shouted something about their neighbour who had "gone". "Hmm", he muttered, half to me, half to himself, "mad bitch. Gotta go".
The skylarks' song, that 'silver chain of sound', along with the gorgeous, heady fragrance of the cow parsley seemed to be everywhere on the estate which, in itself, has never looked greener, and never more perhaps like it was meant to be (but with a stray Morrisons shopping trolley to prevent us from getting too bucolic).