Coming out of the house this morning to leave for the station, I heard what sounded almost like a woodpecker drumming. Almost, but not quite. For a start it was LOUD, far too loud for a normal woodpecker. And it had a curious metallic mechanical sound to it that wasn’t quite right. But the rhythm was right, and I could hear a woodpecker calling, and could even see a lady woodpecker looking quite interested in the trees of the square. So I cycled out towards the junction and turned round and looked back as the drumming noise was repeated. And there he was, our bad-boy urban woodpecker: up on the chimneys of the houses, drumming against a nice big hollow metal flue. Trees are for rural woodpeckers, out in the sticks. Here in zone one, if a boy’s going to be heard above the planes and the cars and the ever-present sirens, he has got to think creatively. You heard it here first: they’re starting a steel band.
It was a sight that almost made it worth being up at that hour in the morning. Almost. But not quite.