I decide to walk into Cambridge from the Botanic Gardens and on the way I grab a coffee and Danish at Cambridge Oven. As I walk along Hills road towards Cambridge, a purple box crashes down from above the Tesco Express in front of me.

It’s a box of Kellogg’s Fruit and Fibre. It’s landed face down with a strapline that says: β€œSo long misery guts, hello happy guts!”

β€œIt’s a message from the other side” I think.

β€œSo long misery guts, hello happy guts!”

Then I compose myself. I’m thinking that maybe it was students high jinks, chucking it out of the apartment window above Tesco. I compare it to my student shenanigans long ago; especially the occasion where (in an attempt to avoid my room-mate biting it) I backward lobbed a sausage roll on the Stafford to Manchester Express, only to surprise a standing passenger as it slapped him on the the nape.

Back in Cambridge, the windows on the upper floors are all fast shut. Then I notice some movement on a ledge above the shop frontage - a head pops out and eyes me up.

It’s a crow.

It’s watching the box anxiously. The crafty corvid has hoisted the cereal box up onto the ledge and then dropped it in an attempt to break open the Fruit and Fibre. I stop and think about it for a moment and wax lyrical about this exceptional act of nature amidst the bland corporate facade.

I text Char and tell her what I’ve just seen.

A few seconds later I get a response: β€œMust be constipated.” she says.

Subscribe to my Genius Loci Digest for free

'This Digest helps keep the past alive as a memory bank. Many of the answers can be found in the wisdom that sits in places, because buildings that survive from the past are the mouthpiece of history. In this Digest I tell stories about them and my encounters with them.'


Spirit of Place * History * Material Culture * Heritage * Continuity * Photography * Travel * Architecture * Vanlife * Ways of Seeing * Wellbeing * The Historic Environment * Churches * Art * Building Conservation * Community * Place Making * Alternative Destinations * Hidden Gems * Road Trips * Place Writing *

"You are the 21st century version of a wandering minstrel except you tell stories by image not song."