Friday, 24 February 2012


"My friend saw a pair of dead jays on the Downs when she was out running. Can you go and rescue the blue feathers? -they were lying next to a pile of garden rubbish in bin bags, next to St Monica's Trust".

It was an unusual request, but I wondered why there should be two dead jays together on the Downs. One would be unremarkable; two could mean nefarious. 

And blue jay's feathers are beautiful. Some years ago, Katie and I were admiring fishing flies in a shop window in Hay on Wye, and shortly afterwards we found two of the feathers, in the hedge, at White Castle. So we made a fishing fly with them, using bits of wire for the hooks, and hung it in the window, and very nice it looked too. And an object that posed no threat whatsoever to the fish population.

I cycled around the Downs, and finally found them. 

They weren't jays, as you see.