At the end of a perfect spring day, with nary a cloud in the sky, I am left pondering the risky life of the pheasant. We were walking along Loch Striven this afternoon, where pheasants are raised for sport and fed from sinister-looking drums on legs tucked invitingly among the silver birch trees by the loch. Pheasants invite a mixture of hilarity and pity as they scuttle along in the manner of a speed walker determined to keep one foot in contact with the ground at all times. You feel like yelling at them: "You're a bird. Fly, dammit!" - and then they do, whirring out of the undergrowth with heart-attack inducing suddenness.
I thought of these birds, thinking food comes from blue drums, living among their friends in the sunshine, loving and begetting and doing what they do (sorry - I'm misquoting a poem here) - only to be shot and eaten come the season. And I felt sorry for them - briefly. Because I eat meat. And these birds, as Mr B sapiently observed, have much more fun playing chicken with the cars than any chicken in a battery - or even free ranging.
But enough of this bucolic rambling. Tomorrow we head off to Oban to hear Bishop Martin sing the part of Christus in the St John Passion, in his own cathedral. Neat, that.