As the darkness gradually leeches away so the silence is broken by the first birds to admit that the day has begun. Once one bird responds to the summons of the light the rest must respond to the summons of the voice. Soon the clamourous sounds are too much to assimilate, it's like tuning in a radio and being bombarded by a multitude of different languages and sounds. This time of year is when the dawn chorus reaches its peak. I wonder how each bird can pick out its own kind in the twittering tumult, like market traders shouting for attention.
As we teeter on the edge of summer I wonder how much longer before things warm up? - I'm out this morning in long length, winter weight bib trousers, mid-weight long fingered gloves, thermal vest and long sleeved jersey - although today feels warmer it's still too cool for shorts and short sleeved top.
But at least it's windless - lately the combination of drizzle, rain, unseasonable temperatures and unrelenting wind have made cycling more of a chore than a pleasure - today the calmness makes things easier and more pleasurable - there's a hint of blue sky and an occasional appearance from the sun - it's altogether more enjoyable than any ride in recent weeks.
After 10 miles I'm home - and then, later, I realise I have a doctors appointment - nothing serious in case you're wondering - I just want someone to look at my big toe nail - it's kind of... crumbly? So at 9.45 I'm off out again - still no rain so far and definitely a lot milder. As I ride to Market Bosworth a car overtakes me and then starts bibbing it's horn - it is far enough in front that I think it can be nothing to do with me, then I see why - on the roads edge a cock pheasant struts like a warrior, painted cheek and jowl, arrogant and scarlet and bold with mating fearlessness, even as i get close he is unflinching in his defiance while the hen will be close by, quiet and invisible somewhere among the bluebell pierced blanket of papery chesnut leaves, nesting, and toning miraculously with the silver brown leaves.
I arrive at the doctors ten minutes early - and then I have a thirty minute wait...... I mess around with a sudoku puzzle on my phone but am told off and made aware of a sign "Please switch off your phone" - I think about remonstrating - my phone is switched off - I'm occupying the wait with a puzzle?? - but can't be bothered. I pocket the phone and read a battered copy of Private Eye instead. The front cover amuses me - there is an allover photograph of the Captain of the cruise ship 'Costa Concordia' which was in the news in January - The headline says "Captain tries Hulne defence..." then theres a speech bubble from his mouth saying..."My wife was driving"
Finally I'm called in - apparently I have some sort of fungal infection in the nail - nothing to worry about the doc says - its very common and he has three nails like it himself. No drugs are prescribed - not worth bothering apparently, the treatment is rarely successful and the side effects can be considerable. So all in all it was a bit of a waste of time - but at least I know.