Beside Sainsers, behind the gasometers (I think we’ve established how I feel about the gasometers which, in my view, are one of the best pieces of artwork ever erected, blue against a blue sky), lies the Crow Ground.
The Crow Ground is full of crows. There are lots of starlings too, but I don’t think they roost there. The crows definitely do, extending their territory from the Ground up through the River Pool Linear Park. Their youths (not hooded), gather on the lamp posts at Sainsers and shit on all who dare to pass beneath. The wind at the bottom of that hill blows their feathers the wrong way so you can see – if you’ve got long vision as half of me has – the tiny fluffy little feathers that keep them warm, outlined against the sky. They tuck their heads into their necks and stare at the sky in a slightly baffled way. Or come down onto the road or into the car park, where they sprout long legs in little mimsy britches and peg their way with stalking stride, or with lemur bounds, over to the dropped crisp or unguarded toddler with cupcake.
The next bit is predictable.
I love them.
Alas, so is the next-next bit: the Crow Ground is being developed. Kier have moved in. The place is fenced almost entirely from view, but the remaining sliver one can see consists of great geometrically-arranged piles of concrete blocks, Portakabins, earth-moving machines and – on the bits of grass not occupied by machinery – the crows sit in groups, looking sad and confused.
So another lovely brownfield site is turned into a wasteland of affordable housing.
I am very sad about it.