29th November 2012: I have just returned from searching gnarled oak and larch tree bark for the small creatures that live and hide in crevices. Earwigs, spiders, woodlice, beetles, slugs, they were all there. Sometimes I feel I should find something normal to do with my evenings. I suppose I could sit in front of the television eating doughnuts, drinking beer and growing an extended stomach to be proud of. No, not a good idea, this is what I do when I am not in the wood or out on the marsh.
I couldn’t help thinking this evening, that I would probably frighten the living daylights out of any nighttime dog-walker that happened upon me messing about among the trees. Only last week two mountain bikers, with super bright headlights and head-torches, came hurtling through driving rain, just as I stumbled out from between the trees. They skidded to a zigzagging halt just in front of me: horrified looks frozen on their faces. It was the first time I had encountered mountain bikers in Hoo Wood. We stared at each other for quite a while, then one of the riders asked if I could direct them out of the wood – they had been riding in circles for ages. . . .