Each autumn, during my retirement in the late seventies and early eighties of last century, was given-over to worshiping the gods of migration. My personal homage to birds and to the greatest wonder of the known world - evoked by 'vismig' - by visible migration. I was indeed fortunate in being able to decide to enjoy my retirement before taking-on work! Clearly, at least so far as I could see, life on earth was not going to get steadily better and better as the propaganda machinery of the dominant western culture relentlessly sought to proclaim. It seemed to me that anyone with a serious interest in our living planet, in nature and wildness, could not fail to appreciate the consequences of shocking information that was being revealed on an almost daily basis. Anyway, my departure from normal life took place in 1977 and followed a period of great disillusionment which set-in during my self-imposed incarceration at a highly respected medieval university in eastern England.
I vividly recall one dull day at the end of October in 1976. On a grey street in that fine historic city of spires, one formerly surrounded by the richest wetland in all of England, both now far away in space as well as time, a postcard appeared in my hands from a good friend whom I had first met at Easter 1970 (on a Young Ornithologists ten day trip to the Neusiedlersee in Eastern Austria). The card was an aerial photograph, taken from the south, of a tiny island of celtic fields and heathy moor adrift in a soft blue sea. There was Horse Point of Agnes, an isle who had through no fault of her own became known as Saint Agnes, in the Isles of Scilly. Here our family had once spent our proper holiday in the late summer of that same year i.e. 1970. Horse Point happens to be the southernmost land, a lichen-crusted granite tor (an eminence of rounded, weathered boulders), in all of post glacial Britain.