Saturday, October 03, 2020

On not making a fuss about big cats in the British countryside

If you are looking for a cosy rabbit hole to disappear down, I recommend researching the possibility that there are big cats living in the British countryside.

I have twice blogged about the podcast Big Cat Conversations. There was a post about big cats in Leicestershire and Rutland and another about an interview with the Liberal Democrat peer and former Cornish MP Paul Tyler.

And if you want an introduction to the field, I recommend the interview that the head honcho of Big Cat Conversations, Rick Minter, gave to Howard Hughes for his The Unexplained podcast.

What emerges from all this is a picture of sober country people and professionals coming across big cats in the countryside but not making too much fuss about it. They don't want the press or trophy hunters descending on them and they don't want officialdom snooping around their farms.

It is an appealing picture that reminds me of the mood that permeates Detectorists.

I'm reminded of a passage in David Cecil's 'Visionary and Dreamer: Two poetic painters', which is a study of Samuel Palmer and Edward Burne-Jones.

Cecil mentions that the Burne-Jones loved the story of the tribe that said: "We know there is someone who walks in the forest by night, but we never talk about it." He said this closely mirrored his own attitude to religion.

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