Year: 2014

Round the back of the old lock keeper's house in Austruweel you will find a bench casually disregarded amongst litter bins and all manner of accumulated debris.

Having parked my old motorhome in that same spot for the duration of my visit, I found myself regularly going back and forth to the van, grabbing various items for which my inattention had ensured the repeat journey.

Late one evening, I found myself yet again in need of some item or other - I forget what. Fumbling around in the near black for the key hole of the door, I heard a slight rustling movement immediately behind me and as I reeled round to identify its source I could just make out the looming presence of someone sitting barely inches away, silhouetted by the sallow orange of street lights the other side of the building.

Heart thumping and completely devoid of any hint of composure I blurted out, 'Jesus Christ! Who the fucking bollocks are you?!'

'It's alright,' he said, 'I'm Marcus.'