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Christmas Casualties

27 December 2011

Ow. 7 miles on my feet after two solid days’ scoffing and quaffing. An hour’s penance was the least I could do, but the most I could manage. It felt like I was carrying a giant belt of cheese around my stomach. Mostly because I was.

I had it lucky. Barely one minute from the flat I spotted my first Christmas casualty, a magnificent red and gold fox lay sprawled in the centre of the road. Facing away from me, towards the park, his huge tail was ruffled by the breeze from occasional passing cars. As I turned back to look again, a van halted in the middle of the junction and a man approached the fox with a plastic bag. It was a small one, the type you would get from a corner shop, not big enough for your christmas presents. Not large enough to contain such a beast.

The next corpse I encountered was a turkey carcass lying on a grass verge, at eye level. Disturbingly red and shiny, the sight of it stayed with me for the whole run.

Litter was everywhere today. Bags full of beer cans sat next to cardboard packaging for plastic toys, wine bottles rolled down hills. Rounding the hill for home, a burst water pipe washed rubbish out of gutters and onto me via a passing bus.

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