Three times now, on a certain part of the towpath on my way back from the village, I have heard a woodpecker. As I have never seen one, every time I stop, and try to locate where the intermittent sound is coming from - so far without any success, inasmuch as I have still not seen a woodpecker. But when I stopped today, and was looking and listening, I realised just how much birdsong was going on that I simply hadn't noticed. Not just the crows and the pigeons, that could be heard above the throng; not just the songs and chirpings of myriad birds I can't identify, but a veritable wall of sound; a sea of thousands of tiny tweets in which I was completely submerged. And a phrase from James's Boring Things blog post of yesterday came back to me - 'the transformative power of attention' - which to me means the way in which we can change our world just by noticing things.
I never did see the woodpecker though.