There are certain strange timings when things fit together in life, in inexplicable ways. Like my dad preparing for his trip to Finland earlier in the week by making himself a hand bound sketchbook to take on his trip, turning on Radio 3 to find a special programme dedicated to Finnish music. The Surrealists called coincidences ‘hasard objectif’ or objective chance – they thought that randomness and chance encounters actually stemmed from deeper patterns that we have forgotten, saying ‘the hidden order that surrounds us was the only true reality’ (Maurice Nadeau).

Two days ago I finished reading a wonderful but heartbreaking book, The Dovekeepers which had been recommended to me by a friend (one who knows my distaste for light reading it seems!). The characters were so engaging and the prose so beautiful and absorbing that I consumed it hungrily, and am still in that period of semi-mourning for no longer having it to delve into at the end of the day.

10950924It just so happened that on my Twitter feed the next day, up sprang a curious story. A National Trust Dovecote in Wichenford, Worcestershire had been filled with beautifully made white paper doves. In the wake of finishing my book about dovekeepers, I just had to go and see it for myself, and so I made a detour home from working in Worcester this afternoon.

What met me was what could easily have been a rather spooky place – especially with the paper doves – but it wasn’t. Wichenford Dovecote is utterly peaceful, especially on a warm day with a light breeze rustling the trees of the river that runs by it, and the pretty sight that greets you when you step through that tiny door into the dovecote.

I have come across Yarn-bombing before (not least near my home in Chipping Norton!) and even heard of moss graffiti – but this gesture is so sweet and original! The National Trust are captivated, understandably. But something I find slightly less comprehensible is their desire to find out who created these. I mean, it does sound like fun to track them down. But I would just wait, and hope for more dove holes to be filled, and for more acts of random artwork in the countryside.

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