Walking underneath the still green and leafy trees and a sky that’s stern and rigid with a heavy layer of clouds; they’re not quite thick enough to absorb the roaring of aeroplanes above. We are never alone. In autumn this forest is taken over by fungus. While everything around dies, fungus explode into life in yellow, orange, red and purple. Fly Agarics, picture-book perfect like polka-dotted umbrellas; you never new they existed for real, thought they were an invention of comic books. We expect a Smurf family to live inside them – we both know what we mean.
When we reach Epping, spots of Smurf-blue have appeared in the sky which looks more relaxed now and generous. We march past Billy Jean decked in the Union Jack, then the Duke of Wellington proudly waving the English flag. The George & Dragon forbids track suits, trainers or work boots. We hide with mud-covered boots in a forgotten corner of the garden looking at how the evening sun gets caught in our glasses and think of a fluorescent green caterpillar with a mohican that’s catwalking down the path in stilettos and will one day transform into a pale tussock moth. But you’ve learned to be wary of anything that glows in the dark.