This morning, for about a minute, I was completely alone on The Downs.
I was in a wide, open, grassy space edged with mature trees in full leaf, in full early morning, late spring sunshine. The only living things in sight were the trees, and the part mown grassy areas around me, crossed by two single paths.
I paused where the paths crossed and slowly turned right round, noticing the space and the living plants, appreciating the visual absence of human or animal life. I could hear soft birdsong, but see no birds. All was still. I stood still. I breathed, deeply.
Then the spell was broken, as a figure appeared in the distance, walking down the path in my direction. I slowly carried on upwards towards my destination, still savouring the moment.
As I walked, someone else appeared and the area slowly started to come to life. When I looked back, one or two people had come out of buildings I'd passed at the start of my walk. I became aware of traffic through hedges on roads at the edge of the open space, moving slowly in the morning crawl, just visible where the hedges were thin. I then began to hear it, although it didn't drown out the occasional birdsong.
As I reached the top of the slope I read the sign that told me that I had been on The Downs, and that they were created in 1995, and how the area is managed to promote the wild flowers and natural features of the area.
I was in the middle of the campus of Nottingham University, on an ordinary term time day, at about 7.30 am.