The excellent Lichfield Lore blog included a post by Kate this week that really got me thinking and looking.

Lost in the Woods details the unusual objects she has found during her regular explorations of Lichfield and the surrounding area – including part of a set of handcuffs.

This is the kind of thing that always intrigues me. Discovering items out of their usual place always throws up so many unanswered questions:

  • How did it get there?
  • Who put it there?
  • Why is it there?
  • Do they realise it is missing?

I’m more than capable of constructing all manner of fanciful stories for such items.

It also made me think I should keep an eye open during my own early morning bike rides around Lichfield. I always see things that should be there – mainly wildlife – but often see things that are clearly out of place too.

Something out of place

On Saturday I drew a blank. But yesterday I ventured a little farther afield and headed out on the lanes to Whittington and during a quick stop for water I did spy something out of place.

Closer inspection revealed it to be a small key ring and compass, looking fairly weathered as if it had been discarded there some time ago. It immediately got me thinking – is the person who misplaced this still lost?

A quick scan over the hedge into the fields did not reveal anyone stumbling around, looking dishevelled and scratching their heads looking for a clue as to their whereabouts.

Is the person who lost this still stumbling around the Staffordshire countryside?

That raised another possibility – was it left deliberately as an aid for someone due to travel along that particular quiet country lane? If so, if I picked it up and took it home or moved it anywhere else would I be causing all manner of problems for the person expecting to find a compass at that particular spot?

So many possibilities and so many unanswered questions for one small item that should not have been there.

The most likely scenario, of course, is that someone simply dropped it by mistake or realised it was quite a cheap and ineffective compass so threw it away.

But I prefer to dwell on the full range of interesting stories and possibilities. Things out of place are fascinating.

So keep your eyes open. You never know what you might find.

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