This latest offering from the Sexton & Tilmouth stable sees two middle-aged birders make an epic journey across Scotland in search of a rare duck and lost youth. Capturing the zeitgeist of early 2015 their dialogue addresses many of the major issues of our time including where best to acquire Lasagne Pies in the oil capital of Britain, what to do in the event of an IS kidnap whilst birding and how best to age and sex Snow Buntings. This Oscar-nominated account culminates in a few dramatic minutes when the pair stumble (literally) across the mythical Harlequin in the warm afternoon sun and as time seems to stop finally find peace and make some sort of sense of the meaning of life.
The silence of the darkest hour is broken as a car slides into the car park and pulls up slowly aside the only other vehicle present. Two dark figures emerge, one from each car and begin to move objects from one vehicle to another. In a few seconds both drop sack-like into the black vehicle and it leaves, the car park once again still and silent under the neon Homebase sign....
The wind buffets the car as it motors through the imposing structure of the Forth Road bridge and on north to the badlands that lay beyond. Inside the two figures are deep in animated conversation that seems to swerve with the bends in the road, heading one way then back another, ebbing and flowing between shared laughter and angry conviction.
As our two central characters arrive at the 'old toilet block' they begin searching for a toilet only to find they no longer exist. In the background a Dipper sings and the sound of the rapids increases the urgency of the search. The two head off towards the urban jungle that lies upstream, hardened tower blocks gaze down at them unblinking and unmoved. An unshaven ginger-heeded local clutching a can of low quality lager lopes past eying the pair and their array of optical equipment warily.
After trudging through an eerily empty modern housing estate, the occasional window bedecked with the secret society sign of Stella Artois the pair found a break in the security fence that they were looking for and yomped the last few yards to the riverbank. Silently they stood as the young male that plunged through the racing water hauled himself out onto the far shore stretching and flaunting his sleek body at them in the full confidence of his youth before launching into the air and muscling upriver leaving our pair breathless and desiring more.
An hour later we find the duo searching through more Goldeneye than a Boxing Day afternoon on the BBC as a black minibus arrives on the scene and the black-clad occupants jump out, surround and begin interrogating our main characters. Inadvertently our pair had breezed in to a well planned operation called Operation Heatherslea also seeking the exhibitionist young male who had earlier held our pair in thrall.
Despite an extensive search the trail went as cold as a three day old Lasagne pie. As the sun began to drop and the day, like our unlikely heroes began to slowly fade, they summoned their remaining energy and made one last visit to where the boy had so audaciously revealed himself that morning. As they arrived a drake Goosander lounged lazily out beyond the rapids and there like a sleeping baby lay their quarry.
Spurred by their presence the boy slipped into the water, majestically riding the white water towards them as they stood breathless. The young male came close sensing there was no threat, mere metres from their touch he began to move, pushing himself across the copper dappled water again and again the water running down his muscular torso as he flung himself headlong into the torrent. In those few moments of golden light they saw themselves once again, young, free, beautiful (it's fictional license!) and the last 30 years slipped away downstream.
Renewed, rejuvenated the pair slipped away just as the foot soldiers of Operation Heatherslea surrounded the boy and he was lost to view behind a sea of green. Once again feeling good they stopped to help a sick local beggar in the car park and offered a few crumbs to help him make it through the hard winter still to come on the Deen.
An hour later inching through the grey city centre a flash of blue as bright as the tumbling water turned their heads and momentarily their eyes shone again only to realise this time the Adidas emblazoned tracksuit was not a reprise of their earlier quarry.