At first I thought that it was just in my imagination but as I proceeded along the forest path I became more and more certain. It was the sound of a mandolin being played with some aplomb. This sweet music mingled with the sounds of the greenwood - cooing wood pigeons, cawing rooks and the rat-a-tat-tat of a woodpecker.
I was in what remains of Sherwood Forest having plodded in there from Nottinghamshire's smallest town - Market Warsop. Another sub-tropical day in August - it was good to be in the shade of the oaks, the beeches and the ash trees. To my left I thought I saw a young deer leaping almost silently through the shady undergrowth.
The music was closer now. I knew that there was a junction of forest paths up ahead. The mandolin player began to sing: