Dunwich Heath and Beach

10/9/2016 I think I should start making more decisions based on location. A first meeting with an accountant in Knodishall, near Aldeburgh, was not, shall we say, top of my list of things to get excited about. However, it did have the advantage of giving me a perfect excuse for a day, or at least afternoon, out on the coast. I was exceptionally lucky: the promised warm, sunny day turned out to be a gloriously hot one, and after surviving the dull pain of an only-just-comprehensible discussion about tax returns in an office with no opening windows (but far better views at least than the average office), I headed to Dunwich Heath with half a hope of catching the heather still in flower. I feared I might be too late, but I need not have worried. It was probably just past its best but still more than good enough for me.

heather

Read more

Crossways Farm Summer update

26/8/2016 It has been a busy few months since welcoming my first ‘guinea pig’ guests at the end of April. A fair amount of frantic DIY and administration went into getting the finishing touches in place before and during the trial period (I hope no one looked too closely at the blackout lining!), which is now over, and ‘official’ bookings are starting off well. It has been a delight and not at all nerve-racking, thanks to all the willing guinea pigs who helped me get into practice before there was too much at stake!

Read more

Magic

20/7/2016 Thirty degrees, tropical downpour. Thunder and lightning with a 45-degree battering by ice bullets.
Taking shelter behind a bush not tree in case of lightning. The storm passes; swimming in steaming bath water surrounded by disappearing white peas. The geese stare. Slate grey horizon one side, blue sunshine the other. A swallow chasing a sparrowhawk chasing a barn owl.
Walking home – roe deer on the path ahead – are they magical spirits? A pheasant sitting on the ‘Free range eggs’ sign as though he is part of the advertisement. Attempt at a dance for joy, goat style. (More practice and legs needed.)

Caught by the River: Part 2

11/6/2016 Part 2 of The Hobbets is now up on Caught by the River! Part 1 here.

Caught By the River

15/5/2016 I’m thrilled that Caught By the River are running The Hobbets! Part 1 here.

May Day celebrations

1/5/2016 It has been a first of May full of spring celebrations. In a way it feels like a second start of spring: right on cue for the arrival of my first ‘test’ visitors this weekend, the hail and snow stopped falling, the air warmed up, the sun came out and the ducklings from the nest in the flowerbed hatched today and spent the afternoon whizzing about on the pond.

new ducklings
New ducklings’ first outing on the pond

Read more

Walking and wildness: the Shropshire Hills

6/11/2015 My choice of walk this morning was partly due to the weather: it was blustery and raining. Since it was expected to improve mid morning, I thought that if I followed a circular route on Wenlock Edge, starting off in the woodland and then returning along the ridge of the hill, I would be sheltered from the worst of the wind and rain. Just now it occurs to me that rain has a linguistic advantage over wind. It can be rainy or raining, but it can only be windy. I wonder why something that, by definition, is moving, does not have its own verb.

Read more

The Hobbets

Reservoir

28/8/2015 Today the first leaves and twigs are on the water, from the wind in the night. I’m used to swimming with only the odd feather floating on the surface, and the occasional nibble from a small fish when I wade in. The carp, some up to a foot long, are swimming fast just under the surface, creating V-shaped ripples behind them: even though they are small, my mind immediately leaps to sharks. I sit and watch them for a while, wondering why they are in such a great hurry, changing direction, some this way, some that, with no pattern that I can determine.

Read more