open the curtains

and take a look out the window if you want to know what the weather's like


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Summer Still October

October’s here. Let’s dress for the weather – you’ll need that scarf. Bright is the blue of sky and sea and creek; fat are the clots of cloud like overwhipped cream piled up over the inland sky and far dispersed to the distance over the coast. Too bright the colours; too sharp the shadows. Not yet the autumn glow Continue reading


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Retrospective: 2013 in 13

Here’s 2013 in 13 sentences with 13 photos I’ve taken during the course of the year. I don’t know if it’s true that I spent more time in and around Falmouth than previous years, but it’s felt like it, so I’ve chosen to present a retrospective that reflects that. That’s not to say I didn’t go anywhere else or do anything outside of Falmouth and Cornwall, but I thought it would be appropriate to mark the passing of time focusing on the place I invested the most time in. If you click on the first image you can read alongside the pictures as you scroll through them if you prefer.

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The North Wind Doth Blow

The North Wind Doth Blow and we shall have more bluster in the back yard than even the St Jude Storm could muster last Sunday night. We shall have the sort of day you’re supposed to stay indoors on, especially when you live on the coast. Except ‘avoid going out in strong winds’ usually translates to ‘get your boots on people’ provided the garden furniture isn’t actually taking off. We shall have the familiar-unfamiliar of strong and frequently gusting winds, oddly disconcerting in that they’re coming atcha from the wrong direction.

The coast path is deceptively warm, being sheltered from the north by the thick hedge. Everywhere I expect to get blown about I’m warm and calm, only to be blasted by a sheet of air from the wrong direction. I’d put on quite a lot of layers but once out of the wind it doesn’t feel like the beginning of November. But the flowers are gone. The blackberries and honeysuckle berries and bryony berries are gone. The leaves are going, and those remaining are the tired, in-between green of a coastal autumn. Continue reading


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Season of …

2013.09.23 Foggy Falmouth harbour (c) Merryn Robinson

… Mists and Unmoving Air.

Season of a Waterproof Coat that it’s really too warm for, but too damp outdoors to do without. And of Washing for two days getting wetter on the line than when it came out of the final spin.

Season of Nights and Days a Constant Temperature. Season of Not Having The Right Shoes, and of wondering how that first chilblain on my big toe has crept in so early. Of Putting On Boots in the morning and not feeling overdressed. Of Taking A Scarf even if it sits in my bag all day. Continue reading


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Deciduous Coniferous

2012.11.09 Coniferous vs. broadleaf

Idless Wood, Truro

As we stepped out of the car Annie and I were greeted by at least five dogs of varying shapes, sizes, ages and muddiness who were making their way from the gateway into Idless Wood across the car park. Two women followed behind, calling them to their car which was parked next to ours. While they attempted to bundle their entire pack into the boot of a single (Fiesta-ish sized) car, we released Luna from her puppy pen on the back seat. At thirteen weeks old she was tiny in comparison to the aged and well-fed beasts that came enthusiastically to sniff her face (the women were not succeeding in getting them car-bound), but being a whippet she looked extra waif-like next to them. Don’t worry said one of the women as Luna quivered on her skinny legs and tried to get back in the car, when you’re grown up you’ll be able to outrun all of them in a flash.

Idless Wood or St Clement’s Wood, is a Forestry Commission managed patch of broadleaved woodland and larch plantation. On entering by the main path we were met with Forestry Commission signs advising us of their usual tree cutting practices; along another posing the question Why are all the trees dying? Continue reading


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Next Door’s Garden

They say that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Or wall in my case. Not that it would be difficult seeing as there isn’t actually any grass in my garden except for what comes up at the edges of the paving stones. I’ve been advised by various people not to refer to my back garden as a ‘patio’ but to elevate it slightly to a ‘sun terrace’. It’s not a lie: designed for practicality and minimal gardening, our little patch sports a few shrubs and ‘easy maintenance’ plants in a couple of beds, but being on a hill it’s light and bright and, come summer time, a proper sun trap, the paving stones radiating warmth long into the evenings.

But it’s not great for wildlife, aside from the odd seagull attempting to eat my clothes pegs from off the table (I can only assume it thought they were chips?). We don’t have any trees, excepting a rather exuberant buddleia, which I think technically belongs to next door.

Their garden is roughly the same size as ours, but seems smaller due to its being so overgrown. Their ‘upper terrace’ is more of an ‘upper lawn’, Continue reading