open the curtains

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


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Winter Garden

From the upper lawn the view across the valley looked very green. A small patch of the Helford River was just visible beyond the specimen trees and the lower ponds, the woodland on the far hillside seeming an extension of the garden’s greenery. The water too was green, a deep teal, too far to see any movement, the day too dull for reflection or sparkle. But this is what Cornwall does best, nurtures its sheltered hollows of sub-tropical escape from the dull reality of the British weather so that even when a bright sunny day turns overcast you can walk beneath treeferns and bamboo stands green as ever – green as summer – and escape the grey. Continue reading


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Coastlining 11: Helford – Coverack

Date: 10th May 2014        Distance walked: 13 miles         Total distance: 100 miles

2014.05.10  (2) Helford 2014.05.10  (4) Treath 

Returning to Helford Passage on the first bus of the day I still arrive later than I had the previous day on foot from Falmouth. The wind’s gusting hellish downriver. I zip my coat right up as the boatman begins to ferry me over the short but choppy crossing to Helford village.
“At least it’s not an east wind.” My hair is already escaping and whipping all round my face.
“We wouldn’t be running if it was… few weeks back we were putting the engines in reverse and running right up onto the  beach in those high winds.” I think of the waves spraying over the outer harbour when I was at Mevagissey.
“Going to rain later.” Trust a boatman to give you the shipping forecast. He has the same waterproof trousers as me, not that I’m wearing mine.
“Tha’s alright tho’. Don’t mind a bit of water…” I’d be in trouble in this part of the world if I did. Right on cue a wave splashes up over the bows and catches us both with its salty spray.
“Well, doubt that’ll be the last time that happens today so might as well start early.” Continue reading


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Coastlining 10.2: Falmouth – Helford Passage

Date: 9th May 2014         Distance walked: 8 miles         Height climbed: ~1175 ft

2014.05.09  (5) Falmouth

It is light by the time I return to Swanpool, not bright daylight, but a cotton-grey pre-dawn that retires any expectations of an exciting sunrise to make up for the non-sunset of last night. As I reach the beach I look back over my shoulder and can see a blush behind the cloud cover. Crossing the road over the bar between beach and pool I make my way uphill and veer off-road and on-path towards the little patch of woodland on Pennance Point. Turning round at the highest point of the hill I survey the view I’m so familiar with, seeing it with fresh eyes for the first time at daybreak. Continue reading