open the curtains

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


Just Around the Corner

Down the river path from St Gluvius towards Flushing sun was glazing the water of the incoming tide as it swilled up the estuary towards Penryn Bridge. Spring, I thought, is just around the corner. Continue reading



Malvern Spring

2016.05.13 (17) British Camp

the north Malvern Hills from Herefordshire Beacon

Travelling northbound on the M5 the long ridge of the Malverns looms close on the westward horizon: a line of undulating peaks like the back of a great geological beast embedded in the land running North-South along the Worcestershire-Herefordshire border. One day, while wandering through the livestock exhibits of the Three Counties Show in Great Malvern right at the feet of the hillss Cee looked up and saw people walking along the top of the ridge and decided she wanted a go. Ok, I said, let’s do it. When do you want to go? Continue reading


Tea Garden

2015.04.11 Tregothnan (6)

I wouldn’t like to guess how many cups of tea I’ve drunk in my lifetime. Today’s definitely been an exception with only one (so far…) I started drinking tea as soon as I mastered draining the dregs from my mum’s mug, soon moving on to draining the mug when she unsuspectingly put it down half-finished and left it for a minute or two. This led to me getting my own mug, albeit slightly smaller, and a whole cup of tea to myself, and I’ve never looked back. When my housemate moved back to Cornwall I offered him a cup of tea while he was unpacking, querying his affirmative with, which kind? He replied that now he knew he was back in Falmouth – typically here everyone has an impressive range of tea in their cupboard.

As it happens Viscount Falmouth knows more than a bit about tea. Continue reading

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Coastlining 13: Lizard Point – Mullion Cove

Date: 26th May 2014        Distance walked: 6 miles (116 miles total)       Height climbed: 1329ft

2014.05.26  (7)

Five lambs in the hedge – one all black – beside the road as I make my way with Annie and her dog towards the most southerly point in mainland Britain. The Lizard lighthouse nestles in its cluster of buildings on the tip of the land, white against a pale-clouded sky. One chough flies overhead: fingered wings, sickle bill. Late May millefleur in the hedge banks. The road leads right off the edge, down the slipway to Polpeor Cove’s redundant lifeboat house. Even at half tide it’s easy to see what a treacherous place this is for a lifeboat to be stationed – both as to why it would be so needed and why its relocation was deemed necessary. A crust of rocks pocking the still surface of the sea, immersed and emersed, barely a navigable stretch between their dark shapes. Underfoot the mud of the path is a bricky pink-brown, a hint of the red and green marbled serpentine rock underneath it all. I used to think the Lizard peninsula got its name from its unique bedrock and was slightly disappointed to discover its corruption from the Cornish lys-ardh, ‘high court’ rather than its serpent-skin geology. Continue reading

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Coastlining 12: Coverack – The Lizard

Date: 23rd May 2014          Distance walked: 10.6 miles           Total distance: 110 miles

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The tide was further out on my return to Coverack than it had been when I had arrived there on foot from Helford two weeks previously. The sort of beach of sand and stones that suggests it would have been a lot sandier before this winter’s storms stripped most of it back to reveal the underlying rock and pebble mix – a familiar sight along the beaches of south Cornwall so far this spring – was exposed. I was impatient to stride out, having spent far too long sitting on a bus then waiting at Sainsbury’s for another bus on which I sat for an even greater length of time in order to get here. Continue reading