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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Coastlining 9: Portscatho – St Anthony Head

Date: 3rd May 2014        Distance walked: 6.2 miles        Height climbed: 919 ft

2014.05.03  (3)

New boots squeak clean. Residents greet me like a local as I make my way back through the village of Portscatho along the road above the harbour that leads to a dead end that leads to a stile that leads to the coast path. It’s been raining and everything looks and feels and smells very green. The first hillslope outside the village is covered in rows and rows of posts and tubes for young trees – part of the Diamond Wood plantation I believe – the sprouting heads of which are just beginning to peek out of the tops of the tubes like forced rhubarb. It’s hard to imagine what this will look like covered in woodland, apart from completely different. I keep my wool layer on and shove my hands in my pockets. The dew and rain-damp beads on the glossy leather of my new walking boots like a chocolate bar taken straight from the fridge into a warm kitchen. I’ve been wearing them in at home and for short strolls in the evenings. It’s a short and easy walk today: a smooth mud-ribbon of a path over a low gently undulating coastline, heading homeward for me. Continue reading


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River Fal 12: Alternative Perspectives

– The Roseland – St Mawes (where?)

It would be easy to misinterpret the name Roseland but in fact rose stems from ros, the Cornish word for heathland, which would once have been the main habitat of this peninsula. Now it’s mostly farmland but with much of that given over to grazing, the high summer of wildflower meadows, dog roses in the hedgerows, and adjacent private gardens blossoming bright in the late afternoon sunshine, this really does seem to be a land of roses. Gardens fare particularly well in Cornwall because of the climate: for all we might complain about the rainfall it is the combination of this, the milder winters and warm but not too dry summers that make the area such a haven for plants. As with the churchyard garden at St Just some parts are almost sub-tropical, with the coastal river valleys providing the perfect combination of shelter, warmth and moisture for these miniature jungles.

This eastern shoreline of the Fal Estuary is far less populated than the western side, but it might have been different, had the development of Falmouth’s deepwater harbour had an alternative setting. Continue reading