open the curtains

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


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


Coastlining 26: Padstow – Port Isaac

Date: Sunday 26th August 2014      Distance walked: 12 miles      Total distance: 255 miles

2014.08.24 (1) Rock ferry

Padstow-Rock Ferry

It’s good to be back on the (other) coast again. It’s somehow been two months since I wandered down into Padstow with my soggy jacket hung on the back of my rucksack to dry out in the June sun. I’ve got to the point where day walks are no longer feasible due to the length of time it would take me to get to and from my start and end points. I didn’t manage to get two days off work together during July excepting one occasion when it was so hot I couldn’t even sit in my back garden in Falmouth for more than five minutes let alone endure ten plus miles of strenuous coast path. Continue reading

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Coastlining 24: Newquay – Porthcothan

Date: Wednesday 25th June 2014     Distance walked: 12 miles      Total distance: 230 miles

2014.06.25 (35a) Bedruthan

Bedruthan Steps

After two weeks of glorious Cornish sunshine, clear skies and temperatures well into the twenties I finally returned to the coast path. I spent five days visiting family, one day back at work, one day at home to do many loads of washing and hoover up the depositional end of my walking boot coastal erosion up off my bedroom floor, then seven days in a row at work in sundresses and sandals being mocked by my colleagues for my ridiculous sock line. Three days off in a row. We all know what that means: the weather’s going to break. Continue reading

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Coastlining 23: Perranporth – Newquay

Date: Tuesday 10th June 2014    Distance walked: 10 miles      Total distance: 218 miles



It rained on the way up to Perranporth from Truro. Annie tried to talk me out of going. She was opting out, her hip still playing up after turning her ankle yesterday on St Agnes Head. She suggested a movie day but I’d got it into my head that I was going to get as far as Newquay during my time off work and I wasn’t feeling too worn out to keep going. I told her to keep Luna at home rather than send her out with me again, the poor beast was looking, well, dog tired for want of a better turn of phrase. And then the heavens opened. Continue reading

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Coastlining 22: Portreath – Perranporth

Date: Monday 9th June 2014     Distance walked: 12 miles      Total distance: 208 miles

Portreath Beach

Portreath Beach and Gull Rock

I’m running out of words to describe the blue of the sea. Azure. Sapphire. Lapis. Not sure. Check the Pantone chart and it’ll insist it’s Mediterranean Blue. Clearly they’ve never been to Cornwall in fine weather. Arriving at Portreath this morning I could have been at a completely different place – country, even – from where Annie and I left the coast in spotting rain late yesterday afternoon. Except the proprietors of the local shop remembered me. Back again? How far this time, all the way to Porthtowan? It’s a tough walk… Continue reading

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Coastlining 21: Hayle – Portreath

Date: Sunday 8th June 2014     Distance walked: 12.5 miles      Total distance: 196.5 miles

2014.06.08 (2) Hayle estuary

Carbis Bay and St Ives from the Hayle Estuary

Sunday morning I stepped off the train at Hayle and headed for the harbour. The town’s been given a bit of a face-lift in recent years, embracing its post-industrial status as a haven for nature after several centuries as a minerals and trade port. A regeneration plan for the harbour gathered steam in the early 2000s but never really got further than tidying the place up and implementing a series of trails and a national cycle network route. I followed this cycle path initially, crossing an iron bridge over the river, Copperhouse Pool to my right, the mid-stream mudbanks and reclaimed near-islands of East and South Quays to my left, and around the hard promenade of the eastern shore of the estuary. Across the other side of the river the tower of St Uny’s Church stood solidly rectangular above the golf links at Lelant where I’d left the coastline on Friday. Continue reading


Coastlining 19: Pendeen – St Ives

Date: Thursday 5th June 2014     Distance walked: 14 miles     Total distance: 178.5 miles


Down into a stream-cut cleft and over the first footbridge of many, crossing a cascading rock-and-plant-filled rill cutting down from the fields and Penwith moors above me and dropping away to my left and down into Portheras Cove. Once up and out there was a view of what was to be the lay of the land for the day: Gurnard’s Head the furthest visible point of land sticking out into the sea in the distance beyond the nearer bulkhead of Chypraze Cliff. I was heading east, and will be from here on in for the best part of the north coast. Fourteen miles of what was promised to be part of the most severe and least populated stretch of the Cornish coastline lay between me and my destination of St Ives. Continue reading