Category Archives: England

Everyone’s Journey is Different

Last week I took a four hour train journey home to Devon, longer and more complicated than it should have been because of railway work. I crossed platforms and hopped from train to train, and I couldn’t help wondering about other peoples journeys, where were they all going on a cold Sunday in January? Few people talk to strangers on trains (I talk to anyone as you know!), but one man, also travelling alone, suddenly laughed out loud so I smiled as our eyes met. He was doing a crossword and got an answer he’d been struggling with. The clue was ‘What islander has nothing behind him?’. The answer that he was amused by?’A Manx cat’. We laughed together, it was a nice encounter. The final leg of the trip was beautiful, but few people seemed to look out of the windows at the countryside as I do. One of the things about being a certain age is that to many people you become invisible, often annoying, but if you like to observe others as most writers do, it can be very useful. A lady opposite me was knitting, a bright pink little girls cardigan, and kept counting stitches, and to my right a young man watched a film on his laptop. Giggly teenage girls tried to paint each others fingernails but the movement of the train was making it difficult for them, and soft snores emanated from more than one passenger. Am I the only person who enjoys the beauty of the countryside? I did take out one techy toy, my phone, because I wanted to capture some of that beauty that we take for granted. Please forgive the image quality, fading light, reflections from the windows and a moving train don’t make for the best photos!

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And I was inspired to try a poem,

Train Landscape

Swiftly the southern line takes me

‘longside pastures and heading west

where pannies flood but folds of dry

give shelter to the Sunday flocks

Winter furrows retreat to hill crest

no conifer plantations lurk here

just naked deciduous petticoats

seeded by natures wise hand

A nonchalant deer raises its head

and a much used murmuration flies

on a thousand dark starling wings

sweet balm to my home going eyes

through Dorset and on to green Devon

I ride the train through my heartland

Hive Beach Stroll

Friday was the most perfect winter day here and I had an extra day off, so it couldn’t be wasted! My friend and I set off heading east with a vague idea of perhaps Lyme Regis or Charmouth. Leaving the A30 at Honiton and taking the A35, a winding, up hill and down dale road passing through little villages, Wilmington, Kilmington and Raymonds Hill. Enjoying the view, high and wide, of east Devon and west Dorset, Golden Cap, a hill and cliff which is the highest on the south coast of England, waiting for me to climb one day.

Something took on us past the Charmouth and Lyme turning, towards Burton Bradstock, ten miles further and passing through we stopped instead at Hive beach which has a National Trust car park and access to the South West Coast Path. Hive is a noisy beach, not human noise but nature’s noise, as the waves crash onto the shore and then rush back down the steeply shelved shingle.

Shingle beach
Shingle beach

There were quote a few people walking off the seasons excesses on the beach so we thought we would check out the view from the cliff path.

Looking back onto Hive beach
Looking back onto Hive beach

We climbed quite high and Lyme Bay opened up.
Lyme Bay

A gap along the path
A gap along the path

At the highest point we looked north towards Bridport.

Countryside around Bridport
Countryside around Bridport

In the distance stands Colmer Hill, somewhere else I’d like to visit.

Colmer Hill
Colmer Hill

Then we circled around common land on the side of the hill.

The flat top hill is Golden Cap
The flat top hill is Golden Cap

And retraced our steps.

Lyme bay view
Lyme bay view

We had already sampled the Hive Beach Café’s coffee, so we set off to find tea and cake, tomorrow I’ll show you where!

We only had time for a short walk because the daylight was fading fast, but the area deserves some serious hiking, there is so much to see in West Dorset.

Lazy Poets Christmas Haiku

Merry Christmas everyone! I’m hoping for some sunshine today, like in this photo from Christmas 2012.  I hope you all have a good time and thank you for your lovely comments, support, kindness and inspiration yet again this year.

Later on, after a delicious Christmas lunch I’m off for a walk beside the sea – a tradition to blow away the cobwebs, maybe at Exmouth, maybe Sidmouth! Catch you soon xx

exmouth

Fresh, bright and breezy

As blue as Christmas can be

Exmouth beside the sea

 

Converging Stone Rows

Photos are visual spaces where shapes and lines, objects, and people come together, says Ben Huberman at the Daily Post and he asks for photos with the theme of ‘Converge’. I find the bronze age stone rows on Dartmoor fascinating, imagine the people that created these way back in time. My photo shows some of the stone rows that converge at the top of the hill above Scorhill circle heading towards Batworthy and Fernworthy.

converge
If you have photos that converge – and who doesn’t? share them here.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/converge/

Descending Devon’s Rivers

This week, Cheri Lucas Rowlands at WordPress Daily Post asks that we show photos of our interpretation of ‘descent’. We can take it literally, experimenting with point of view or take it deeper.

I’m going to show you the descent of my favourite rivers, six of them that all descend to the sea on the south coast od Devon.

If you’ve known me a while you’ll know how much I love estuaries, those liminal, transitional places that tap into our ancestral memories.

The first is my beloved Exe, flowing into the sea at Exmouth. exe
A few miles to the east is the river Otter – and yes, Otters and even Beavers have returned to the Otter!I’d like to be able to photograph them. otter
The river Avon is the furthest west, flowing into the sea near Bigbury, in the beautiful South Hams. avon
The river Teign flows down from Dartmoor to the estuary between Teignmouth and Shaldon. teign
The Dart also descends from Dartmoor to reach the sea at Dartmouth, via another of my favourite places, Totnes. dart
Back to east Devon, the Axe joins the sea at Axmouth, with Lyme Regis just around the corner in Dorset. axe
I’m going to end as I began, with the Exe. It may not be a mighty river like some around the world, but it’s my river and my soul is wrapped in it. exe descent

You can join in with the challenge and see lots more descents at,

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/descent/

Finding Autumn, a Lake and Birds

 

Every year around this time I see my blogging friends around the world, mostly in the USA and Canada posting about autumn and yet here in England it can be rather elusive. We have an Indian summer followed by mild, wet weather and often its way into November before autumn arrives.

I went to Killerton recently and found a little autumn, but much more late summer flowers. So this weekend I went to hunt it down again. Stover country park was the place, and this is what I found.

Some colour

sign1Some information

Some woodland birds

The lake

pond sign

Things to watch out for

and some water birds.

Stover has another tale to tell, a wonderful connection between nature and one of our great poets, I’ll try to share that soon.