Battling Bluebells

The whites and yellows of the countryside’s earliest blooms have given way to the purples and blues of the developing spring’s woodland floor. It’s a wonderful time of year to have had a run of clear skied sunny days, hours lost wandering through the shifting patterns thrown down from the canopy, muddy knees and stiff … More Battling Bluebells

Starting Early

The alarm has to be set ever earlier for adventures in the first light. Although we’d planned an early morning run, once Radio 4 interrupted our unconsciousness at five thirty, a slower start of coffee in bed followed by a woodland wander was clearly the more palatable idea. The serenity of an early morning in a town … More Starting Early

All the hours of the day

Spring equinox has passed, mostly unheralded but the effects widely appreciated. Coinciding with a glorious spell of sunshine, the percentage of the population out of doors has rapidly increased, the clement conditions dispelling the gloom of the end of winter and the destructive political season we have suffered through. Hope and steadfastness are the feelings of … More All the hours of the day

Looking up

Injuries have happened as long as I’ve been running. Improving technique and regular stretching has rid me of painful shins and twanging muscles in the shoulder which haunted my first years as an proper runner. But the latest has been the worst, and the slow rehabilitation an opportunity to reassess. Lacking much in the way … More Looking up

Decrepitude

My wonderful wife recently returned from a weekend away with books as gifts for the increase in doggy care I had needed to provide while she was away. Hanging out with the dog and being rewarded with books? Life is sweet. She knows me well; one of her choices was Pondlife by Al Alvarez. His … More Decrepitude

Tree Rats

Scrolling though my twitter feed is generally a nature delight: beautiful landscape and creature photography; updates on research and discoveries; quotes from great naturalists and thinkers. I’ve curated my bubble carefully. Of course, the less edifying aspects of humans’ impact on our planet does intrude from time to time. The degradation of our shared commons, … More Tree Rats

February Fill-Dyke

One of the pleasures of island living is the dialectic vocabulary. Despite having lived here for a decade, I’m an overner and will always be one. . Approaching my fifth decade, I rarely get called a nipper anymore. We’ll sit down for nammit around midday. Our log man, a peoper Islander, delivered us a load … More February Fill-Dyke

Other Animals

December spun round, with log fires, crafting and cooking gifts, with visits to family and friends. The long dark hours of the early winter always allow for plenty of reading time as well though, especially during those precious, quiet days between the revelries of Christmas and the New Year. I mixed fiction and fact with … More Other Animals

48 hours in Wales

Mountains have featured prominently in my reading diet recently. Simon Ingram’s Between the Sunset and the Sea and Jeremy Ashcroft’s Britain’s Highest Mountain Walks have both been off the bookshelf more than on, talks and dreams of higher places filling our small town house rooms. Ever more I realise how little we know of the country in which we … More 48 hours in Wales

Autumn inside and out

Reaching the last days of October and Autumn’s grip is keenly felt now. Doors and windows have been left unopened in order to keep out chill winds. Blankets and layers of clothes carefully tucked into each other have been used to prevent the inevitable onset of central heating season. Protected against the elements, I’ve been … More Autumn inside and out