At the bottom of the hill sits our nearest neighbour: a run of whitewashed cottages which at first sight appears to be three small farm workers’ homes but is now one large and one smaller dwelling, the latter a more recent addition. These days they form the frontage of a discreet holiday business. Six pleasant wooden chalets lie beyond, out of sight of us or passers-by. The owners are warm and friendly but keep to themselves; the guests are quiet. We couldn’t ask for better neighbours.
From the neighbours we learned that the original building was once a public house and that it was also briefly the home of the writer, Mary Wesley. I read a fair few of her books in the eighties and nineties, which I then passed along to a charity shop. I rather wish I’d kept them now. She is probably best known for her second novel: The Camomile Lawn (1984) which became, as I remember it, a slightly racy tv series.
It’s now – looking back – that I can see how worthwhile it was.
This post has existed in draft for almost a year. It seems fitting to publish it now – in its original guise – with an update at the end.
July 2019 It was easy when I began blogging. I wrote for myself. Slowly a community has built which I value highly, but as it has grown I find myself questioning the content I choose. I begin to ask myself what others may wish to read; I begin comparing what I post against what others post. And that’s not what it’s about. Family stuff has quietly slipped off the table although it was a key part of why I started the blog in the first place. But this is a post that I want here for many reasons. I remind myself that it’s easy enough for people to slide on past if the subject matter is not to their taste. Continue reading “The View from Here: love is the true price of love (George Herbert)”
this has been a spring like no other but not because the sun has been shining
What follows is a compilation of fragments written or thought about as we wend our way through early spring. Too short and disjointed as individual posts, the final compilation proved too unwieldy. In the spirit of compromise – one post in three parts.
The photos are from an evening walk mid-May when everywhere glowed pink as the light faded. Pink – the colour of compassion and understanding.
It came as no surprise to learn that in the UK, May 2020 has been the sunniest and driest for over a century. May is one of my most favourite months. I began, mid-month, waxing lyrical to myself on the glories of the wildflowers and the Cornish spring – for surely this has been the earliest spring and the most marvellous year for the flowers? Then I noticed drafts of posts from past years, some published, some not, but all centred around the wonderful month of May and how this year or that year has brought forth one of the finest Mays I’ve seen. It gave me pause for thought. Is there really a need for yet another paean to this most beautiful moment in our calendar? Continue reading “The View from Here: walking in the writer’s footsteps (part 1)”
… as the afternoon passes and the sun breaks through the clouds at last, I shall raise a glass to this imperfect but beautiful world.
VE Day. Victory in Europe. 75 years since Churchill informed the country of Germany’s unconditional surrender. Outside it’s calm and overcast. One of those shrouded, melancholic mornings which often find me pensive and questioning. Perhaps that’s what lies at the bottom of these musings.
Of course we owe a huge debt to the men and women who collectively brought about this event and they should rightly be remembered. But this day means different things in different parts of Europe, and did not mark the end of the war, which continued across the Pacific. Celebrations in some parts of the world, reminiscences of a different kind in many others. And as things are, the majority of commemorative events planned this year cannot happen anyway. Continue reading “The View from Here: Remembrance and Hope”
… much as I love Christmas and despite the melancholy which often accompanies the passing of the season, all good things should draw to a proper close before they outstay their welcome
Epiphany. A favourite word. Today is the Christian Feast of the Epiphany – the reveal of Christ by the Magi – and an occasion marked by tradition and celebration in many countries as well as by religious services. Today is also known as Little Christmas among Irish and other Christians when men traditionally took on the household duties for the day and women spent the day together. Mostly I think of it as the day after Twelfth Night: the end of the twelve days of Christmas and the day by which decorations must be taken down and put away. Continue reading “The View from Here: Christmas in a Box”
The debate could have gone on for much longer; there are as many versions of Daphne’s relationship with Cornwall as there are people with a story to tell.
When Ali first posted about her plans to run a Daphne du Maurier Reading Week, she mentioned that she shares her birthday with Daphne – 13th May – and also that the Fowey Festival is always timed to include that date. Started in 1997, the festival was originally named after Daphne. It is now called the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature and has broadened in content although du Maurier and her work continue to be a primary focus. It seems fitting that I end my series of Daphne posts with an account of my festival experience this year, limited though it was. Continue reading “Fowey Festival 2019”
This was once a lonely, forgotten place and people who came here did so because they wanted the lifestyle that went with it: private and elemental
Under the looming geometry of the power station, small shacks were dotted about untidily, as if they’d been dropped accidentally from the back of a lorry. In recent years, the millionaires had arrived. Some huts had been rebuilt as luxury houses with big glass doors and shiny flues. Others still looked like they were made from scraps pilfered from a tip.
The panorama is surreal, alien, unique
The view from here is harsh and it takes no prisoners
I may have been eager for what has seemed like an especially long winter to end, but a small part of me has been glad we have had to wait for a run of reliable spring days, because I have been writing about Dungeness in winter. A task which doesn’t sit easily among vistas of skipping lambs and primroses, soft blue skies and playful breezes. Continue reading “The View from Here: Dungeness”