Reading rambles: reading in situ

The Birdwatcher by William Shaw

‘Superb description of a haunting, blighted landscape.
His best book so far’

I am not a connoisseur of crime novels, though I have read a book by C J Sansom, whose praise it is that adorns my library copy of The Birdwatcher.  I don’t understand the distinction between thriller, psychological thriller, crime novel, detective novel, police procedural.  Perhaps there is no distinction; perhaps they are all terms for a wide umbrella of popular fiction, which, if what I read is correct, is currently booming.  Whatever it’s called, I have been standing out in the rain for quite some years, not particularly drawn to the genre however it might be described, and not really sure what the fuss is about.  But recently, I’ve read a couple of crime novels: the first as an early reviewer, because the book was based in Cornwall and the second because it was based in Dungeness.  And I might just be taking the bait.  But I’ve also been bitten by another bug. Continue reading “Reading rambles: reading in situ”

Dungeness: dropped from the back of a lorry

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 Birdwatcher (William Shaw) Continue reading “Dungeness: dropped from the back of a lorry”

The View from Here: Dungeness

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”

A Triptych on Dartmoor: a tor, a trip, a tourist tale

Second of three

Sometimes stories are necessary for quieting the soul

Bogs … prisons … tors …

It is said that no matter where you look on Dartmoor, you can’t help but have a tor in view.  Frustrating then, that I managed to miss all of them in the wider landscape shots I took.  But we did spend some time getting acquainted with one tor in particular. Continue reading “A Triptych on Dartmoor: a tor, a trip, a tourist tale”

A Triptych on Dartmoor: two wars; one church; one prison and a teller of tales

First of three

Beginning with useful advice on bogs

Three related posts that have hung around for too long, so much so that I’ve been tempted to ditch them as being out of date and of relatively little interest. They were supposed to be three short posts.  They’ve grown.  There’s a lesson there…

Continue reading “A Triptych on Dartmoor: two wars; one church; one prison and a teller of tales”

Dartmoor: with thanks to Conan Doyle

“To his eyes all seemed beautiful, but to me a tinge of melancholy lay upon the countryside, which bore so clearly the mark of the waning year.  Yellow leaves carpeted the lanes and fluttered down upon us as we passed.  The rattle of our wheels died away as we drove through drifts of rotting vegetation–sad gifts, as it seemed to me, for Nature to throw before the carriage of the returning heir of the Baskervilles.” Continue reading “Dartmoor: with thanks to Conan Doyle”