I shall try to remember the message of the trees.
“Yes, the estate remains open until dusk. But I’m afraid the bluebells are almost over.” The National Trust staff member looked genuinely crestfallen that we had perhaps made a futile journey. I wondered too. Had we left it too late? Not in the time of day – I had deliberately chosen late afternoon just as the main house and gardens were closing – but in waiting so late into the spring? The bluebells have been magnificent this year; we still had plenty at home. But had I left it too late to see them in their true glory – massed amidst spring woodlands? Continue reading “The View from Here: in nature’s cathedral”
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”
There is a narrative in the landscape which is universal. It is a narrative which transcends fact and fiction, past and present, lives real and lives imagined. A narrative which speaks to the soul.
Imagine a small coastal town perched on the edge of an estuary, houses peppering the hills, streets steep and narrow.
This is Polruan … Continue reading “The View from Here: Imagine ….”
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”
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 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”
The third of three
The fire was warm; the chairs were comfortable
Reverend Baring-Gould’s A History of Dartmoor would have looked perfect, lying carelessly on this polished table. Continue reading “A Triptych on Dartmoor: patience is its own reward”