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)”
Photographs with a different colour palette this time (bar one). Taken within half a mile of home.
Time passed. April stepped aside gracefully; May burst onto the scene. And I have adapted. Same walks, different perceptions. I lose my fear of emptiness. I see the flowers erupting along the lanes. Bluebells and stitchwort, dandelions and celandines. Dainty violets and bold purple orchids. Tardy primroses, still tucked shyly in nooks and crannies and the delicate white spheres of wild garlic which proliferate along stretches of shady pathways. Continue reading “The View from Here: walking in the writer’s footsteps (part 2)”
… 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”
May 1st. May Day. Beltane. International Workers’ Day. At a more local level, May 1st is replete with traditions. Padstow ‘Obby ‘Oss and Helston’s Furry Dance are well known but there are plenty of others, particularly in this south-eastern corner of Cornwall. But not this year. Continue reading “The View from Here: Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
… 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”
It is high summer. We’ve had some very fine weather but also brumous days when the mist and clouds merge and don’t lift all day, and smuggy days when the humidity hits hard and strong. But we have escaped the fiercest temperatures of this month. There are occasional compensations for living in an area that is wetter, milder and more temperate than most. Continue reading “The View from Here: colours of July”
The same thing happened to me this June as apparently happens to many when it comes to buses. Jude posted a photo so stunning that I immediately shared it with a dear friend with the entreaty that we must visit this place together next year. But a year is a long time to wait, and – here’s where the buses come in – over the next little while it seemed that all my usual online Cornish haunts were filled with fields of poppies. I had never heard about the poppies at West Pentire in previous years; now they were everywhere. I had to see for myself. Continue reading “The View from Here: poppies past and present”
Forgive me for anthropomorphising, but I immediately thought of outraged teenagers.
When we first met, Bernie had no interest in garden birds. He professes never to have noticed a single bird. These days he takes on the task of cleaning out and siting our bird boxes and earlier this year he devoted significant time to constructing and trialling protection for last year’s swallows’ nest in which, very sadly, the three babies drowned during a downpour. (We have swallows nesting again now. We’re hoping for a happier ending this year.) Continue reading “Birds on the Balcony: undesirable nest box for occupation”