The View from Here: Christmas in a Box

… 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 View from Here: colours of July

… from the garden

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 View from Here: colours of July

… from the lanes

 

Thus far July has been glorious.  I want to capture these fleeting days, these colours of July.  As the month opened, I walked for a while, not far from home.  Sometimes, pictures are all that’s needed.

Up the hill under cerulean skies… Continue reading “The View from Here: colours of July”

The View from Here: poppies past and present

downloadThe 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”

Birds on the Balcony: undesirable nest box for occupation

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”

The View from Here: thoughts in the June rain

And perhaps today – when it is indeed much improved outside, though maybe not quite scintillating – perhaps all of that was still in my head …

With June has come summer.  With June has come rain.  It rained relentlessly yesterday.  Thus, I was surprised to experience a delightful happiness and contentment driving along the drizzly road in the morning, gazing at the subdued greenery and grey skies.  I thought of the beauty of the countryside even on this dark, damp and drab day.  I thought of cosiness and warmth and how fortunate I am to have a dry home to return to.  And how fortunate I am to be traveling through this verdant and ever-changing landscape.  Today hushed and muted; tomorrow perhaps, scintillating and radiant. Continue reading “The View from Here: thoughts in the June rain”

The View from Here: in nature’s cathedral

I shall try to remember the message of the trees.

bluebells“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”