The glow of September

Autumn has arrived in the valley. Despite record high temperatures this week, the season can no longer be denied.  Blackberries are ripening exponentially, day after day, spiders’ webs glisten with dew at dawn, and there has been a subtle shift in the spectrum, toward a clarity, a purity of tone which does not exist in summer. […]

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Away, Landscape, Lives

Gathering thoughts in May

Robert Browning may have craved his homeland in April (and who would not?), but is there any month more urgently, lasciviously, resplendently English than May? The very word drips with subtext; with sappy, fleshy undercurrents of light, warmth and fecundity.

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Landscape, Lives

September in Plaxtol

The robins have begun to try out their quiet song, wistful and meditative, quite unlike their bright carolling in spring. Early mornings are softer now, and chillier. The sun’s light is mirrored in the sky before it rises, mist lies along the Bourne valley like woodsmoke and everything is damp with dew. On fine afternoons […]

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Legacy, Lives

‘Summer’s still all to come’ – the swifts’ return

The swallow may be the signal of the season, the red, white and blue ensign of the English summer, with all its bucolic associations of roses and hay meadows, garden fêtes and picnics, but for me the swift’s high cries and the sight of those slender black silhouettes slicing through the sky mark the true […]

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