One morning a couple of years ago a group of people awaited the arrival of the substitute librarian at Wood Avenue branch library in Folkestone.
I looked up and saw this skyscape. The black line at the top is the top of the library wall. Standing in the shadow allowed me to capture the two faint spectra in the grey sky created by the cold and the neighbouring English Channel. Re-organising files allowed me to share the picture!
The Folkestone libraries were very welcoming to my students and me; lets hope that can continue for my colleagues despite the financial constraints.
An after-Christmas walk along Oare Creek, near Faversham in Kent. It was a windless afternoon and still, so the reflection of these cottages stood out.
We were glad to be wearing wellington boots.
Kent is criss-crossed by power lines, with current from Belgium, France and off-shore wind farms.
Wrecked barges beside the creek.
Looking out to sea.
The sun came out as we left the path to walk back along the road.
Kent’s Big Sky Country! There were lots of water birds but no telephoto lens to capture them.
I came out of the dentist to a beautiful sky, so I walked round to Whitstable beach. We are looking NW here, London is to our left, Margate and Belgium to the right. The shadow is one of many breakwaters that form part of the defences of the town which was badly flooded in the 1950s.
But there’s no defence from the sky unless you ignore it! It can only bring blessings to the town, and to those who stop and stare.
The old road passes along the top of Tankerton slope after running inland to skirt the Marshes. The sea wall with its promenade protects the slope from crumbling into the waters, and apart from rough grass there are green plants and bushes all the way. One rarity is hog’s fennel, which when we visited with Abel had filled a patch of land with mounds of lacy, dark green leaf. We got up close when chasing after an upwardly mobile toddler.
It is good to know that something so beautiful is being watched over, conserved.
Looking after one small corner of our shared home is a step towards saving the planet, so thanks are due to those looking after the slopes.
Even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these, (Matthew 6: 29) though I can imagine William Morris enjoying the challenge of translating this into a textile design!
I don’t know why this has been sitting in drafts for weeks, when it’s illustrated and all. Foraging seems a long while ago, with most leaves down and a wind trying to blow them and us away these last two days.
A month ago in Yorkshire, Mrs T and I took a walk which included a stretch of easy going along the old railway above the cliffs. Someone, sometime in the past, must have tossed an apple core from a train onto the bank. The fruit are small; green but with russet patches, and sharp. Maybe someone had been there before us – someone with shorter arms than this writer’s, as the half-dozen fruit I harvested were high above my head.
Added to blackberries and sloes, we have a Yorkshire marinade for Christmas. A good set and sharp enough to counter the sweetness of the goose.
I’m sure everyone in this part of the world is noticing Spring’s relentless advance. Even a cold day like today was longer than yesterday, and warm – out of the wind.
The wind was behind me along the shore today, and an early start left time to look for the turnstones. None to be seen for the first mile and a half, but there were dogs and the tide was in, so that was understandable. However at the bend in the track was a blue van, parked for the day; a snack bar. No sooner had I ridden to the leeward side where the hatch was open than I met the first crew of turnstones, scavenging crumbs and left overs. Are they now the starlings of the shore?
Just along from there, a Dartford warbler cock, and a few yards away, a twitcher, so engrossed peering down his monocular telescope that he could not return a greeting. A stranger on the shore, and there’s nowt stranger than folk, as they say in Yorkshire.