Wednesday, September 02, 2009

When the world turns

For weeks now tractors have been rolling through the village pulling carts laden, first of all with hay, and then with straw. From dawn until late into the night they've been working to beat the weather.

Now it's changed.

The trailers are loaded with manure. Fields are being covered with it: soon it will be ploughed in, winter wheat planted and the cycle will start over again.

Leaves have picked up an autumn tinge, to match bare fields. With summer over the routines of work take over and children are marshalled back to school.

We're heading towards the short days and long nights.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Watched by vultures

They're always there:
On the roof, at the edge of sight but
Within earshot.

Waiting for us
To turn into

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Temporary shelter

On the beach at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Saltmarshes in the distance.

The beginning of the New World, or the end of the Old?

The Fall is just around the corner.

Things are never the same.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Old Man of Mallyan

Sixty feet doesn’t seem very high for a waterfall. Until you stand under it. Mallyan Spout is the tallest waterfall in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. Even if it hasn’t rained it’s worth seeing, as the water pours through moss and assorted hanging greenery – which is no doubt why it’s often called the Old Man of Mallyan. After rain it’s rather different.

However, you can walk along the footpath and stand in front of the waterfall – or, if there’s enough water, through the spray.

The little valley encloses you, and all the sounds of the wider world are absorbed by the trees, rocks and water. Time slows.

(Image from:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Shot in the Dark

Feeling like a child at Christmas I eagerly await the arrival of my new air rifle!

Hopefully in a few days I'll be adding some sea bass photos to the site (that's if I can catch some for you).

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Passion for Angling

Here are some clips from a magical series. You can now get them on DVD, so it's a way to engage in some reflective moments when you're otherwise stuck in a more tedious existence.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dreaming of tight lines

I hear lake water lapping …

Or a river running.

It’s all about water, and fishing – or, more to the point, the possibility of fishing, the thought of fishing.

Norman Maclean’s book ‘A River Runs Through It’ sums up the atavistic delights of water and fishing. I've just seen that Film4 is screening it this evening.

The idyllic place is in another time, another country, another existence ...

And we feel that if we can only change what we have and what we do we can reach out and touch that other place.

The travel supplements in the weekend press are full of the promise of Another Place and Another Reality: at the same time the Lifestyle sections tell us to simplify our lives, to de-clutter, compile capsule wardrobes, get ourselves allotments and we can live in our small cabins in bee-loud glades.

Or, failing that, in a tent. Lots on offer at the moment: Camping is the new way to proclaim that we have stepped away from the Gadarene rush and are returning our lives to bucolic simplicity.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,

I hear it in the deep heart's core.

First published in The National Observer 13th December 1890