Myself and a few others spent two days last weekend making the most of the exceptionally mild November we are having to make a couple of tree climbing expeditions. The trees having lost most of their leaves allowed rays of the low sun to pierce the canopy and cast a beautiful light on the carpet of crisp dry leaves.
In the last week of August as the summer came to an end, just before Helen went back to Med school for the Michaelmas term, we decided to take a few days to visit our friends, who have been pestering us for months (years) to visit them at their island home on The Scillys.
Leaving Devon at 4 am we arrived in Penzance early on a calm, clear, bright morning, the sea was flat, and having heard what an uncomfortable, sickness enduing crossing it can be on the Scillonian, we were thankful. Given that is have somewhat neglected to update this blog with any of my activities this summer I thought I would publish a few photos here.
Cloud bank over a flat calm Mounts Bay, Penzance.
The Scillonian in berth, Penzance Harbour.
Rations from the excellent galley on the Scillonian.
As we drew in to The Islands, we stood on deck, the sun shone and a pod of porpoise made a brief appearance as they headed out in to the Channel. It was going to be a good day.
St Marys Harbour
Helen on Tresco.
Obligatory couple shot.
Helen and Kylie keep warm and dry (unlike poor Dave) on the crossing back from St Agnes after a visit to Britains most South Westerly Pub.
Kylie and Lily on 'Firethorn' on the way to see Jack and Kim on Bryher.
Kylie and Dave in Scillonian Nation Dress (Wellies with anything/everything)
Jacko on a 'Dark 'n' Stormy' Night
We had a brilliant time, it's a truly amazing place, a rugged, weather beaten lump of granite stuck a few meter out of sea the turbulent spot where Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel mix. It was great to get a glimpse of island life, fishing and farming and wildlife and we are very thankful to have had knowledgeable, local hosts and guides.
I am compelled by this book and others to sling on a pack, a pair of boots and set forth to a place where I can occupy myself simply with the cutting of hay, collection of apples and tending of livestock. Perhaps one day I will do it but until then I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who feels likewise.
Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor DSO OBE 11 February 1915 – 10 June 2011
I have just been reading, with great sadness, some of the many
obituaries to Patrick ‘Paddy’ Leigh Fermor, perhaps my all time hero.
Indeed this blog takes it name from the title of my favourite of his
books: Between the Woods and the Water. Despite my great esteem for the
man few of my peers or contemporaries seem ever to have heard of him.
Having been expelled from public school and aged 18 Paddy decided to
walk across Europe from The Hook of Holland through a number of
countries along the Rhine and the Danube and over mountain ranges to
Constantinople in Turkey. During WWII as a SOE officer he lead the
mission which successfully pulled off the only successful kidnapping of a
German general by ailed forces during the war and was subsequently was
played by Dirk Bogarde in a Hollywood film about the event. Later in
life he started his career as a writer documenting his many travels and
adventures, he has been called Britains greatest travel writer by many
critics and his books are writen in the most wonderful form of English I
have ever come across, a real joy to read.
I’ll raise a glass to him tonight. http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2011/jun/10/patrick-leigh-fermor-obituary
The beginning of my home vegetable growing career has coincided with one of the driest springs on record and, as a result, upward movement is slow to say the least. The exception to this rule are my radishes which got going early enough to establish themselves before the drought set in. They are a quick fix for an impatient grower like me, being ready in about a month for seed, so I am pulling them with much pride and pleasure. I look forward to future harvest with excitement.