The white cliffs you see in the distance are the Seven Sisters.
Here am I at the foot of the Seven Sisters. Hello and welcome.
The peacock on the left told me that zoology is not pronounced zoo-ology, but rather, zo-ology. Like ‘so’.
I took the top photo a few days after starting work here, October. I emailed the picture to my friends at home: look, I found a lovely tree, I am not so alone.
The bottom photograph I took today, March. The tree surgeons have been busy on campus after last month’s storms.
This tree is 200 years old. Long-tailed tits were busy amongst the logs and branches on the ground.
My heart lives in a sunny, downland field.
This is the daydream I have as I walk home from work:
I see a pub and walk in, it is warm and gold and full of people. I go to the bar, the barman puts a beer down and says "This is for you". I drink it and feel happy.
It feels good to have a daydream that can be realised. My other daydream is about lying in the grass under a blue sky. I have to wait for that one.
CATTERNING To go catterning is to go round begging for apples and beer for a festival on St. Catherine’s Day (25th November).
CLEMMENING Going round from house to house asking for apples and beer for St. Clement’s Day (23rd November).
A Dictionary of Sussex Dialect, Rev. W. D. Parish
"It is good to walk, it is good to lie still; the rain is good and so is the sun"
The South Country Edward Thomas
My favourite walk starts here.
I am sitting in front of a screen.
Novels of Jane Aust-fly
Flies and Prejudice
Sense and Compound Eyes
My boss says
"Leave everything to the last minute! Pressure makes a diamond!"
A village sign must show the name of the village, but aside from that there are no rules. The designs are simple and usually include a feature of the place: woods or hills, streams and churches, a family crest, cross keys, ears of corn, oak leaves, sheep, windmills. They are funded, designed and fabricated locally.
The sign at Chiddingly isn’t really the village sign, it’s a pub sign (the Six Bells), but the Village Sign Society say it is because it has the village name on it. OMG
This time last year I was gardening in the snow. Working in the snow was not as hard on the body as I thought it would be; all gardening is exhausting.
Rain and waterlogged earth stops work completely. Days then weeks of wages go unearned.
Mrs Jones catches her train. Mr Smith mends his motor. The cows are driven home to be milked. Men thatch the roof. The dogs bark. The rooks, rising in a net, fall in a net upon the elm trees.The wave of life flings itself indefatigably.
Virginia Woolf, on being ill
Within two weeks of gardening I had awesome arm muscles. I ate bags of oats and bags of carrots. I felt strong and useful. I enjoyed not just observing nature and its changes, but being participant in it.
Last Sunday was a clear, crisp day. Too cold to sit outside but too nice to stay in. The perfect day to prune, to fork through earth, to cut a neat edge. I was bored of city walking so sat by an open window and read.
Literature does its best to maintain that its concern is with the mind; that the body is a sheet of plain glass through which the soul looks straight and clear, and, save for one or two passions such as desire and greed, is null, and negligable and non-existent.
On the contrary, the very opposite is true. All day, all night the body intervenes; blunts or sharpens, colours or discolours, turns to wax in the warmth of June, hardens to tallow in the murk of February.
Virginia Woolf, on being ill
I’ve always loved willowherb - great willowherb and rosebay willowherb. I love its name, its colour, its wild shape and distribution.
As a gardener my job was to pull it out, which I didn’t enjoy, until autumn when I saw its seeds fly out and everywhere.
So I get happy when I see it wild, no one will pull these out. They can grow and grow and spread in a haphazard way alongside railways and ditches. Pop up, proclaim the summer, set off a thousand feathery seeds, then disappear.
In 2008 there was a competition to design Dorset’s county flag. I remember my dad’s missus describing the entries: blue for the sea/sky, green for the fields, yellow for the sun/sand, so literal, childish, obvious! and I mentally scribbled black lines through my own identically obvious ideas.
The runners up, from Wikipedia:
Blue is for the sky and sea; yellow for sun and sand; and green for the fields and countryside. 108 votes.Design C
The green background is synonymous with the county of Dorset and maintains our identity as a green and pleasant land. The yellow cross depicts the beautiful beaches we are fortunate to be blessed with. … 856 votes.Design D
The colours on the flag should show all the good things we have in Dorset. Blue for the sea and beaches; green for the countryside; and gold for the sand and because Dorset is a sunny place to live. 818 votes.
The winner, the most traditionally vexillological:
Of course my flag would feature blue sky and green fields! Of course it would!
At the weekends I walk around the streets of Dublin.
I long to be shaken out like a sheet, I long to land somewhere green.