Walk this way! No, that way! Aghhh!

day 1 work (2)

That’s how it’s been for me lately; which way do I turn.  Which path to take.  I need to take stock and focus on a recurring dream I have: maps, routes, landscapes.

I’m a great fan of books by Robert Macfarlane and one book that comes to mind just now is Landmarks.  It’s a book about language and landscape and after each chapter, the author adds a glossary of words relating to the landscape of that chapter, for example, flowing water words like the Gaelic “caochan” meaning slender moor-stream obscured by vegetation, Sussex “rife” for a small river flowing across a coastal plain, or Yorkshire “sike” for a small stream flowing through marshy ground.  I am no linguist or language expert but just look what I’m missing!  Words used describing the natural environment of these islands come from so many different languages and cultures, including Irish, Welsh, Old English, Gaelic, Cornish…….and so the list goes on.  The book also wishes to capture these words now and hold them for future generations.  Macfarlane tells of the deletion of words from the Oxford Junior Dictionary because they are not relevant to modern day childhood.  Words like acorn, beech, conker, and many, many more.  By contrast, newly introduced words thought to be more relevant to the children of today are bullet-point, celebrity, chatroom and so on.

I’ve just written all of that and whilst I bought Landmarks when it was first published in 2015, I think I shall have to read it again, and all his other brilliant books!


Sunshine, sea and sand!

C-the east strand portrush

The East Strand, Portrush

Yes!  The sea and the sand with some sunshine!  Unfortunately, it is bitterly cold.

It is only April after all.

It’s raining, it’s pouring…….

Another day of rain and so I stay indoors.  I watch the flowers as their strength is tested by the heavy downpours.  This picture will serve as a memory to hold onto until next year.


The childing autumn, angry winter, change

Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,

By their increase, now knows not which is which.

from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare.


A day in 3 parts

What a glorious day!  These could be the last good days of summer, so off we go for a tour of County Down to some of our favourite places.  First to the house and gardens of  wonderful Mount Stewart.

Then we board the ferry at Portaferry to cross to Strangford.  Such a short trip but being on the water is a joy today.

A short drive from Strangford is Kilclief.  There are a few families on the beach: one group having a picnic, another playing cricket and at the edge of the sea some children paddling.  This is the perfect place to stop and relax.  The sun is warm and the air is fresh.  It doesn’t get better than this!



It amazes me just how beautiful this little country is, even when the sun isn’t shining!

glenariff 1.

glenariff 2

These are pictures taken not far from the Visitor Centre looking down the valley to the Irish Sea and hazy views of Scotland in the distance.

Only a short walk today as our purpose here today was to add our voices to the Hen Harrier Day campaign.