Paths and Shafts of Light.

The sound of shuffling feet and excitement as the procession of Light begins...

A spectator afoot the glittering pavement…

Torchlight Procession (1) 4th November 2017

…as the annual procession of light and sound wends its merry way through a Devon village.  4th. November 2017.

Here in Devon – November heralds that time of year when torchlight processions take to the streets – as local people come out in a show of togetherness and time-honoured tradition – to shake a fist at the quickening nights and long, cold Winter months ahead…Torch - Hatherleigh Carnival procession.

St James Iddesleigh (shadow) 4th November 2017

One of my simple remedies to combat the enveloping darkness – is to go in search of shafts of light through multicoloured glass…

The Church of St James - Iddesleigh.

With a visit to the Church of St James – Iddesleigh.  Saturday – 4th. November 2017.

On a cold day like yesterday – the temperature inside was almost as invigorating as it was outside – yet the atmosphere was warm still with the memory of all those that have worshipped at St James for centuries to the present day – it was like they had all just popped out!

Everything was immaculate, gleaming – loved. St James Iddesleigh (Bible) 4th November 2017

The lamp post on the corner of St James.

The ‘Narnia’ lamp post on the corner of St James.

St. James stands in an enviable position – upon a windswept corner plot that looks towards Dartmoor in the distance. Its position alone makes it a favourite place to visit – but nevermore memorable than on this blowy November afternoon; low Sun through old glass is magical.

The Dartmoor Window - St James Iddesleigh.

The Dartmoor Window – St James Iddesleigh.

For me – St James’ leading light is a stained glass window to the right of the altar – which is after William Holman Hunt’s ‘The Light of the World’. 

A stained glass window after my favourite painting...

A stained glass window after my favourite painting…

The original painting in Keble College Chapel - Oxford.

Adoration of the original painting in Keble College Chapel – Oxford.

Leading Light...

The colours of 'The Light of the World' warming cold stone.

The colours of ‘The Light of the World’ warming cold stone.

Their beauty, intricacy and everlasting clarity and depth of colour – spaketh volumes above the internal silence of the church…St James Iddesleigh (Stained Glass Window 1) 4th November 2017

St James Iddesleigh (Stained Glass Window 3) 4th November 2017

St James Iddesleigh (altar window detail) 4th November 2017St James Iddesleigh (Stained Glass Window 4) 4th November 2017St James Iddesleigh (Stained Glass Window 5) 4th November 2017

Under three hares,,,

Under three hares…

View through the keyhole...

Through the keyhole…

...over timeworn cobbles...

Over timeworn cobbles…

and the arched 'window'. The glory of the great outdoors from the porch of St. James.

Back out through the porch – and down a step into the Glory of the Great Outdoors.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Better to light a candle than curse the darkness."

“Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

Down A Deep, Dark, Devon Lane.

Down a deep, dark, Devon lane (2)Before first consciousness – I think I must have imbibed an affinity with places off the beaten track – and horses.  More than half-a-century on – I wouldn’t describe myself as traditionally horsey – because really it was just one horse I was ever truly, deeply, mad about. 

The house where I was born. The staddle stones are still there to this day.

The house where I was born. The granite staddle stones are still there to this day – no wonder I have a thing about toadstools too!

My birthplace was Pensilva near Bodmin Moor – in a house reputedly haunted by a benevolent ghost called, Squire Pollard.  My mother once saw him through the gaps in the old oak floorboards upstairs – he was sitting in the parlour below – drinking ale and puffing on a clay pipe.  Another strange account was a dream my mother had before she ever stepped foot in the house.  She dreamt of the exact door to the room that I was born in – only in her dream she saw the words ‘Morte Bar’ inscribed on the door.  No wonder I was often referred to as a changeling child – especially as I was willful by nature with a tendency to scowl a lot! 

At night wild ponies came down from the moor – and whinnied and galloped about just beyond the bottom of our garden.  In the sixties – Pensilva was an isolated place to bring up a young family especially in contrast to Sussex where my parents and older siblings had moved from.  Needless to say – my Mother always felt unease about the house where I was born – and it wasn’t long before they upped sticks again – and moved to Devon – the place where I grew up and have lived ever since.  

Many, many years on – I realised my dream of owning my own horse – a ‘Dales’ called Wath Jewel – or Jessie for short.  wath-jewel-jessie-something-about-dartmoor

Even though she’s long gone to horsey heaven – I often dream that we hack out together.  It’s a wonderful ‘experience’ to awake from – like having all the fun of owning a horse but without the expense or hard work that goes into looking after a horse – not that Jessie was ever – EVER hard work – she was a complete joy and I still miss her warm breath and gentle ways. I even dream that I can smell her – that sweet cocktail of sweat and leather – and hay.  Not surprisingly there are lots of places roundabout that bring back memories of our jaunts together – old haunts that we revisit in my dreams like it was yesterday – all bar one that is. 

Only a few days ago – whilst enjoying a night ramble – I suddenly had an urge to take a series of photographs of an entrance to a road ‘unsuitable for motors’ that we used to ride up – gallop up – at full pelt to the high ridge…Down a deep, dark Devon Lane (1)I’ve passed this lane entrance many times ‘since’ but never have I had the want to photograph it – because all the pictures of that bright, springlike afternoon are in my head – not able to be shared here or anywhere – because they don’t exist in photographic form. They wouldn’t be appropriate anyway – too graphic. jessie-tacked-up-and-ready-to-go-something-about-dartmoor

The relationship that developed between us was something special. Jessie was a living, breathing Black Beauty – definitely more human than horse. Some might say that’s putting an anthropomorphic spin on things – but it is true.  I trusted her with every fibre of my being – I never had cause to wear a hat when out on her – and besides I enjoyed the wind in my hair as much as she did. We understood each others thoughts – and communicated freely.  I can’t really put into words how one actually talks ‘horse’ – but we were on the same frequency from day one.

On a long rein, I’d often let her take me for a ride…

On the 25th February 1998 – she took me to the road ‘unsuitable for motors’ – a forgotten ‘road’ off the beaten track. We’d been there on other occasions – to enjoy the freedom of a good gallop up its zig-zag course.  Jessie, when given the choice – usually preferred to go on a more leisurely outing where she could stop and nibble at the Devon hedgerows and graze the grass verges; ours was an easy-going relationship – where her enjoyment was of equal importance.  On this particular day – she was on a mission – she didn’t even try to snatch a mouthful from the hedge.  Jessie when she wanted to – could go like the wind – and after an exhilarating gallop up the length of the track – we soon reached the plateau at the far end – a good place to ‘pull’ on the brakes before rejoining the metalled road.   

Unusually – an ‘abandoned’ white car was facing us at the top of the lane.  Slowly moving towards it – I became aware that a person was sitting inside – most likely enjoying an afternoon nap in the life-affirming sunshine. Suddenly I felt intrusive.  In ‘slow-motion’ – over a distance of a hundred yards or so –  I gradually perceived that the occupant – a women with her mouth and eyes wide open – was not sleeping – but dead.  There was no immediacy for me to respond – she had visibly been inside her sun-drenched car too long; there was no need to dismount. Calmly and without stopping we walked-on by – relieved that life-saving intervention was not necessary – there was nothing to be done other than to raise an ‘alarm’ in the nearby sleepy hamlet.  It was only as I glanced back – seeing the ‘paraphernalia’ attached to the exhaust of the car – that I realised that the person had taken their own life.  What I saw that day – never touched me – due to my absolute belief in the protective power of Iron – Jessie’s four shoes had formed a barrier between us.  A barrier between us and the ground – the car on the ground – and her inside it. Iron Horseshoe.

Her estranged husband – a farmer and part-time gravedigger – was supposed to find her when he checked his sheep that morning – but he never did check his sheep that day – because he had a funeral to attend and he’d been running late…

The ‘paraphernalia’ attached to the exhaust of the car had been ‘borrowed’ from the milking parlour to use in a final act of imploded anger – and revenge – over her disputed share of the farm and land. The cows were milked – but the sheep fended for themselves that morning – and probably for the rest of the day that unravelled. 

The one image I retain – are her hands – forever stuck at ‘ten to two’ on the steering wheel – in a determined grip of self-will. Coincidentally about the time of day that we found her. I understand that she took her own life in the night – before the morning – before that fateful afternoon.  

It's okay that occasionally I find myself turning into that lane again - galloping up to the ridge to where there's a white car parked at the side...

It’s okay that occasionally I find myself turning into that lane again – galloping up to the ridge – to where there’s a white car parked at the side…

…but never – EVER – when I’m dreaming. 

Posted on 31-X-2017 - All Hallows Eve. A time to remember the dead.

Posted on 31-X-2017 – All Hallows’ Eve – a date to remember the Dead.  (A chocolate Halloween treat from Sandfords Bakery in Great Torrington!)

A Deep, Dark Devon Lane (1) JPG

The veil between the Living and the Dead is wafer-thin – or ‘Morte Bar’ as I’ve come to realise it.

Nature’s Give and Take.

Under a Tulip tree - Bath Canal - late Summer 2011.

Under a Tulip tree – Bath Canal – late Summer 2011.

My eldest son has enjoyed his first half-term after starting school again…

He is 24 years old and a trainee teacher. He never did return home after University – the day I dropped him off at the halls of residence was the day he left home.  The 25th of September 2011 was a scorcher – in more ways than one. Golden like the city of Bath itself – that in my mind is a place that’s forever bathed in Light – and Love.  After a rushed good-bye – I ventured into the city centre with my youngest son – to look for ‘something’ I could hold onto – to remember the day.  I didn’t know what I was looking for – but I didn’t find it in any of the shop windows.

Instead of a thing – I followed a ‘ting’ that I’d heard above the busy throng of Sunday shoppers. My souvenir of the day was a soundtrack played by these guys who were busking that day. Danny Cudd and Markus Johannson – together they are ‘Hang Massive’ – and my soundtrack of the day was – is – ‘Once Again’.

Play it once again – and again – and again… 

And now – whenever I hear ‘ting ting’ – I’m immediately transported back to that far-off golden day – that’s still as intense in my mind as sunlight streaming through a Tulip tree.

One of several golden images of a place - a day.

One of several golden images of a place – a day.

* * * * * * * * * * *

My boys taking in the rays at Baggy Point - North Devon Coast. 27-X-2017

My boys taking in the rays at Baggy Point – North Devon Coast. 27-X-2017

This half-term I have enjoyed a golden day out with my boys to Baggy Point on the North Devon Coast.  An unhurried walk up to the Point from Croyde – passing some old Whale bones on the way – and back.

All that remains of a large whale that was washed up on Croyde beach in 1915.  This moving relic of the Sea is firmly anchored at the side of the path that leads to the Point.

All that remains of a large whale that was washed up on Croyde beach in 1915.  This moving relic of the Sea is firmly anchored at the side of the path that leads to the Point.

The whale bones were preserved at the side of the path by the Hyde family – for the benefit of ALL visitors.  They gave the Bones – and Baggy Point – to the National Trust in 1939.  I thought – cor wouldn’t I just love to have it in my bone collection!!! 

Moving on – and to The Point – I saw something else in the grass that was acquirable – just – and not for my bone collection but my stone collection.  A beautiful Witch’s Heart lying on the edge of a slope that dropped away to the sea…  

Witch's Heart at Baggy Point.

Witch’s Heart at Baggy Point.

My eldest son gallantly volunteered to pick it up for me – as it was placed a lot more precariously than it looks in this photo – a bit of a cliff hanger in fact!  

Cliff Hanger!Witch's Heart from Baggy Point - North Devon. (1) 27-X-2017JPG

 

I love the way the Witch’s Heart fits my hand – and my hand fits the Witch’s Heart.  

Witch's Heart

XXXX….

Baggy Point - 27th. October 2017 (2) - Something about Dartmoor

And so another half-term passes into Golden Light…

Sun and Sea off Baggy Point - 27-X-2017

Sun and Sea off Baggy Point – 27-X-2017

* * * * * * * * * * *

“Nature’s Give and Take” a post inspired by a Soundtrack, a Whale, a Witch’s Heart, a line from a Poem – all of a Poem – and my grown-up, eldest son – Archie.  Archie holding razor shell

Graduation day. Bath Royal Crescent.


Walking Away – Cecil Day Lewis

It is eighteen years ago, almost to the day –
A sunny day with leaves just turning,
The touch-lines new-ruled – since I watched you play
Your first game of football, then, like a satellite
Wrenched from its orbit, go drifting away

Behind a scatter of boys. I can see
You walking away from me towards the school
With the pathos of a half-fledged thing set free
Into a wilderness, the gait of one
Who finds no path where the path should be.

That hesitant figure, eddying away
Like a winged seed loosened from its parent stem,
Has something I never quite grasp to convey
About nature’s give-and-take – the small, the scorching
Ordeals which fire one’s irresolute clay.

I have had worse partings, but none that so
Gnaws at my mind still. Perhaps it is roughly
Saying what God alone could perfectly show –
How selfhood begins with a walking away,
And love is proved in the letting go. 

(Written by Cecil Day Lewis for his eldest son – Sean.)

Some Autumnal Vibrations…

Acorn (1) 15th October 2017 - Something about Dartmoor

And one Golden Promise.

On Tuesday – October 17, 2017 – I stopped what I was doing – which was laying the fire ready for lighting – to read an eye-catching article in the Daily Mail.  It wasn’t my newspaper but my brother’s – that he passes on to me for fire starting.  As ever – whilst on my knees – I scanned the pages in an unhurried start to get the fire started – before screwing them up into loose bundles.  One page caught my eye though – so I put it back for some late night reading… Daily Mail newspaper cuttingA fascinating article by Peter Fiennes – about acorns – and why for some unknown reason Oak trees and some other native trees such as Beech and Chestnut – produce more nuts or ‘masts’ – every five to ten years.  Thank god – this bountiful boom known as a ‘mast year’ – is one of Nature’s eternal mysteries; it’s a nut that even the clever scientists haven’t conclusively cracked!  

Conjecture tells us that the cause of this cyclic glut is Mother Nature’s way of ensuring self-preservation for trees – and therein, our preservation too.  In generating a periodical surplus of nuts over and above the appetites of the many ravenous foragers and feeders that feast on them – ensures that all of us get to enjoy the renewed promise of lovely, seasonal greenness year in year out – as new saplings burst forth from each surplus golden casket.  

To my mind – a tree’s outwardness is my inwardness; trees to me, are the tangible embodiment of the air I breathe – and yes I’m a tree-hugger!  I can’t quite square this with needing newspaper and firewood for lighting my fire – or the effect that burning either has on the environment – but the nights are drawing in – and this draughty, non-centrally heated house ain’t gettin warmer! A faggot for the fire - Something about Dartmoor

Moving swiftly on and in-between but still on the same thread – are these wondrous teeny-weenies… 

Wriggling in my hand - they for all the world looked like two little black dragons.

Wonders of Nature.  They looked like little black dragons seated in the palm of my hand…

I found them struggling across a hard road with a long way ahead of them to get to the other side.  As is my wont – I gently picked-up the waddling, tummy-scraping pair and gave them a lift in the direction that they were heading…  

Newts chasing each other's tails.

…wriggling and chasing each other’s tails en route to safety.

For one small animal – I was sadly too late to lend a helping hand…

Squirrel (3) 15th October 2017 Something about Dartmoor

On Sunday – October 15, 2017 – I found a beautiful grey squirrel – unbloodied and still warm laying at the side of the road – he looked for all the World like he was fast asleep.  Apart that is, for one darkened, unblinking eye. Squirrel (1) 15th October 2017 Something about Dartmoor

The thing that really struck me – was the poignancy of the abandoned acorn that lay close-at-paw, and the promise it held for the Squirrel before the wheel of a moving car – snuffed it all out.

I transferred the dreamless Squirrel to the hedgerow – before picking up his abandoned ‘larder’…

Acorn 15th October 2017 - Something about DartmoorWith an idea already planted in my mind for one hundred years – or twenty ‘mast years’ hence….

Acorn and Stone - 15th October 2017 Something about Dartmoor

One other foundling from my Autumn ramble – a little piece of gravel found in the middle of an otherwise gravel-less road.  I like to think it was caught in a horse’s shoe – and dropped out as the horse went clippity-clop on it’s way – a lucky stone.

To plant the mast in the hope that it will seed – and mature – in everlasting memory of its once bright-eyed hunter-gatherer…Squirrel (2) 15th October 2017 Something about Dartmoor

RIP my bushy-tailed friend. X


“Of all man’s works of art, a cathedral is greatest.  A vast and majestic tree is greater than that.”  Henry Ward Beecher. 

Favourite Tree Winter2011

I agree.  A majestic Beech – that I see on my journeys to and from work…

Favourite Tree Summer 2011

– through the seasons – through the years…

Favourite Tree Spring 2011

The sight of it high on the hill never fails to uplift me.

Yulia's tree. Something about Dartmoor

And as a magical gift from my new friend called, Yulia – an amazing artist and poet who lives over the horizon – in Ottawa. X

It’s those invisible shifting green ribbons that connect all of us through Light – Time and Space – or as my Yaffle friend calls them – ‘Vibrations’ – we just have to learn to tune into them!

Vibrations as seen on the Ashmolean floor - Oxford. Something about Dartmoor

‘Vibrations’ interpreted as a light display on the Ashmolean floor – Oxford.  From the Yaffles’ Summer that was.

The Yaffles’ Summer That Was.

"We are all two sides of a single entity, each ourselves one by one." Clever Yaffle B

“We are all two sides of a single entity, each ourselves one by one.” Clever Yaffle B

Throughout the long Summer months – that seemingly fly-by in hindsight – a pair of Yaffles have been hard at it – hammering away at the woodwork of a knotty problem – stopping only to listen – for grubs and the occasional sound of falling trees…

Gggggrrrrrrrrkkkkkkkkk. Something about Dartmoor

‘The Yaffles’ set about the task of the knotty problem from opposite sides of a shared but expansive trunk that physically separated them from each other’s sight and earshot for almost a lifespan.  For many a long year – the elder, über male Yaffle – ‘Yaffle B’ – had continuously knocked on wood but few it seemed had listened to him – until one day the ever-intuitive female Yaffle – ‘Yaffle A’ – picked up his worldly vibrations. Together but separately they continued to peck-a-way at their individual holes – as two arteries in the pulsing heart of an Evergreen tree of knowledge. 

Through constant ggggrrrrrrkkkkkk, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, peckpeckpeckpeck at the woodwork – the Yaffles enjoyed a breakthrough in early Spring 2017.  They connected with each other via an invisible green energy that shifts and manifests itself around the Globe.  ‘Yaffle A’ senses ‘Emilia Borealis’ – whilst ‘Yaffle B’ through years of steadfast diligence – knows her ‘simply’ as EB. 

All Summer the pair of dedicated Yafflers enjoyed much laffin’ n cacklin’ – plus exhilarating and undulating swoops through the lofty green canopy they inhabited in a virtual sense.  On several occasions they ruffled each other’s feathers too!  For seven whole months – the Yaffles were sworn to secrecy – to each other and to one cause – through a continuous and intensive round of yaffle-scribblings that to’d and fro’d – and flowed between the them. 

Two-hundred and fourteen days later – one single ‘Yaffle-darling’ – or ‘Yaffling’ for short – has been given a renewed lease of life.  The ‘Yaffling’ is an egg of three parts – individually called ‘Yafflettë’ – and although technically the golden egg is still to be hatched – it magically fledged with virtual wings a week ago today – on the 10th October 2017 – to a faraway place in the Northern Hemisphere – where it will continue to incubate and grow Ever stronger.  By Green light and Amber fire – the Yaffling egg will be kept at just the right heat throughout the long, cold Winter months ahead…

At home and miles apart – The Yaffles too have entered sleep mode – independently going about their daily lives – whilst quietly anticipating the birthday of their darling bonneted babe – who is hopefully due around the corner of the coming year.  

2018 will see an emergence of a single entity – in three parts – each one determined by the tricolour plumage of the Picus viridis¹ – a bird that knows when He – or She – knows!  The largest Yafflettë is already fixed in Vermillion Red, the smallest Yafflettë is shaded in tones of White and Black – whilst the middle Yafflettë is eternally Evergreen.  

Apologies if the above Yafflin seems bafflin to those who are not in the Yaffle know – but hopefully one day it will all make reasonable sense!!!  One hopes… 

Heading into Winter – the virtual wood is much quieter – apart that is from the sound of the wind’s song moving across the forest floor.  The summer-long sweet hammerings from the canopy have all but ceased – yet the silence seems all the more deafening – now that the Yaffles’ task is done. 

Single Yaffle. Something about Dartmoor

Signing off the Yaffle way. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX…………


Footnotes –

  1. Picus viridis – Green Woodpecker – or Yaffle. 
  2. Figures: The single Yaffle carved in wood – perches on my sideboard – and heart – as a constant reminder lest I should forget – the unforgettable, the indefatigable, Ever unflappable ‘Yaffle B’.

Hope is a thing with feathers – and a new chimney.

Seagulls on our Chimney - Something about DartmoorOur other chimney had leaned into the wind for too long.  If our builder hadn’t dismantled it brick-by-brick – I think a gale-force gust may have toppled it in one fell swoop. Luckily for us the old chimney leaned into the prevailing Westerly – and not a northerly or easterly direction.  There have been a few nights – when the wind has howled and whistled around the old stack and I have had a fancy that some other invisible force must have braced the chimney until our builder was ready to come; a good builder always has a waiting list! Old Chimney with scaffold (1)- Something about Dartmoor

Over the last couple of weeks – Glen has single-handedly resurrected our once banana-shaped chimney – into a stack that is strong and straight again – heavenward. Glen - Something about Dartmoor

Glen crowned his masterpiece on Monday – 18th September 2017 – by restoring the original Victorian pot to its rightful place atop thirty-two angled layers of new red bricks.  The scaffolder’s skill is worthy of great admiration too – its design and rigidity has enabled Glen to safely access the otherwise inaccessible chimney – I think it’s a remarkable structure – an art form in itself albeit a transient one.

At my behest – Glen’s last flourish – is an inscription in his otherwise super-smooth finish – in memory of Dad who lived here for forty-four years until he passed away on the 6th January 2017 – aged ninety-two.  

The cement cap will serve as a memorial seat – a perch between worlds – where the birds can rest a while before ascending – as smoke signals – carrying our thoughts and messages away to the next…Chimney (5) 18th September 2017Chimney (4) 18th September 2017

Thanks Dad X

Dad sitting by his fire. December 2009

Dad chillin’ by his fire – December 2009.

nnnn

A small light white curl of hope – found on an otherwise gloomy day – lying on the hall floor outside Dad’s old room. It was especially significant because I’d been at work and returned to an empty house that was otherwise undisturbed.  It’s probably a seagull’s feather but to me it’s about that mind’s eye moment of suspended disbelief that it was something other.  That’s why I’ve preserved it under a small glass dome.

 * * * * * * * * * * 

‘Hope is the thing with feathers’ – poem by Emily Dickinson – performed by Máirín O’Hagan.


Bricks and Mortar – and Ties that bind.  27-X-2017. 

Glen's chimney.

Now that all the scaffold has been taken down – and the dust and debris of the old chimney has been swept up and removed – I have a fancy that Dad comes and sits to the right of the pot.   I see him with long, tapered wings like his namesake – against a clear, blue sky.

Or when I go out to the green recycle bin at the end of our yard to dump something whilst preparing an evening meal.  I turn around to comeback in – and suddenly – there he is again – up there closer to the stars than me.  It’s funny how a chimney can be such a comfort!

“Top of the Morning!”

Colour of a new day - 13th August 2017. Something about DartmoorToday – Sunday 13th. August 2017 – started with an early morning rise.  Not out of my unslept-in-bed you understand – but to the top of Sharpitor (near Leather Tor) on Dartmoor – to see the Perseid Meteor Shower – followed by the biggest, most dazzling light show EVER – the dawn of a FRESH, new day.   With only my son’s mobile phone to hand – I wasn’t fast enough (or alert enough) to capture any falling stars on camera – or in my pocket – but I did manage to make a wish or two before their blazing tails fizzled out like spent fireworks. Aug 13 2017_1225

The grande finale was seeing Sunday rise – as a huge, orange Firebird in the East… 

Aug 13 2017_1255 Firebird.Another waking ‘dream’ – was hearing a hen laying an egg somewhere in the distance.  Her song rose with the morning mist from one of the ancient farmsteads dotted around.  A desire to eat a freshly laid, soft boiled egg – with hot, buttered toast for breakfast – will never be stronger than in that magical – golden moment on top of Sharpitor – or as impossible for that matter! 

These are some other images from this morning…
Aug 13 2017_1275

Aug 13 2017_1288

Aug 13 2017_1265

Aug 13 2017_1292

Aug 13 2017_1295

Aug 13 2017_1301

Aug 13 2017_1305

Aug 13 2017_1306

Aug 13 2017_1306 Dartmoor pony foal with very unusual black markings. Something about Dartmoor

Aug 13 2017_1299

Aug 13 2017_1313

Aug 13 2017_1316

Aug 13 2017_1320

“Top of the Morning to you Hawthorn!”   Cold, wet hands…

Aug 13 2017_1312

and dew sodden boots.  Time for a short, late afternoon snoozles – before I venture out for an evening walk around the block to see the same Sun set in the West…hope my boots have dried out a bit!

Theme for today – another favourite by Amethystium… 

Muggle-Mump ‘goes’ to Burrow Mump!

Friday 4th August 2017 – saw a return to my favourite Somerset ‘Mump’ – Burrow Mump. The Mump rises like a mini Glastonbury Tor above the watery, green Levels.

Muggle Mump goes to Burrow Mump.

Aug 04 2017_1080

After inching our way closer – the tower of Burrow Mump finally sprang into view above the trees.

Burrow Mump on Friday 4th August 2017 was virtually ‘NO GO’ unless on foot or a bicylce – and even then it would have been a squeeze! We literally inched our way there in every dimension – because all roads leading to the Mump were utterly gridlocked! We found the whole jam quite a giggle but for anyone with an appointment to keep – or an emergency to attend – it must have been a complete and utter nightmare…

We were stuck in this position for about an hour!

We were stuck in this position – on this stretch – for a ‘good’ hour!

With just a ‘couple’ miles to go to the Mump – we were going nowhere fast. The whole ‘event’ just goes to show what happens once today’s traffic is diverted – and spills into smaller roads. Like the Levels in 2014 – the roads around the Mump were almost impassable only this time with vehicles rather than flood water.  I have to say – because time was our own – this modern day phenomenon was something to witness – even funny dare I say it – especially witnessing the antics of some of the other road users! Despite the frustrations – I have to say everyone caught up in it – seemed to keep their cool and for the most part were good-humoured; I think Burrow Mump’s vibes saved the day!  

Pilgrims footsteps to the top of Burrow Mump.

Pilgrim footsteps to the top of Burrow Mump.

Finally, we arrived on the Mump – phew! 

Lines of gridlocked cars as far as the eye can see. Views from the Mump...

Traffic jams as far as the eye can see…

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…and in all directions. Views from the Mump!

Burrow Mump was our island getaway from the Sea of Chaos. Once we reached the top of the hill – all was calm as if a million miles away…

Sanctuary from the modern world. View from the inner sanctum of restorative Burrow Mump.

Sanctuary from the modern world.  View from the inner sanctum of restorative ‘Burrow Mump’…

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Aah peace – perfect peace. Glastonbury Tor is in the distance.

I say ‘perfect peace’ – until my son Archie introduced me to the wonders of ‘Snapchat’!  He wanted me to do a little piece to camera about our experience of driving to the Mump!  What a giggle! I have come to the conclusion that I have the perfect face for distortion!  I did about three or four takes – and morphed into several ‘Muggle-Mump’ characters! Here they are intermingled with my own takes of magical Burrow Mump. I hope you enjoy them all! 

"The Swifts and Swallows are darting over Burrow Mump..."

“The Swifts and Swallows are darting over Burrow Mump…”

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Holy Holey! Detail on a gatepost to the ‘Mump’.

Burrow Mump from under the Willow...

Burrow Mump from under a Somerset Willow…

A fairy ring...

A fairy ring at the foot of the Mump…

Spider's web - doorway to a quieter world.

Spider’s web. Doorway to a quieter world beneath a magical Hawthorn…

Parallel Universe.  Just time and me standing still at Burrow Mump.

Parallel Universe.  Just Time and me standing still at Burrow Mump.

Slowly moving around the trees – around the Mump…

…back towards the car – and ‘home’.  Treasures gathered from around the Mump – including a funny old twisted lump of Ivy that I found lying in the wet grass…

Oh – and not forgetting my pilgrim’s staff which had to be left behind for reasons explained…

'Andersea Wheat'.  A sea of sparkling, waving wheat after the 'flood' - and rain - somewhere along the now empty road in the Somerset parish of Westonzoyland.   A perfect sounding place for a 'Muggle-Mump' to sign off until next time...

‘Andersea Wheat’.  A sea of sparkling, waving wheat after the ‘flood’ – and rain – somewhere along the now empty road in the Somerset parish of Westonzoyland.   A perfect sounding place for a ‘Muggle-Mump’ to zign off until next time…

A Muggle-Mump Mouse from Burrow Mump!

Souvenir of the day.  Not ‘just’ a funny old twisted lump of Ivy but a ‘Muggle-Mump Mouse’ from Burrow Mump!