About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Friday, 19 March 2021

Stormy skies and sunsets and tadpoles

Only a week till the golfers return, so we've been walking mostly over the golf course, making the most of the magnificent old trees, whose company we'll miss when they're out of bounds again. 

Oh noooo, don't go! 

We did, however, go for a walk elsewhere, namely Splatts Abbey Wood, which is over the back of the local Asda and handy when you're doing a shop (though probably best not to buy ice cream if you're going there afterwards). Splatts Abbey Wood is a Place of My Childhood - more about that here

First, though, incredibly fiery shoots from the pollarded trees on the far side of the A4174 ... 

...which remind me of Sylvia Plath's poem, 'Elm': 

'I have suffered the strocity of sunsets.
Scorched to the root
My redfilaments burn and stand, a hand of wires.'

And who lives in a house like this? 

Even Splatts Abbey Wood, tiny and tucked away between the MOD complex and the Hewlett Packard campus, appears to have been visited rather more heavily than usual during lockdown, as the ground was pretty trampled. It will come into its own in a few weeks, when the bluebells come out, but for now there are the surprisingly tall trees to admire and a feeling of space that belies its dimensions. 

Up on the golf course, the weather's been mostly springlike, with lots of signs that winter is nearly over.

Willow coming into leaf

Pussy willow

Hawthorn coming into leaf



White dog violets

Early flowering cherry

The weather often plays a part in the enjoyment we get from our walks. The skies are endlessly changing, and one day we were up there with the sun breaking through heavy cloud. I don't think I've ever seen such curious, gorgeous light.

Other days it's been stormy and sunny at the same time ... 

... and there's also been a few days of mackerel cloud, which is one of my favourite sorts. 

The award for the birds most in evidence (visually) are the green woodpeckers, which have made several (fleeting) appearances, not that I've managed to take a single photo of them, the buggers. The award for the birds most in evidence (aurally) goes to the rooks and jackdaws, who are most vociferous on the subject of nests and where in the rookery to build them - although rather than interspecies punch-ups, they seem to fall out between themselves. 

Also, goldfinches. A charm of goldfinches in the lane. 

Also, a noticing of trees ... 

Poplar bark, embroidered and draped like fabric


Catching a patch of blue sky

... and the views from various parts of the ridge. Every time we look, I see more and more that is familiar but that I didn't spot sooner. 

Two former family homes and a photobombing ... jay? 

The new Severn bridge

The old Severn bridge

And sunsets! Even though currently we have to miss Pointless to see them.

And sunsets in the hollowing oak in the meadow. With a following wind, a whole spring-, summer- and autumn-ful to come.

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