Monday, 21 January 2019


I was awake at 'stupid o'clock' this morning, snatched the camera and snapped away on various settings. They are by no means perfect, but here is a selection of my results. I was SO lucky to see it at all! The conditions were almost perfect: clear, cold skies; brilliant stars and hanging - strangely at odds with its companions, - this extraordinary rust-coloured globe.

I photographed what I could see for about one hour, and the last one was taken through the closed window as I was feeling the chill, hence the 'echo' effect. The sky was also beginning to mist over with streaks of cloud.

If you didn't manage to see this marvellous event, I hope you will enjoy my brief glimpses.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019


We took a different route to visit my brother earlier in the week, and it's one I love because it passes Brentor. Even in January the little church perched on the tor looks solid and reassuring, especially through the skeletal patterns created by the bare and lovely trees below. Brentor plays a cameo part in my writing, on a much more inclement day than this, and here is a little teaser: 

‘Earlier she had pulled up the hood of her coat, but rain was now dripping down off it on to her face and when she looked at Titus he was soaked, his hair plastered on to his scalp and his eyes screwed up against the newly-awakened wind. The fog was beginning to clear, but sheets of rain were creating a similar obscurity.
The mound of grass and granite rose up quite steeply, the walls of the church high above and beyond them disappearing into the grey mist. Without speaking they concentrated on their footsteps, walking and occasionally scrambling their way up the climbing path which wound around and back on itself. Eventually they stepped through an iron gateway into the churchyard area which surrounded the building. They staggered across to the church door, which was where fate held another little trick in store for them: the huge old wooden door, built to withstand centuries of exposure to the elements, was locked.’ Extract from ‘Stopping Time’ by P R Ford ©2018

The photo above shows a darker view from last March, as we returned from Okehampton in late afternoon. The church is recognisable from miles away.

Finally, a view of the moor beyond Brentor looking East. The glimpse of blue sky did not last, unfortunately, and our return journey saw a far gloomier Dartmoor. Wherever you are, enjoy your day!

Sunday, 13 January 2019


My garden in January changes from day to day. There are almost monochrome mornings, blanketed in gloom, and then there are brief bursts of low sun which change everything. Here are some glimpses of colour to brighten your day:

The succulents are overwintering in the greenhouse, as are the gorgeous multicoloured pelargonium and the little viola. Outside the 'mop' heads of hydrangeas have dried to crisp Winter displays, still holding their own against the weather. I will cut them down once Spring arrives and the new shoots are safe from frost.

The sight of primroses is always heartwarming, and these have suddenly appeared - I'd forgotten they were tucked into this corner by the steps. 


My Hebe is still flowering despite some very cold nights, and its pretty pink colour shines out from the faded green leaves. The few roses I did not dead-head have rewarded both me and the birds with fat, juicy hips which glow in the sunlight. Finally, a surprise in the hanging baskets which I planted up very quickly in the Autumn for some colour - these plants are still flowering!

On the Home Front, I'm waiting for an examination of my 'new' eye this week, when I hope to hear how much longer I will have to wait for the second cataract operation. Meanwhile, I muddle on! I hope the photos will bring you some pleasure.