On Sunday we went to Eden and this is what it looks like…


At least this is what the Eden biomes look like in December twilight, and courtesy of some dodgy photography. I think the effect suits it – this bold and inspirational project to wake us up to the knowledge of our total dependence on plant life. For one thing – without trees we couldn’t breathe very well. It’s interesting that we’ve become so divorced from natural-world-reality that we do not  instantly remember this, and from time to time (or even continuously) need it pointed out to us.

There’s more about the project in an earlier post: Making Eden: new patterns for living? And at the Eden Story you can see how a disused Cornish china clay pit was transformed into this world-famous educational visitor attraction that teaches us how to regenerate and nurture the Eden we have on earth. More power to their purpose.


White Horses All Of A Lather at Port Wrinkle


Talk about elemental energy. This morning the sea was in such a boil at Port Wrinkle that the beach was filled with spume. It was blowing across the rocks like thistle down, then settling in shivering masses – as if a prelude to some alien hatching. What it might turn into who can tell, but all that whipped up air filled us to the brim. We all but galloped up and down the beach. Yee-HAAA!




Three cheers for the brave RNLI crews


The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, “the charity that saves lives at sea” has rescued over 140,000 souls since 1824. On Christmas Day we saw the Looe team turn out for a practice run in stormy seas. Here they are being launched from the sea tractor. Hats off to them is all I can say. Oh yes, and a very big THANK YOU.



And safely back to base…




Have I mentioned pallet scrattling?


No. I thought not. It appears to be an inclination that comes upon men of a certain age, and especially those who possess wood burning stoves and sheds.  Suddenly their eyes are peeled, and whenever they’re  away from home, they’re on the look out for abandoned builders’ pallets. You know, those rough wood platforms that come with deliveries of bricks and tiles, engines and other heavy duty what-not that requires shunting round warehouses on fork-lift trucks.

In our house the fad started with Graham needing a work bench that would fit into the conservatory. This was quickly followed by the need for another bench that would also fit into the conservatory. Fortunately these wants coincided with a big delivery of technical equipment at work. Oh the joy: multiple pallets were suddenly free for the asking. It even determined the kind of car we owned – hatch-back naturally. At one stage there were so many pallets that Graham had to share some with Bob. Not an easy share I can tell you.

Also recycling pallet wood is not necessarily straightforward. This is where the ‘scrattling’ comes in, a word invented (I think) by my sister’s chap, the aforementioned Bob, who is an ardent pallet scrattler. You see there is an art to dismantling pallets  so as to extract the best and most serviceable timber. In fact it is really advisable to watch some You Tube videos for best practice before you start.

Of course I should not be snide about this most worthwhile of older-man pursuits, I whose allotment is the lucky recipient of pallet compost bins and several raised beds. Also at home this Christmas we have a festive pallet tree, and here it is in our sitting room…

Happy Festive Season Everyone

Gathering of Elephants


Early morning in the Maasai Mara. Our last Christmas in Kenya, and we’re out on a family safari with my sister and co. Daniel, our guide from Mara River Camp is both driving and game spotting. The rest of us are not awake yet. And so when we find ourselves among a large herd of elephants, it is hard to believe. A waking dream, then.

Daniel stops the truck. And the elephants move by us as if we’re not there. It must be a dream.

Even so, we are soon aware – first of their utter quietness, and then of an all embracing unity of purpose. These dozens of imposing creatures are acting with one mind, moving as an elephant entity through the thorn trees.

We drive on a little way to an upland vantage point from where we can see across the valley. Daniel announces that this a good place to have our picnic breakfast. He says it’s all right to get out of the truck. I wonder at the strangeness of standing out in the African bush at Christmas, eating hard boiled eggs and croissants as elephants pass us by.




Turn of the year in my garden ~ Bench Series 50



This month Jude at Travel Words is giving us a free hand with our seating arrangements. Please hop over to her place at Bench Series #50 to take part in the challenge and to sample other bloggers’ seats of fancy.  My entry, I confess, is rather off-beam bench-wise, but it summons a sense of its place in my garden scheme of things. The bench itself is not very exciting to look at in real life, but it is a good place to sit. From it you can look out on our bit of guerrilla gardening behind the boundary fence, at the the field and the footpath beyond, and thence up at the big sky over Wenlock Edge. Back in the summer, as I came up the path from the allotment, I would  often find Graham sitting there, waiting to see what I was bringing home for supper. So yes. A good place to simply be.

copyright 2015 Tish Farrell