Comfrey & Coggeshall Grange Barn

The plan was to take a circular walk from Kelvedon to Coggeshall and back again via Feering through gentle Essex farming countryside. That was the promise of the guidebook, Walks In The Country Near London, but it had slept on our bookshelf since 2003 and it needed waking up. Or perhaps it’s fairer to say we needed waking up, because it seemed like we stumbled and fell at the first hurdle. Continue reading “Comfrey & Coggeshall Grange Barn”

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Fonte Ciane

Two days on the island was playing tricks with my head. Maybe it was the heat. But for our first outing we escaped the endless tourist stroll around the streets of Ortigia and headed for Fonte Ciane, and the promise of a gentle walk upstream along the banks of the river to its source. No more aimless wandering, now we had a goal, what could be more simple? The directions were straightforward, it was listed in all the guidebooks, we crossed over to the mainland and followed the signs. Continue reading “Fonte Ciane”

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Waterlog

Waterlog is a short documentary which tells the story of writer Joe Minihane and his battle with anxiety. Finding an antidote in the form of wild swimming Joe sets out to retrace the route of environmentalist Roger Deakin’s nature writing classic, Waterlog. In a journey that takes him to every corner of the UK he eventually finds relief, not just in the cold waters he swims in, but by being open and honest about his mental health.

Thanks to Robert Macfarlane for the recommendation. More here at Waterlog Reswum.

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Take Me To The River

Further downstream is a weir and rocky lagoons also some icy cold fresh water streams fed by underground sources

A few pictures stolen from Christopher Corr’s Instagram, pleasant reminders of the long hot summer of 2018 when the only place to keep cool was in the river. Continue reading “Take Me To The River”

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Passeggiata In Ortigia

passeggiata /ˌpasɛˈdʒɑːtə/ noun (especially in Italy or Italian-speaking areas) a leisurely walk or stroll, especially one taken in the evening for the purpose of socializing.”

Ortigia is a small island, just under 1km square, attached to the Sicilian city of Syracuse by three road bridges. “It forms the charming old town, best explored on foot and certainly the most pleasant place to stay in the city.” We were there for two weeks this summer and during our stay we discovered many circuitous routes as we strolled around its maze of ancient streets and alleyways. Continue reading “Passeggiata In Ortigia”

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On The Beach

Every morning at breakfast, we watched from our terrace on top of the hill, as planes took off from
the parachute school down below and climbed up into the sky to expel their students high above the breaking waves of Laurosu Beach. So one morning, after breakfast, we came down for a closer look. Continue reading “On The Beach”

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Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey From City To Sea

An imaginary journey swimming from city to sea, inspired by Roger Deakin’s wonderful wild swimming book, Waterlog. If you haven’t read it, I would urge you to buy a copy here. The text to the film is all quoted from Waterlog:

“A swimming journey would give me access to that part of our world which, like darkness, mist, woods or high mountains, still retains most mystery. It would afford me a different perspective on the rest of landlocked humanity.”

This was filmed, on one glorious, hot June day, at six different locations heading south from London down to the sea, which lies just an hour from the city on the train.

Alastair Humphreys, August 2017

Please also see the earlier blogpost – For Roger Deakin.

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Six From Anne Davies

We just hung six new paintings by Anne Davies, though since we had one of them already, strictly speaking I suppose only five are new. But it’s a new sextet. Here’s what Anne said about them –

I spent time walking the Bermondsey Wall to Rotherhithe and then, on the other side, Wapping, Shadwell and Limehouse. Canary Wharf was less inspiring but still interesting in a different way! I was also inspired by the lovely Ewan MacColl song ‘Sweet Thames Flow Softly’. I don’t know if you know it but it tells the tale of two people falling in love along the banks of the river, and then one of them thinks better of it in the end. I recommend the Rufus and Martha Wainwright version! Continue reading “Six From Anne Davies”

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Roselle & Saturnia

Heading south on the road from Siena to Grosseto last year, Sue snapped this photograph from our car as we sat in traffic, waiting to join the cypress avenue queuing in line above us on the horizon. The trees were lying in wait, ready to ambush us at the next junction. A crest of spikes. But with a gentle zigzagging we joined together like the interlocking teeth of a zip fastener and cruised in harmony down to the ancient site of Roselle. Continue reading “Roselle & Saturnia”

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Six From David Wiseman

David Wiseman brought us some new work, more tales of the riverbank, rich with the tangled delights of branches and lights, the sparkle-dance of leaves and water, ripples and shadows like liquid music. Look out for David’s paintings in the forthcoming Arborealists exhibition at the Nature in Art Gallery, Twigworth, Gloucestershire and then later in the year at Poitiers in France. Continue reading “Six From David Wiseman”

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