The plan had been to build a natural swimming pool, but we quickly realised that we didn’t have enough space, or the funds to build one, so settled on the idea of a pond that we can sit in.
Luckily, the only available spot for it happened to be the most naturally placed, and easiest to construct on, a mini-cutting running away from the house. This meant that we could get away with building retaining walls for the water, rather than having to dig down into very rocky ground.
All of sudden, the sky fills with huge, drifting flakes. Grab the camera, open the kitchen window, see if the pixels can capture any of the soft whiteness wafting in the breeze …
I pour a second beer and sit back in the easy camping chair. The scrawled label says 6.5%. The rapid mellowing, soporific effect suggests that it has developed greater potency in the bottle since being brewed 18 months ago at our previous home in Cornwall.
The sun disappeared behind the trees an hour or so ago. I gaze up at the uncountable pinpricks of light slowly emerging from the increasing darkness. A double flashing light emerges from behind the roofline of the house. After a noticeable delay, the dissipated jet roar follows from the same location. The cocooned passengers make their way leisurely across the night sky.
There are several aspects of humankind’s activity that contribute towards defining the feel of an area, a region.
Architecture is one of the most obvious. It is a particular kind of joy to witness the shifts in building styles that are influenced and dictated by the changes in materials available, and local customs and quirks that have manifested themselves over generations.
As well as these obvious elements, there are many other subtleties that take time to filter through to one’s conscious appreciation.
Fence posts, for example.
We had a few basic requirements when searching for a new home. On my list, towards the top, were (A) the possibility of leaving a decent-sized meadow area to grow wild, and (B) an interesting hedge. I’m fairly low maintenance.
One of the great things about living in a climate that enjoys distinct seasons is how the changes affect the look of the surrounding landscape. Sometimes the changes are so dramatic, and take place over such a short period of time, that it feels like you have awoken to an entirely new environment.
The vibrant purple violet spot rising above the trees at the head of the valley, and the distant rumble from beyond the horizon, indicate that violence is approaching.
The flat, deep colour spreads slowly across the sky, and the detail in the more frequent rumbles pushes purposefully through.
A bright flickering, like the charging of a neon strip light, comes from behind the trees across the meadow.
Crickets chirp, unaware, or unconcerned. Dozens of swallows take their last feed in dazzling intertwining circles, then head elsewhere. The long grass waves lazily in the cool breeze.