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Spring is here and so am I

It’s felt like a busy few weeks. We had two weekends in a row of visitors – first, my stepmother and brothers and then, some old friends from university. Aside from the fact that it was lovely to spend time with family and friends, I also enjoyed showing off my new city. Acting as a …

The magic of the morning

I’ve been helping out at an environmental organisation in Tilburg for two days a week, which means getting up very early in order to catch the train. The journey takes about an hour and a half, which gives you a sense of how small this country is, since Tilburg is right down in the south, …

Ways of Looking at Winter: A Walk in the Snow

We shall go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure… — Henry David Thoreau In the spirit of undying adventure we set off into a beautiful day. It snowed yesterday and was overcast all day, but today the sky is brilliant blue  and dotted with the suggestions of clouds. The …

Ways of Looking at Winter: Solstice

This might be our last day on earth and it is raining as though the clouds believe it. We spend most of the morning and the afternoon sitting around reading and watching the wind and rain outside. Then just as suddenly, it’s gone, the sky starts to clear and we decide to make the most …

Wistman’s Wood

In January of this year I spent a few days staying with my friend Tim Halpin and his girlfriend in Devon and whilst I was there we made a trip to Dartmoor to visit Wistman’s Wood, an ancient woodland of stunted dwarf oaks. It was my first ever visit to Dartmoor and the weather was …

The first and last: Land’s End

I had been told not to bother visiting Land’s End, that I would just be disappointed, but it was on my list of things to see in Cornwall and I was determined to go. Something about the name drew me in, the end of the land sounded like the sort of place a writer should …

Budock Creek

Here’s one from the archives. I submitted this piece as part of my MA course and its probably the piece I was happiest with and still enjoy reading. It also makes me feel incredibly homesick for Penryn. I’ve added some pictures for visual interest. * 8:20  It’s my first morning in Penryn and I’m awoken …

The Roches

I think one of the reasons that I developed a love of nature and nature writing is that I was fortune enough, despite growing up in the city, to have spent a lot of time as a child in the countryside. And in particular, as a family – at least in my memory, it was …

Here In The City

A couple of days ago I was sat on the top deck of the bus going in to Manchester city centre. It’s the same bus I’ve been catching twice a week for the last few months. Most of the time I read on the bus, but occasionally I just like to look out of the window at …

A Sense of Place: Portmerion

My summer holiday this year was four days at the caravan in North Wales, just outside Machynlleth. It’s a place I’ve been going to for a very long time, so driving down the overgrown single car track and seeing the view of green hills opening out felt like putting on an old jumper that’s been …