Country Diary


IMG_3360Sometimes when I read back over the posts I’ve written and as I look out over the fields it feels like I am in the middle of a Guardian Country Diary post, my day to day chalet life seems to be fixated on the comings and goings of rural life. This month the house sparrows have suddenly been chirping away…they nest in the overhang of our roof and do so every year. They flit between the nest and our neighbour’s bird feeder and have lookouts on every available post. So as soon as I go into the garden a sparrow always appears on the fence, sometimes on the neighbour’s fence and always on the apex of the chalet roof; there they have vantage points to spy for various predators. When our cat ambles onto the deck outside, full of cat food, the sparrows chirping increases tenfold, but they are unaware that the cat, as much as he enjoys watching them coming and going, can’t be bothered to attempt anything that amounts to stalking and pouncing because that would require effort!!!

Mad friend came over for a dog walk and as we headed down the cliff we spied masses of Lackey moth caterpillar webs on the Blackthorn – lots of tiny webs, not the huge blanket like ones that have been shared online.


I have to say the blackthorn was pretty spectacular this Spring, here it is, below, on one of the paths down to the beach where we stop at a bench and look over to check the state of the tides.


The cliff paths are really changing now, the wild honeysuckle is starting to flower, which will scent the way down in the next coming weeks and the mint that was planted by a chalet owner beside the path has spread over a whole area and we’ve already had some amazing pots of mint tea from it.

Cabin Envy Old Settlers Hut

Since the weather got warmer there’s been a lot of DIY going on and rebuilds on the cliff and as much as I appreciate people re-building or adding on and generally trying to create a more modern way of living within a cabin, I always love seeing images of the more shabby chic ones or ones that have just been left alone. This image by Elise Hassey for Australian Traveller  is of an old settlers hut in Australia and I know it wouldn’t work in our climate with all the rain on the corrugated roof but there’s something rather wonderful about not having the mod cons and living a more ‘natural’ existence. It always makes me smile when folk who hire out their chalets tell me that when people book onto the cliff they tend to be looking for bedrooms that have that boutique hotel vibe. You know the ones, with the crispest white sheets and the fluffiest of white towels and maybe a bottle of something sparkling waiting on the mega tog duvet, with the French windows open to reveal a sea of the bluest blue beyond a hot tub to drink the said sparkling wine in…  and I think why don’t they just go to a boutique hotel and leave these chalets to be what they are…one of the most basic and therefore one of the most eco friendly ways to live.

Australian traveller Old Settlers hut photo by Elise Hassey

Hope you are all having a great Bank Holiday weekend or Half term, or even if it was a weekend, whatever you are having  – have a good one!

About Ruth

I am an actor and theatre maker, I moved down to the SW of England 20 years ago with my partner and son. Nine years ago we bought a chalet on the Rame Peninsula and are fully embracing life of the cliff.
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