mirror calm



Over the last few sunny days the sea has had such a calm quality about it, not a ripple or wave just the shimmer of sun, which gives the surface a lustre like a mirror.

Author Robert Macfarlane, [The Old Ways, Landmarks ] who posts ‘words of the day’ on his Twitter account tweeted that this mirror like quality is called  ‘rema’ – “of the surface of the sea; mirror-calm, smooth as cream” [smooth as cream comes from the Scots word ‘reyme’ meaning ‘cream’]. Cream also comes from the Icelandic ‘rjómalogn’ meaning ‘cream-calm’.

The replies under the tweet show other words from around the world to describe the same quality, ‘rimpelloos’ – literally ‘without wrinkles’ by @ElizabethK is from Holland; other descriptions describe the sea as oil…or cod liver oil.

I think I prefer cream over oil though.




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A walk to the pub



Yesterday was a busy day in England so we decided to head away from the pomp and circumstance and wander out for a walk, not far just a couple of miles, if that. We were heading for St John, a small village with a lovely pub and yesterday, to mark that someone was getting married they were having a beer festival. We had hoped to cut across the fields but every neighbour we spoke to remembered a route but couldn’t describe it to us, lots of  ‘I think you go alongside…’ or ‘you may have to battle with hedges at this point’ so we decided to stick to the back lanes. It seemed right to walk if there were beers to be tasted and it only took us half an hour even with stops at the entrance to fields trying to work out for ourselves how we could cut across. One stop was in a shady part of the road and we peered through the trees to the village beyond, it looked pretty sleepy.


We arrived just after lunchtime and as the festival was going on all day people were pacing themselves, as well as the beers on tap in the pub [guest beers change on a weekly basis] there was a large marquee in the garden with another 6 guest beers to be had. The village hall had the bunting up and tables laid out with a screen relaying wedding reports and football matches to the people eating their cream teas. Two hours later we set off back through the village and just as we were reaching the point where we were going to head off road to see where a footpath would lead us, our neighbour appeared alongside us in their car and we were taxied home.



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Baguette boxes


IMG_1721.JPGWe have a post box here at the chalet rather than the traditional English letterbox in the front door. Our postbox is attached to the outside fence of the garden and when the postman comes reversing down the lane to our chalet he stops, opens his window, lifts up the lid of the postbox through the open van window and puts in the letters.

A few days ago our friend in Hawaii sent through a link saying she thought we would like this article called The Bygone Baguette Mailboxes of French Polynesia.

What a great idea; because of French colonialism the French Polonesian islands used to have bread boxes that resembled American style mail boxes to get their daily french loaf. The idea that you would put your money in the night before and the grocer would deliver the bread the next day is so fab. When we lived in town we used to get our milk delivered, and there was an effort to deliver more than milk to your door but the bread that the milkman has is nothing like these baguettes. I also love this quote ‘Jean-Louis Delezenne, who previously lived on Moorea, says that he used to go out to his mailbox and pick up his baguette and coconut croissant daily—which was delivered rain or shine.’  I want a coconut croissant, not sure what it would be like, maybe an almond croissant, but boy it sounds good. Anyone got any ideas?



Why do all the good ideas die out, only to come around again when we realise that it was far better to do it the way it was originally done. It is such a shame that something like this is disappearing, as they say in the article “People are now always in a hurry!”

I checked out the island of Moorea, the island mentioned above, where Delezenne lived and I found another article that says it is the most beautiful island in the world. Scrolling down the photographs they are not wrong and there’s a definite cabin envy here. I mean what’s not to like.


Calle Montes via Getty Images


Marzo Photography via Getty Images

Maybe I will ask our postman if he could post a couple of loaves in the box while he’s at it, or better still ask the bakers in the local village if they can deliver.

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Morning Coffee


A very busy fortnight has just passed with our ‘production week’ for The Cause at Dartington and opening the tour in Cornwall. Our first performances were in a brand new theatre inside a brand new school, Callywith College, on the outskirts of Bodmin. It’s always difficult to raise an audience in a place where you aren’t a regular fixture but add to that a new venue and one not within walking distance of anywhere. The three shows we performed in Bodmin were facilitated by a new arts organisation called IntoBodmin which helped to attract a really nice audience, a mixture of locals, school students and women’s groups [interested in the subject of the suffrage movement]. Once the first performances were up I had the luxury of a morning off so I nipped along to the Cliff Top Cafe for a morning coffee. It was a glorious day weather wise and him indoors captured this image above from inside the cafe, you can just make out the words Cliff Top on the homemade bunting.

That bench looks very inviting don’t you think, here is the view you would see from it…


As most of the tour is in the south west of England and my start time is in the afternoon I am hoping for some more trips for morning coffee.


To find the Cliff Top Cafe, just head along Military Road on the Rame Peninsula and look for this [new] sign opposite the Whitsand Bay Holiday Park at Treganhawk.

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we have an old garage at the end of our drive, we’ve always used it to store ‘stuff’ but over the years its become leakier and leakier and we’ve had to throw some of the ‘stuff’ away as it got damp and mouldy. It was clad with nice weathered timber but that was also getting rotten. We decided enough was enough; partly because as the garage was getting scruffy, we were just shoving ‘stuff’ into it that really should have gone to the council tip, but we couldn’t be bothered to pack the car and drive for thirty minutes to rid ourselves of it. I think it comes from both having mothers who were/are hoarders, that generation who lived through the war and didn’t throw anything away. A little bit of that has rubbed off on us. Well we got a chap in to make the garage watertight so that we could put things in there that we didn’t want to ruin, he re clad it and we painted it black to match the outside of the chalet.

Ta da…


Yes there are windows, they were there all the time hiding behind the weather boards but they were old and broken so we got some new ones!! Ben’s driftwood bench is still there, in the perfect spot for a morning coffee, and now we can sit there in the evenings with a fire, toasty! Couple of broken logs to replace in front and one day I will get rid of the circular stepping stones but one thing at a time.


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Spring has sprung


About ten days ago the sheep returned to the field, around 50 pregnant ewes arrived and over the course of a week the lambs started to appear until by Friday I returned home in the evening to a constant sound of bleeting. We stood and watched them as, attempting to walk, they literally jumped off the ground as they found their feet.

To gambol = to run or jump about playfully

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Cabin Envy garden studio


Photograph by Wai Ming Ng.

Fancy this at the bottom of your garden? this is a writers studio at the bottom of his London garden but don’t you just love it.

At night the interior light glows through the cedar wood slates that make up the front facade. By day it looks like this



Photography by Wai Ming Ng.

Studio designed and built by Weston, Surman & Deane:

See more photos here

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