Morning on Mottistone

Mottistone Downs photo collage

Holidays are always more exciting when they start with a crazy-early wakeup call. So, even though we weren’t headed for an early airport checkin, or even a ferry ride, we still opted to start our holiday early, with a sunrise trip to the top of the Downs.

At the top of the windy climb, we hunkered down amidst grey skies and watched the land beneath us change colours. It didn’t seem gradual; one moment it was windy and grey, the next the fields were golden and the sky was full of birdsong, a fiery sunrise burning thorough the leafy edges of the forest behind us. I was startled and delighted by the sea change.

The other glorious advantage to an early holiday start is that it demands a gentle pace for the rest of the day. You officially have to take it easy if you’ve got up at 4am. So, we’re settling in to an easy pattern of quiet days with no plans bigger than eating, walking and napping (yes, lots of napping.) Holidays are tough.

1 Day 12 Pics: June

Thunder, bonsai, books and coffee photo collage

You’d never usually catch me doing so much snapping on a typical Saturday. But Emma and Michelle’s challenge had me pulling out my phone every hour to catch bit of what Tom and I were up to.

We woke up to an incredible thunderstorm- rain hammering down and clouds rumbling; an appropriate setting for the moment we discovered we were out of coffee…

Tom ran through the rain and I met him at Olivo’s for breakfast.  Seriously good food: scrambled duck egg, black pudding and apple fritters, and ciabatta toast.  There was plenty of coffee.

1 Day 4 Pics photo collage

Back home, I finally started tackling the big pile of books in the loft.  You might have noticed on Pinterest that I’ve been having lofty dreams for a while. This is just the beginning of a big job. I’ve taken a ‘before’ picture in the optimistic anticipation of sharing an ‘after’ before too long.

The sun came out and I spent the afternoon gardening and running errands.  I love an excuse to take the chain ferry, and picking up goodies for a picnic seems as good an excuse as any.

Hand, boat, buttercup and sunset photo collage

We spent the last hours of the day exploring the forest and waterways of Newtown.  We found a path we’d never explored, leading to a tiny bird hide perched out on the water of Clamerkin Lake.  There are still so many places on this Island that I’ve yet to find.

I loved this photography challenge. It made me really aware of every hour in the typical kind of day that can fly by in a blur. It had me noticing more moments, and look for the beauty in them. I hope you’ll join in for July!

Making the Most of a Sunny Day

I’m embracing the little slice of early summer we’ve had; too sunny to be in front of a screen, or to sew the bunting I’ve promised a friend. We were outside for every minute of last weekend’s glorious weather.

Inspired by Xanthe’s recent talk at Blogtacular, I even made a little clip. (It’s my first attempt- you got to start somewhere right?!) But next weekend I really will sew that bunting come sunshine or showers..

Every Blade of Grass

Bluebells amongst the trees

When I told a friend that I’d be spending another sunny weekend exploring the Isle of Wight she replied ‘You must know every blade of grass on that island’. Far from it! The longer I live here, the more hidden corners I discover. Whilst it’s only 28 miles across, there’s still so much yet to explore.

Rusty sitting next to a tree

Even familiar spots feel new as the seasons change. The brilliant mustard yellow is already fading from the fields, and the wild garlic doesn’t hit your nose like it did a week ago. The bluebells are still out in Borthwood Copse, and I soared above them on the rope swing to my dizzy heart’s content.

Tom up a tree and Borthwood Copse photo collage

This recent read discussed how children are taught about icebergs and rain forests, without ever knowing the name of their local wildflowers. We risk making conservation a too-big-to-tackle problem when really it can begin with a bug hotel in your back garden.

We have a book of Isle of Wight wild flowers, full of beautiful drawings. I’d like to be able name a few more, and avoid future heated hawthorn v cow parsley debates (don’t ask!) Then perhaps I’d be a little closer to knowing every blade of grass.

Rusty sitting on a fence

Chasing Light

Wroxall landscape view

On short winter days the sun slips away so quickly it’s easy to miss. Even heading out as early as three o’clock felt late, as the sun was already hiding behind the hills. We started on the slippery mud path by the old stone wall but soon lost the track, chasing the light on the west side of the hill. We ran ridges of sheep trails, steeply lined above and below us, before circling around to find the West Wight filled with late light.

View to Tennyson

We were the perfect kind of lost. Standing on unfamiliar ground in the middle of familiar landmarks: Tennyson Down to the West, Culver Cliff to the East. Quiet cold air filled our ears and distant car lights picked out country lanes below. Sometimes being short on daylight just adds to the magic.

Pepperpot at sundown, Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight landscape at sunset