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January sights and sounds

#31
My favourite top can vary according to where I am in any exact moment, but I always ultimately settle on Little Stand, a barely-known little patch of heaven (Wainwright didn't even bother to classify it, but then he was a miserable git) with perfect views across the boggy moat of High Eskdale to the Sca Fells. And there is never anyone there!

Pan pipes, though? Now that is weird. The closest I can offer is the experience of a friend of mine, a keen fell-runner. He was once humping up Heron Pike in deep fog when two people opened up a gentle conversation right in his ear. Though he was sweating and gasping, these voices effortlessly kept pace with him without the slightest indication of any exertion of their part. He'd just convinced himself that ghosts exist when he broke the fog bank to find, five feet above his head, the basket of a hot air balloon and its two passengers, that had been tracking alongside him all that time...
 

Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

Venerated Member
Founding Member
#32
Hahahhaaa...stalkers! Good job he didn't need a wee...or maybe he did.

It was....the HUMMADRUZ. Or else someone was just playing the pan pipes, and the sound was trapped and travelled in strange ways. If it was not Pan himself, that is. I would not like to meet Pan. Especially not if I had disturbed his afternoon siesta. He killed two hikers once, in the Lairig Gru, don't you know, or some such story goes. Two young men found unaccountably dead of heart attacks. 1932?
 
#33
Hahahhaaa...stalkers! Good job he didn't need a wee...or maybe he did.

It was....the HUMMADRUZ. Or else someone was just playing the pan pipes, and the sound was trapped and travelled in strange ways. If it was not Pan himself, that is. I would not like to meet Pan. Especially not if I had disturbed his afternoon siesta. He killed two hikers once, in the Lairig Gru, don't you know, or some such story goes. Two young men found unaccountably dead of heart attacks. 1932?
Oooh, well I'm currently in the midst of a ghost story writing frenzy, so that might just be material for me. Thanks, I'll look it up!
 

Robinne Weiss

Venerated Member
#34
Loonies? I'm definitely one of them. Definitely. Yes, we do have a rather bigger pop per square mile = more loonies. Plus the odd sprite, but St George killed the dragon. The swine.
Ha! Yes, we do have loonies. Mostly harmless ones--there's space here to express one's lunacy without harming others. Our property, a wee 0.6 hectares amidst farms measured in the hundreds of hectares, is known locally as the Funny Farm for the succession of weirdos who've lived here. Probably most notable was the pair of brothers who lived here about 60 years ago--they both made moonshine, but didn't want their brother stealing their stuff, so they hid bottles of it all around the property. We're still finding those bottles, tucked under calf sheds, behind buildings, inside walls (lids rusted off, contents gone).

We try hard to live up to the property's reputation.
 

MaryA

Respected Member
#35
Weird and wonderful places! Took a few hours off editing deadlines and went off with a friend for lunch at an old wine estate high in the Cape fold mountains. The owners are Californian and the restaurant Mexican. Far from the touristy crowds, off the beaten track, a secluded terraced setting among olive trees, willows, tamarinds: a dam just below us shimmering in the heat haze. It was so unexpected. Fence-post cacti, barrel cacti, aloes, prickly pears all in terracotta and clay pots, views up to the mountain peaks. Plenty of shade but no respite from the heat. A real desert experience on top of a mountain.

Friendly (bored?) staff rushed out and I ordered bodecitas, small plates of ensaladas and guacamole, jugs of iced water. They pounded the guacamole and a chickpea paste in basalt molcajetes at the table, brought pyramids of tacos, tortillas, corn wraps. Chicken flautas, pulled pork taquitos, chipotle meatballs. Did we want mole or roasted lamb? The ice was melting in the jugs. They had speciality Japanese beers imported from Tokyo. Tequila on the house! Mezcal and extra ice? Some prawn ceviche would cool us down, plenty of lime and their own homegrown chillies.

As we fled, we rounded a corner and saw some German and American tourists sitting out in the blazing sun, scarlet-faced and stupefied in front of platters of carne asado faitas on smoking skewers. The food costs next to nothing and anyone who can eat it at 44C or 120 F is welcome.
 

Paul Whybrow

Venerated Member
#38
Spring happens earlier in Cornwall, arriving nearly a month sooner than the rest of the country. This week, I saw my first snowdrops of 2018, and was reminded of a poem that I was made to memorise by my mother, as a party piece to recite to elderly relatives.



"It's rather dark in the world today. "
Said one little bulb to his brother,
"But I thought I heard a sunbeam say,
We must strive and grow till we find the way."
And they nestled close to each other.

They they struggled and toiled by day and by night,
Till two little snowdrops in green and white
Rose out of the darkness and into the light
And softly kissed one another.

Anonymous
 

Quillwitch

Venerated Member
#41
January, last of the Christmas parties, the Wise Men have now come and gone. Outside, the days seem to be getting longer. Dusk is slowly shifting. Getting up from bed is still a challenge, my blanket is warm as opposed to the cold, dark morning that awaits.
Later, the day can´t decide if it wants to be warm or cold, but the afternoons offer beautiful weather for a walk in the park. The sky is a perfect shade of blue and the clouds overhead look like pristine cotton balls, unmoving.
The trees are teeming with birds, small blackbirds that move in unison like insects across the sky, before diving into their communal nest. Meanwhile, parrots chatter noisily above, waiting for the day to die.
January is the time where people in my country scramble to make ends meet, money is tight, but spirits are high in hopeful expectation. It´s time to begin those resolutions! Life slowly begins to get back on track.
 
#43
Geese are passing overhead. Canada or the Grey-lags? Canada geese visit the pond outside. I'm see them from my north- facing study window, honking their heads off on their way south to the nightly roosting grounds at Marton Mere (I think)

And the

Starlings

Coding twilight
Ink-Mark
Stamping
Calligraphic
Wing-beat
Sacred Prose
In sonic flight

KEH

Murmuration
I set my market stand up on the street every Saturday morning. The arc of Christmas light illuminates my little patch of road. At seven thirty the council has decreed that the lights go off and I am plunged back into boring natural half-light. But for two Saturdays in a row, the sudden gloom has been accompanied by the tttttttttttttttrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr of a million wings. The starlings wheel above me, almost low enough to touch, and thrill me with their imitation clouds.