The Forest in Autumn.

Autumn is upon us now and here in the Lakes, all around is phenomenal colour and light. At this time of year, trees are ablaze dressed in orange, gold and red, skies are often deep grey or indigo blue, bracken a polished bronze and arching rainbows come and go.

The leaves on the trees constantly catch one’s eye. They are breathtaking particularly when dancing in the breeze, lit by the low autumnal sun. 

So, I thought a few photos of autumn… would go perfectly with a poem about the ‘Forest’ by Carol Ann Duffy.



In fact, the trees are murmuring under your feet,
a buried empathy; you tread it.
High over your head,
the canopy sieves light; a conversation
you lip-read. The forest
keeps different time;
slow hours as long as your life,
so you feel human.

So you feel more human; persuaded what you are
by wordless breath of wood, reason in resin.
You might name them-
oak, ash, holly, beech, elm-
but the giants are silence alive, superior,
and now you are all instinct;
swinging the small lamp of your heart
as you venture their world:

the green, shadowy, garlic air
your ancestors breathed.
Ah, you thought love human
till you lost yourself in the forest,
but it is more strange.
These grave and patient saints
who pray and pray
and suffer your little embrace.
Carol Ann Duffy.


Rydal Bench 054
(Photo No. 2 Credit to Ross of Himanka, Finland)


Swimming Through The Twilight.

Out of a need for solitariness came the realisation, that nightfall on a lake is one of the most interesting and startling times of the day. Swimming at dusk is now my absolute favourite and is special during any season of the year. Early Autumn has arrived and changes are afoot!.

Continue reading “Swimming Through The Twilight.”

Mull – Marvellous – Mull

I have a secret wild camping place on the Hebridean Isle of Mull. It’s very close to the shores of Loch Na Keal. There my little tent and bike are always well hidden and I feel safe.

So, for my second wild sleep on Mull, I didn’t need to scour the passing fields or woods for a tent pitch. Being able to knowingly cycle to the perfect camping place, is a luxury.

There is however a wise saying; ‘Never assume anything’

Especially when travelling by bicycle!

Continue reading “Mull – Marvellous – Mull”

A Cycle Along ‘The Winter War’ Route.

DSCN9459”When Stalin says dance a wise man dances”

Perhaps some of you may know of the ‘Winter War?’ A shocking series of battles, that took place between Finland and Russia during the unspeakably cold winter of 1939 to 1940.

Continue reading “A Cycle Along ‘The Winter War’ Route.”

Meeting the East with Grace and Gratitude

Finnish hospitality appears to be boundless.

During last years cycle journey from the north of Finland to the south, I was the recipient of much goodwill and friendliness. (Finnish Hospitality, May 2018 Archives) This year’s cycling adventure through Finland met with even more gifts of generosity, from so many.

Continue reading “Meeting the East with Grace and Gratitude”