Walking in the World

Monthly Archives: April 2015

It’s My Day


Today is World Stationery Day – the holiday with my name on it!


For me, happiness has always been a new pen, a notebook, some glue, inks, paperclips, or what have you. If it is sold in a stationery store, I’m almost guaranteed to love it. I celebrated by making a pilgrimage to my local stationery/art shop with a favourite enabler friend. I stop in there whenever I need a fix, and never come out empty-handed.


I only bought a few little treats today, but I’m happy to say that my stash is increasing, and on the first of May I’ll be launching a new art journal designed to travel with me through Sweden and Scotland in coming months. It’s part of the Notebook Project which is growing on my desk and in my psyche at the moment. I’ll be sharing details with my WriterlySoul Facebook group if anyone wants to watch it evolve.


And didn’t I say that today is my day? Look what showed up at Bodkins this evening – amazing red velvet belated-birthday cupcakes, gluten-free and lovingly baked, served with old vine French wine and a whole lot of love! I really am enjoying the best – and longest – birthday ever!


Happy Stationery Day, everyone! Go treat yourself to a new pen and some nice paper and Get Writing!


29 Apr 2015

Sedge in the Woods


With May nearly upon us, we are enjoying our sport of nosing around gardens and woodlands in search of the local flora and fauna. While many of the flowers we find are beautiful and showy, some are just downright strange – but still beautiful in their own right. We found these pendulous sedge flowers (Carex pendula) growing along the path leading through an ancient woodland. It looks like a wily old bird sticking its neck up out of the grass, doesn’t it? Quite the personality!

Graminoids are the flowering grasses, rushes, and sedges that are found across the British Isles, and are frequently indicators of ancient woodlands. They have small or no petals because they are wind-pollinated, so don’t need to attract insects for pollination. The Woodland Trust gives this easy way to tell graminoids (sedges, rushes, and grasses) apart. Sedges have edges, rushes are round and grasses are hollow right up from the ground.

28 Apr 2015

Farewell to a Friend


We said goodbye to a close friend’s father this morning, and my heart is feeling soft and open… that happens when I am invited by design or circumstance to stand close by at times of birth and death. Funerals here in England are different from the ones I remember attending in California, but the intensity and respect are the same. Over here, there is a formality to the farewell that feels right and fitting, along with a loose adherence to rituals that I find both comforting and provocative. As mourners we are disconcerted by our unfamiliar funeral clothes and uncomfortable emotions; inwardly we are touching the edges of our own mortality. Our personal memories fly into a wider sky as we collectively release the body and celebrate the life that has ended.

Thank you, Danny, for touching my life!

27 Apr 2015



Today was a puttering sort of Sunday. Gentle rain has been falling, the air is full of birdsong, and the world smells damp and earthy. I spent most of the day reading and working on little jobs here at home, and didn’t really feel like taking myself out for a major walk. Instead I simply wandered around our garden with my camera to see the wonderful mix of raindrops and new growth. This Hypericum is shooting up into the hedge alongside our drive and is already beginning to set flowers. After today’s rain, my world will be all the greener tomorrow.

26 Apr 2015

Bold Optimism


To be honest, this photo is a bit misleading in that it looks like spring is struggling to arrive, when in actuality the wildflowers are blooming madly and wildly in both the woods and our gardens, and trees are bursting into both leaf and blossom. Nevertheless, this brave little chestnut seedling caught my eye and captured my heart with its bold optimism.

It is not in a good location, and it is undoubtedly going to get trampled long before it grows into its tree-potential, but it doesn’t seem to care; it is simply pushing forward towards its destiny. Far be it from me to be the one to tell it that it isn’t ever going to be a tree!



25 Apr 2015

Floral Carpet

West Wood

My buddy and I headed out into West Wood to see the wildflowers today..


The wood anemones (Anemone nemorosa) are in their seasonal prime this week, carpeting large swathes of the forest floor.


The trees are leafing out at last, and the woods are looking quite different than on our last visit just over a month ago; what a delight to see things through the eyes of a two-year-old tree hugger!


24 Apr 2015

Goodbye Winter Boots


I am so ready to kick off my winter boots, but it’s definitely not quite sandal season yet. I found these gorgeous walking shoes in a charity shop in Glastonbury when we were there a few weeks ago — nearly new, and in my size and colour, so how could I resist? I still need Real Hiking Boots before we go a-travelling next month, but in the meantime I’m trying these out for local walks.

23 Apr 2015

Tide’s Out


The River Thames is a tidal river, and the daily rise and fall of the tide is noticeable, especially out here in the estuary where the mighty river meets the North Sea. When the tide is in, the water laps at the sea wall, but then it retreats nearly a mile on some low tides. The seafront experience can  vary greatly depending on the day and hour of your visit. The tide was out this morning when we walked from Shoebury to Southend and back again, the weather changing from sunny to cool and overcast as the wind and tide moved in.

22 Apr 2015

Almost al Fresco


England is not known for being a sidewalk culture, but when the weather is nice, we open our windows and get as close to the outdoors as we can, even in the middle of our towns and cities. Perhaps we appreciate the sunshine all the more because of the many grey days we endure throughout the year…

Add a gentle stroll and a gluten-free pizza to the fresh air and sunshine and you have the makings of a nearly perfect afternoon!

21 Apr 2015



Yes, this really is a photo of today’s walk. I meandered through our local neighbourhood en route to meet a friend who very loving hand-carried these chocolate delicacies from Stohrer — la plus ancienne patisserie de Paris last night. I am savouring each little nibble: mocha ganache, nougat, and salted caramel.


20 Apr 2015

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