Writing

Writing

The following extracts are samples of my writing.

They are taken from several sources – published editorial, notebook jottings and from a manuscript for a book I’m writing.

I’ve previously contributed to The Countryman and have also been published online by nature writing specialist, Little Toller Books.

I am available for editorial commissions – when not dodging smoke.

 

Wicken Fen

Despite a childhood that had conditioned me in all seasons to the outdoors, I had in the last eighteen years become an urban animal. The freewheeling of my childhood - wandering rutted drove roads or climbing straw bale towers on stubble fields - was ancient history....

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Wagon Living

The idea of living in a wagon appealed strongly to me. And if I'm honest, it was the romantic instinct which was the prime driver. For people of a certain sensibility, it is easy to be drawn to such a life: the tug of leaving the mainstream, the apparent simplicity,...

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Among Trees

To live in a wood is to shack up against truth. It is stark in its reality; life and death parade before you at every turn. Stand quietly and cast your eyes across the woodland floor. See the young ash seedlings trembling with vulnerability? They have no parent to...

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Tale of a Fenland Rabbit

The terrier was making an almighty to-do at the burrow's entrance. Alerted by the din, the ranger killed his saw and ambled over. Immediately, the hairy dalek fell mute. The ranger ordered the animal away, which it did reluctantly, sitting trembling a few feet from...

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What 4 x 4

Even in the country, what you drive says a little bit about who you are. The London blow-in, the newly arrived townie eager to blend in, nearly always drives a Land Rover. It is an affectation of the wealthy metropolitan immigrant, a dead giveaway. What he gets...

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Woodyard Epiphany

The following morning I met Joby at the yard around eight. I arrived to find him knee-deep in chestnut, material we'd unloaded from the lorry the previous day. He was busy cleaving the larger posts with a sledgehammer and wedges. It was a handsome sight, the stack of...

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Charcoal Ghosts

Thrown untidily about the kiln were the charcoal burner's tools - shovels, a rake, a grading table, some old tarps. A pair of welding mitts stuck upright on two hazel posts, stiff with wood tar, oddly grotesque. To one side sat a dumpy bag, distended with small black...

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Coastal Hinterlands

From the keeper's cottage one could not see the sea. This did not matter, as I knew it was there, just behind the ground which rose in sets, like waves, before me. If one fancied a sighting however, the bay would reveal itself from a chalk track which rose gently...

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George and the Adder

The snake decided on a swift tack towards George. I was surprised how quickly the flushed reptile covered the ground - the word was glide. It was oddly beautiful and quite mesmerising, yet at the same time terrible; some ancient wiring in the brain interpreting this...

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Woods at Night

The gifts that a simple life in nature can bring are balanced by the challenges. First off, if one decides to live in a wood, the corollary is that one has to sleep in a wood. For the uninitiated, this is not automatically a comfortable experience. Sitting in the...

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Early Morning Call

I'm not naturally an early riser, a bit of a cold starter you could say. But living in the woods, in spring, is a cure-all for that particular affliction. Folk rhapsodise about the beauty of the dawn chorus, and it is indeed, a wonder. But I have been deaf to its...

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