In which I stand and stare…

Wednesday, 25th March 2015 (Day 3, week 12)


I’ve been ‘trapped’ this week, unable to get out and walk, so when the opportunity arose late this afternoon to escape, I did!

I was in philosophical mode though and thinking about the poem by WH Davies, Leisure; ‘What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare’.  So I did that too!



The Poem “Leisure”

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
WH Davies

Target: 1000 miles in one year (20 miles a week)

Achieved so far: 250.6 miles (target 240)

Achieved this week: 4.3 miles.

Porthleven circular via Loe Bar and Penrose Estate (4.3 miles)

Down through the harbour and along the coast road to Loe Bar with the sun low in the sky and clouds gathering.  It’s been a lovely sunny day but the weather is due to change and I’m taking a chance on getting to Loe Bar and around Penrose before it’s dark or raining.

View back to Porthleven from coast path
View back towards Porthleven from coast path

It’s calm at Loe Bar and I turn towards Penrose out of the wind. I don’t think I’ve shown a picture of the actual bar before although I talked about its formation here

Loe Bar, with Loe Pool on the left hand side.
Loe Bar (detail)

As I walk on I notice that I’m completely alone apart from lots of squirrels and the birds.  There’s no-one around at all, it’s late in the day and everyone’s either at work, driving home from work or sitting in front of the TV I suppose.  I don’t mind.  Its nice to be on my own for a while.  I sit down on a bench and watch the water, a little niggle in the back of my mind that its getting late and if it gets dark before I leave the estate, I won’t be able to see where I’m going – no street lights out here.  Still, I sit and stare anyway.

I watch a cormorant skimming across the surface of the water and then turn and fly backwards and forwards a couple of times before landing gracefully in the middle of the lake and begin diving for his tea.

I watch the squirrels, lots of them, all scurrying about looking for buried nuts amidst the trees and shrubs. They don’t mind me as long as I sit still, so I do.

I watch the blackbirds scuffling about in the undergrowth.

I watch as a flock of geese fly overhead and wonder where they’re going.  They’re noisy as they fly, honking loudly.

I watch two mallards flapping their wings madly as they fly across the lake and come to land near the reed beds.  And I wonder, why do they have to flap so madly, but the cormorant glides so gracefully?

After I’ve finished watching and I’ve decided that it’s a bit cold to be out here all night, I start to walk again, heading for home past the estate house, owned by the lovely man who said that Loe Pool was to be enjoyed ‘without distraction’.  I’ve done that today.

I take a short detour to look inside the bathhouse, there’s a deep rectangular hole in the floor and an old fireplace, but the romance of the place is destroyed by the fact that the bath has been used as a litter bin so I console myself with some pictures of the windows before carrying on up the hill and along the road back to Porthleven

Interior, Bath house, Penrose Estate
Interior, Bath house, Penrose Estate


On Pilgrim's Way
On Pilgrim’s Way

Associated artwork for Ricketyrambler by Andrew Major:

2 thoughts on “In which I stand and stare…

  1. Nick Major March 25, 2015 / 8:45 pm


    you may be interested to know – if you didn’t already – that before he was a respected poet, WH Davies was a lowly hobo. I have a copy of his excellent book, Autobiography of a Super Tramp, if you would like to borrow it. Davies lost his leg once hopping freight trains in America. When he returned to Britain Edward Thomas – a fellow walker – rented Davies a shed to write in and even went so far as to buy him a wooden leg.



  2. ricketyrambler March 25, 2015 / 8:50 pm

    I didn’t know anything about him except this poem. I would love to borrow the book, thanks.


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