Losing Eden

One of the neighbour’s Zwarbles – not delighted to see me so early in the morning!

I’ve been reading ‘Losing Eden: Why Our Minds Need The Wild’ by Lucy Jones. It’s an exploration of how and why we need to connect with nature to maintain our physical and mental health.  I don’t think I’ve ever doubted this, but its interesting to read about previous and recent research that is proving that we need to be out of doors, and in touch with the natural environment, to stay healthy.

There’s one particularly fascinating chapter called ‘Equigenesis’ which is a discussion of whether improving our connection with nature can reduce socio-economic inequalities. Lucy Jones argues that alongside the ecological destruction of Planet Earth that we are all participating in “there is a deep inequality in access and connection.  And this is a stain on our society”.  She backs this up by citing research from Professor Mitchell at Glasgow University who suggests that greener neighbourhoods may “reduce the health gap between rich and poor and lead to a better, more equal society”.

All very inspiring and thought provoking – and with that in mind, I wondered why I’ve been reluctant to get out this week when it’s really so easy for me – even in these extreme times. I’ve been busy with work and of course, all of that is online or on the phone at the moment.  I said last time that the focus and anxiety this causes is exhausting – and I’m not alone – so I’ve been looking for ways to relieve this a bit, to gain some energy and enthusiasm. Coincidentally, or maybe not given the numbers of people suffering in this way, this article appeared on the BBC website.


So…I introduced a plan to take a short break before and after every Zoom meeting or online chat. It does work – I might just make a cup of tea, put the washing out or walk around the garden for a few minutes – but it definitely helps. Of course I don’t get as much done….but then I’m not being very effective when I’m so tired anyway.

Anyway – get outside is what I’m saying!  If you can of course, or look out the window, or listen to the birds singing – whatever you can do.

I was awake early this morning and took a walk up the hill towards the village. It was a damp, misty morning and I didn’t really expect to see much. However, just a few yards up the road sitting on a neighbour’s wall was a thrush pleased as punch with himself for catching a worm.


We used to have a couple of thrushes in the garden, but sadly one flew into the studio window one sunny day and died, the other one disappeared after that.

My neighbour tells me that thrushes have a hundred different songs and that they sing each one 3 or 4 times before moving on to the next. This one wasn’t singing as it was full of worm!  Have a listen next time you see or hear one.

The White Dead-nettles are in flower – loved by pollinating insects especially the bumble bees.  Apparently if you suck on the flower you get a drop of delicious nectar – get there early before the bees though!  These are not the stinging variety – and you can eat the young leaves and stems before they flower, raw or steamed or in soup.


A single clump of red campion has appeared on the roadside. According to my medieval flower book this herb was often found in medieval gardens and appears in the borders of 15th century manuscripts.


I saw lots of hares but none of them wanted their picture taken today so I had to be content with views of the misty hills over the field of rapeseed.


Just a little stroll – enough time for everyone else to get up and for Ms RR to produce some delicious sour-dough pancakes for breakfast!

Most of the daffodils are over now – but not these – the exquisite Pheasant Eye Narcissus.

Stay well.

J xx

The Way Through The Woods and the Holloway

Wednesday, 24th June 2015

Hello there,

Way back in October 2013 (was it really that long ago???) my very good friend Suzy B and I went for a walk in Cardinham Woods.  It was to be a short walk followed by a civilised lunch at the Woods Cafe.  We set off undaunted by the rain, with no map, no directions, no water and just a flapjack for sustenance (which I fed to a horse before I realised I might need it later!).

Within an hour we were hopelessly lost, no longer in the woods, on moorland somewhere, trying to get Suzy B’s iPhone to tell us which way to go.  Eventually we decided to head for a church tower we could see in the far distance, convinced this was Cardinham – which luckily it was – and sure that once we got to the village, the way home would be clear.  We eventually crawled back to the Woods Cafe just before closing time, exhausted and bedraggled. The lovely lady gave us her last two bowls of potato and leek soup and we flumped down to eat, convinced we would never be able to get up again.  Its a walk I will never forget. Continue reading

Fog around St Agnes’ Head

Saturday, 20th June 2015


I hope you’re enjoying sunshine.  We are here.  Except this morning when we decided to cross over to the other side…..and found fog, fog and more fog.

We also committed the cardinal sin of embarking on a walk without a map…..in the fog…..somewhere we haven’t been before (well, only once – a long time ago).   Continue reading

Cape Cornwall and Cornish Mining History

Monday, 15th June 2015


Well, hasn’t it turned out to be a lovely day….it has in this part of the world anyway!

We went west today, down to Cape Cornwall – the only headland in England referred to as a ‘cape’ apparently. We used directions from iWalkcornwall.co.uk which, as always, were thorough with some very interesting information included. Didn’t stop us getting lost though…on the way back we got confused, took a wrong turn and ended up back on the coast path. Continue reading

Gyllingvase to Maenporth and the Sea Shanty Festival

Saturday, 13th June 2015


Well, as it was forecast to be wet and windy we decided to go for a quick walk along the coast path around Falmouth and then pop into town for lunch.  Wrong on all counts! Continue reading

Kynance Farm and Lower Predannack Downs

Wednesday 3rd May, 2015

Hello all

Well, what a sun shiny and exciting day it’s been.

In fact, I was so excited by an email that I opened when I got back from todays walk and started to upload the photographs – that I totally forgot myself and deleted all the photos from the camera before I’d actually imported them to the computer!!!!  Oh no! I hear you scream – that’s not what I said, I can tell you!  I was having palpitations!  I didn’t know whether I should stop worrying about it and be excited (about my email) or cry – from a mixture of excitement and frustration!  I ran in to Mr RR who was having a quiet sit down and shouted OMG guess what I’ve done?  And then….before he’d even gathered his wits to ask what was going on …..I had a brainwave. Continue reading

Penrose Top Path

Thursday, 28th May 2015


I took myself off for a walk around the top path of Penrose Estate on Thursday.  The sun was sort of shining in between the clouds, and sometimes the sky was even quite blue –  but it was very windy. Continue reading

Porth Reservoir Walk

Wednesday, 29th April 2015 (Day 3, week 17)

Aiming to walk 1000 miles in a year

Total so far: 322.1 miles (5.8 miles this week)


We didn’t know there was a reservoir near Newquay until we found this walk (iWalkCornwall.co.uk).

A fishing competition was in progress so there were loads of guys and girls around the lake preparing to spend the day fiddling with maggots and things.  Who knew they needed so much kit to fish with?  They had their own wheel barrows to get their stuff from the car to the lakeside and then they had tents and chairs and picnic stuff and some even had special seats which actually went into the water so that when they had their waders on they could sit down in the water without getting wet!  How cool is that!! And then of course they had enormous fishing rods and yards and yards of fishing line. I’ll tell you it’s a complicated business this fishing! Continue reading