It's been a turbulent few weeks in every respect. Autumn made its dramatic entrance with Storm Ciaran, which coincided with and compromised our mini break to Exeter. It feels like much of life has been viewed through a pane of glass as a result. Here you can see the storm clouds gathering on our journey down the M5.
Our view upon arrival. It didn't improve during our 48 hours in this small historic city.
I don't feel we are equipped as a result, to give an accurate appraisal of the city. My biggest takeaways?
1. It's steeped in history. Just opposite our apartment was the Dissenters' Graveyard, a plot of land collectively purchased by those who refused to adopt the Church of England faith. During the Georgian and early Victorian period, Exeter underwent major social, economic and political upheaval and members of the dissenting community from the three Presbyterians Meeting Houses (Bow, Mint and George's - now a Wetherspoons) were buried here between 1748 and 1854.
Exeter Cathedral; an Anglican cathedral completed circa 1400. We didn't visit on this occasion. We were limited for time for one. But we've also been spoiled by free entries with voluntary donations, (which we always opt to leave) at St David's, Liverpool and Chester recently and so balked at the £7.50 per person admission fee.
3. Some rather good charity shops. I picked up this book to add to my growing collection.
4. Character pubs and good beer; plenty of options for shelter from the storm.
5. Amazing Wetherspoons! First up, George's Meeting House, a former chapel connected to the aforementioned Dissenters' graveyard...
....and The Imperial. Previously the Imperial Hotel, from 1923 until 1994, this had been converted from Elmfield House, built in 1810 for the County Surveyor James Green.
After a couple of stormy days, we were excited to meet up with our friends, Neil and Laura, for an overnighter in Cornwall. Remnants of the storm continued to circle and we again took refuge from horizonal rain and road spray; this time in Jamaica Inn. You can just make out the A38 in the distance. I don't think I've ever visited this legendary place in anything other than perfectly imperfect weather conditions.
Eventually the storm retreated and relative calm was restored, although the waves were still choppy at Carlyon Bay. The sea, the sea!
After 24 hours in Cornwall, it was back up the M5, homeward bound...and more windscreen photos of interesting cloud formations...
...and fading light.
Ah, seasons change with the scenery...
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won't you stop and remember me
At any convenient time?
The Simon & Garfunkel lyrics have been playing around in my mind since our return, for obvious reasons. Our Autumn colours are more muted than those of our American cousins, but they are beautiful nonetheless.
The leaves are falling in earnest now. I had to stop and jump out of the car to capture this stunning spectacle in Low Town, Bridgnorth the other day.
Oh and check out this unique little fungus with its bendy stalk, growing in our garden.
Autumn always seems to me to be a time of reflection and I've been busy setting up a little home studio and working on my portraiture, recording those around me, in the hope of getting some future bookings. I have plans (watch this space), but for now, I'll leave you with a selection of very simple, low key portraits of recent willing victims.
|Gareth, the Skater Boi
|Dawn, feeling way more comfortable with a glass in her hand
|Barry, my father-in-law, gurning at the camera