Strangles

Getting down to the beach was never easy and the last stretch was always a slight concern with three children in tow.  Thirty years later the direct route has been closed off due to erosion and the last 15 feet requires the use of ropes, the gentler drop to the beach having been washed away by the sea.  It is worth making the effort.

Padstow, Boscastle, Tintagel and Port Isaac, respectively made famous by food, flood, legend and soap opera, are overwhelmed with day trippers.  Strangles is empty.

And yet, some 100 feet above the beach I catch the faint smell of wood burning and, as we drop onto the beach, to the south, there is the cackle of a minor rock fall.  I sense we are being watched.

Well, the-
The ocean doesn’t want me today
But I’ll be back tomorrow to play
And the strangles will take me
Down deep in their brine
The mischievous brain jewels
Down into the endless blue wine
I’ll open my head and let out all of my time
I’d love to go drowning
And to stay and to stay
But the ocean doesn’t want me today
I’ll go in up to here
It can’t possibly hurt
All they will find is my beer and my shirt
A rip tide is ragin’
And the life guard’s away
But the ocean doesn’t want me today
But the ocean doesn’t want me today
The ocean doesn’t want me today

Tom Waits

With thanks to gavinclinch on Blip for making the connection between the place, the images and this Tom Waits track.

Do you see what I see…..

This photograph was taken a couple of weeks ago in Audlem, Cheshire.  St James’s Church was founded in the 13th Century and stands on a hill once thought to be a Celtic burial ground. Towering over the village, it reaches for the heavens more effectively than any spire.

The stone pillar and iron gates cast a long shadow across the foreground on this cold autumnal afternoon; could this be an uninvited guest with a scythe, approaching the church steps, looking for Edward:The Reaper

Inside the southern porch, on the right hand side of the entrance arch, there is Edward’s face, the other face cunningly hidden:Edward's Face

Travel theme: Hidden

This is the entrance to Chirk Tunnel on the Llangollen Canal; I am hidden in the dark as the narrowboat enters the 495 yards of dank dark underground waterway dug into a Welsh hillside.  The boat is the Anglo-Welsh Water Daffodil which we hired out of Nantwich in 1977; once considered a very desirable boat, the odd example can still be seen on the waterways in private hands, most in a sorry state.

At the entrance, nearly hidden, stands young Alice waiting to be lifted back on the boat before disappearing down the rabbit hole.  I have not kept on good terms with Time who is not to be trusted – I realise that this version of Alice Liddell will now be in her late thirties:

`If you knew Time as well as I do,’ said the Hatter, `you wouldn’t talk about wasting it. It’s him.’
`I don’t know what you mean,’ said Alice.
`Of course you don’t!’  the Hatter said, tossing his head contemptuously.  `I dare say you never even spoke to Time!’
`Perhaps not,’  Alice cautiously replied: `but I know I have to beat time when I learn music.’
`Ah! that accounts for it,’ said the Hatter. `He won’t stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with him, he’d do almost anything you liked with the clock’.
 – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

Chirk TunnelThis provides the perfect excuse to insert the Tom Waits track, Alice: