‘Beside yon straggling fence ……’


This image brought back to mind a favourite poem from my school days, Oliver Goldsmith’s Deserted Village and the title is ‘borrowed’ from the opening line The extract below will perhaps give some indication of why the poem appealed to a young  teenage boy.

Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
With blossomed furze unprofitably gay,
There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule,
The village master taught his little school;
A man severe he was, and stern to view;
I knew him well, and every truant knew;
Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace
The day’s disasters in his morning face;
Full well they laughed, with counterfeited glee,
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned;
Yet he was kind; or if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault.
The village all declared how much he knew;
‘Twas certain he could write, and cipher too;
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
And even the story ran that he could gauge.
In arguing too, the parson owned his skill,
For e’en though vanquished, he could argue still;
While words of learned length and thundering sound
Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around,
And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew
That one small head could carry all he knew.

I had no notion at the time of the poem’s satirical connotations.



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A walk on the dunes

East Head is a spit of sand and shingle in Chichester harbour.  Because of its composition and location bordering the open sea, the shape and position of the spit have been modified with the passage of time.  The dunes are particularly enjoyed by walkers and wildlife enthusiasts.



Filed under grasses, Nature, photography, Sand, Sea, Shore, Uncategorized

Defiant Nature

This post is a tribute to the defiance and resilience of Nature.  Less than a year ago this sycamore was severely pollarded but, not to be defeated, it has since produced scores/hundreds of new shoots.  And now, remarkably, despite the savage onslaught of storm ‘Abigail’ and the ferocious winds of ‘Barney’, the last few leaves are clinging on for dear life.  How incredible is that!

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Filed under Nature, photography, Trees, Uncategorized

Abstract in grey and turquoise


November 22, 2015 · 8:00 am

Groynes at West Wittering

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November 20, 2015 · 8:00 am

Abstract 248


November 18, 2015 · 8:00 am

. . . . and other birds at West Wittering

A few from a vast flock of Brent geese

Sandpiper and herring gull

We have lift-off  –  almost!

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Filed under Nature, photography, Sea, Shore, Texture, Uncategorized, Water