Even a hill path has to start near a beach!

Walking the South Downs Way (and we’re half way along it) has been at once demanding and full of surprises. The start of the walk, at the foot of Beachy Head’s great white chalk cliffs, is no exception.

Please have a look at the Christmas post from the South Downs Way trail manager’s blog, including the poem “Beach Book, Bird Book”:



May peace and joy be yours this Christmas

I know I’m not alone in finding winter a difficult time of year. But when I look closely at what’s around us, I feel hope for what’s to come.

No Death in Winter

Whoever says these trees are dead
Come here, and see upon the brown
The small bud swelling.

And you, who say the birds have gone,
Stand still, and hear the thrushes’ song,
The wild birds’ calling.

Who says the frost will kill and chill?
Who says the ice has drawn its dagger?
Who says the wind will pierce the seed?

I say that sun will come again,
That melted ice will feed the seed,
That warming winds will draw the shoot,

That bud will break; that green will grow,
That flower unfurl—for winter shall conceive the spring.
© Lizzie Ballagher


Poems and Paintings

Over the most recent weekend Lizzie and her friend and colleague Jacqueline Trinder worked together to create an exhibition and sale of watercolours and poems held as part of the annual Christmas fair at The Friars, Aylesford: a happy, warm weekend with some wonderful conversations with the many hundreds of visitors about poetry and paintings, music and pottery.

Many thanks to all who came to The Friars and joined them on the stand.

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