It strikes me that just about the one thing that is “normal” about this crazy world just at the moment is the seasons.
I’m very glad about that.
To me one of life’s simple and indeed greatest pleasures is watching the seasons change. Not that I sit wishing my life to run away like grains of sand in an egg timer, no it’s just the way each season ticks over bringing fresh, yet reassuringly constant, vistas, smells and colours.
I’ve said before that the Autumn and Winter are probably my favourite times of year, which is probably linked to me being born in deepest Autumn. OK I could do without so much rain and wind, but a starkly freezing day with gin clear skies and iron hard ground takes some beating!
Then there’s that low lazy sun that can hardly be bothered to climb much above the horizon, the long shadows that it casts and the gaunt starkly bare leafless trees. I love to watch the last light of day disappear on the Western sky and the stars appear through those naked branches. It’s all magical stuff to me.
Living in Cornwall, and sticking out into the North East Atlantic, we are never far from the influence of the sea. Dookes H.Q. is now only five miles from the coast and when there is a big storm blowing you can taste the salt in the air.
The sea, it is often said, defines Cornwall and standing near the shore facing a force nine gale, it’s hard to argue with that!.
It’s been another wonderful day in paradise, or more correctly the byways and highways of Cornwall and South West England.
As I took in the air and let Mr Harley and Mr Davidson’s wonderful machinery do the hard work I got to think about today’s assignment. Well, I wasn’t thinking too much about it when I was riding, because letting the old mind wander is a sure-fire way of getting yourself hurt on a motorbike!
We took a trundle around Bodmin Moor before turning North West and along the Atlantic Highway for about 50 miles and hanging a sharp left near Clovelly. Then we headed to the beautiful Hartland Point on the most spectacular part of the North Devon Coast. The country lanes here become decidedly rural and after the long wet winter were in shocking condition, so bad that at times our progress was down to walking pace as we negotiated potholes, mud, loose gravel, stones and oh yes as this is early spring the farmers are out spreading manure. . . and dropping loads of it on the roads too! Joy!
Anyway, it was when we parked up at Hartland I reflected that nearly half a tonne of motorbike qualified as “Big” particularly when you are working hard to keep it the right way up on crappy roads! So here is my “Big” shot.
She’s My Big Baby!
Don’t look at the filthy state of that front tyre after those dirty roads; no ‘chicken strips’ here today!
Oh yes, Hartland Point is a 325 ft high rocky outcrop on the North-West tip of the Devon coast. The point marks the Western end of the Bristol Channel where it meets the Atlantic Ocean; if you like, it’s where the Atlantic begins! The Hartland Point Lighthouse was built in 1874. It’s tower is 59ft tall with the lamp being 121ft above mean sea level and today is listed as an historic structure. The light can be seen up to 25 miles away from the coast and was automated in 1984, prior to this the lighthouse was maintained by four keepers.