Unsettled Conditions

A fearsome wind blew in last Friday, heralding a change from a week of unbroken sunshine to a low pressure system bearing rain. The forecast looked fairly depressing, although it has turned out that the rain is intermittent.

It certainly fell hard as I left Cornwall on Sunday with my sister, who had come down to help clarify some legal issues around the house, and again on Monday as I flew from Bristol to Belfast. On the other hand, my train ride from Somerset to Bristol, through some of England’s finest countryside, was sunny, and since arriving at Djinn and Richard’s, I have been enjoying clear spells as well.

Much of my visit this year is revisiting places I have come to on each of my recent trips – albeit the order is often different – but this was the first time I had seen my sister’s new house, and I have also found new places to go in Belfast: Djinn takes herself off to swim in Bangor, a few miles up the coast, so on Tuesday I came with her and while she swam, I went running along the coast path as far as Grey Point. From there you could see back down the water to the city; turning around for the return to Bangor, distant hills may have been Scotland. It was such a sweet location that the following day I caught a slow suburban train out to Helen’s Bay and walked the whole stretch again in one direction with my camera, enjoying warm air and occasional sunshine.

My next destination is London, and I have been honing the points I want to make in my talk to the Wimbledon group on Saturday, which will also be the theme for my visit to Hebden Bridge next weekend. I am calling the talk The Path to Kindness, and will be invoking Dogen’s Four Methods of Guidance. Watching the unfolding of political events this week, where the announcement of the impeachment inquiry and the almost simultaneous ruling by the Supreme Court in the UK both might act as inflection points in the hideous political shenanigans that have consumed both countries since 2016, I reflect again on Dogen’s reminder that kind speech ‘has the power to turn the destiny of the nation.’

Sun shines through a window at Bath Spa station.

The coastal path at Helen’s Bay.

The coast at Crawfordsburn.

A craggy coastline reminding me of Malin Head and Cornwall.

Perfect terrain for running and hiking.

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