Month: July 2016

Church on the Hill Playtime!

Afternoon in Wistmans Wood is followed by early evening in possibly the second ‘most haunted place on Dartmoor’ – the burnt out church above Buckfastleigh; home of the creepy Cabell Crypt, Victorian bodysnatchers, headless horses, Anglo-Saxon burial grounds, those devil dog Whist Hounds again (or if you prefer,’Hounds of the Baskervilles’)

Plenty potential spooky supernatural malarkey going on up here.

We’ve got the idea of making a little Gothic film of this place.

So here is our first playful exploration of the mise-en-scene.

Church on Hill 1

Sepia is quite effective in denaturnalising and draining deadness into everything

The spire of this church is still in tact.

Church on Hill 2

It gleams in the dark like a demonic pointy hat

Church on Hill 3

I’ve lifted the next 2 pics from video clips

Church on Hill 4

We shot 42 video clips! I haven’t looked at them properly yet

Church on Hill 5

If tonight is anything to go by, we’re going to have a lot of fun playing in, and with, this place.

Haze is wanting to dress up in a long black cloak.

The spirit of Ken Russell lives on!

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Walking to Wistmans Wood

We are walking towards Wistmans Wood this Saturday afternoon.

Towards Wistmans Wood 2

It’s that little dark green patch directly ahead, under the horizon.

We’re stumbling our way into the “most haunted place on Dartmoor”, plonking down on a flat slab of rock to eat our bacon sandwiches, – and are promptly descended upon, and being bitten by, hundreds of midges.

Gotta get out – quick!

Find another big slab of rock outside the reach of those blood-thirsty midges

Haze above Wistmans Wood

Finishing off lunch (rather than be lunch) without them bitey bleeders.

We’re returning back into the woods to try our luck again.

And now Haze is drawing

Haze in Wistmans Wood

This tree, a quick sketch (the midges still biting)

Wistmans Sketch 1 edit

Haze wants to include this:

“A little memoir of my favourite wood…On entering it’s puzzlepathway of stones upholstered in a soaking soft covering of moss and lichens, this tiny ancient wood, sprouting ferns, with a canopy of new summer leaves ..still whispers strange tales of those Whisht hounds..of Faerie Folk, Elves and Spriggans!”

And I’ve made this little vid (it’s got a soldier beetle, midges, Haze leaving a blessing)

I didn’t pick up much of the elemental ‘spirit of place’  – it felt more like somewhere to walk your dog, while chattering about Star Trek.

Too many of us people infiltrating, and contaminated, the ‘sacred grove’ with our human noise.

Legend has it that Wistmans Woods is haunted by ‘diabolical Whist Hounds’

Well, here the Hounds were.

Wolfwomen 2

Being distinctly diabolical. This woman (Dutch) can hardly hold on to her 3 ‘wolf-hounds’

If they’d tugged her off that leash – they’d have been off

Chasing after, and killing, sheep, terrorizing cows.

(Did I say ‘Diabolical’? I meant, ‘Ridiculous’!)

My advice to anyone wanting to visit Wistmans Wood?

Don’t go when any of us humans are around! With our dogs.

Douse yourself in citronella. Munch garlic. Be midge repellent!

Rockpool pictures

Down to Meadfoot beach to look for shags.

But they were all over on Thatcher Rock, too far away to see (or picture).

So lets picture something nearer to hand

Like this sea anemone.

Sea Anenome 3

Everywhere around these rockpools I was seeing paintings

Rockpool delight

These golden globby globs were ubiquitous (and possibly pernicious?)

Rockpool Glog

These barnacles looked like they were making their way towards somewhere; they positively bristled with intent (even though they were perfectly static)

Rockpool delight 6

I gently touched this anemone.

Sea Anenome

It grabbed and glibbered my fingers tight shut in. The sensation mildly shocking.

Having your fingers unexpectedly suckered in by a sea anemone is vaguely unpleasant, but also, er, strangely erotic.

Pics & Words: Ian Nisbet

Hanging out in Teignmouth on a Saturday afternoon

A short drive up (down?) to Teignmouth this afternoon.

Teignmouth Pier (150 years old) was an obvious candidate for some sepia nostalgia

Teignmouth Pier

The pier got badly damaged by the 2014 storm and had to be closed for 5 months while repairs were made to beams and decking.

Considering how ramshackle and flimsy it looks I’m surprised it didn’t go down.

Here’s something else that looked right for a rusty old paint of sepia: Grampy’s Boat circa 1950 possibly?

Teignmouth boat

There was a communal thrum coming out the beach huts and harbour houses: locals messing with their old boats, sipping in the sun, chilling with beers and barbies.

A sense of simple easy life being openly, and pleasurably, accessible.

So we had to access some: a bowl of whelks, prawns, cockles and mussels; cake and coffee.

The Blue Hut will be returned to!

The Blue Hut seafood pot

Words & Pics: Ian Nisbet

Boat Trip to Brixham

Over the Bay from Torquay to Brixham this Saturday afternoon. At a steady speed of 9.2 knots it took about 25 minutes. Embarking and disembarking added another 25 minutes.

The sea jiggled a bit. A shag shot off alarmed by our noisy chug.

As we approached Brixham Haze pointed out this

Brixham Boat 1

dads nose had got a spot on it.

Or maybe she was pointing to the house she used to be a child in during the middle of the 20th century.

Once disembarked (an odd word that, ought to mean more than ‘getting off a boat’) we sat on the wide wall of The Breakwater to eat our peppery bacon and tom ‘samwhiches’.

Would we see any shags skimming and sculling off Shoalstone beach? No. Not a one. Instead we saw this

The sun and the surf had got the spaniels happy-mad head (and tail) spinning.

It was getting hot. I was getting burnt. A ‘Peely’ personified.

We slow puffed up acutely steep steps of alleyway to 55 Northview – and looked out on this

Brixham 3

This is the ‘scene’ Haze had looked down on as a child: Brixham in all its beauty, as pretty as a picture.

I can understand now why she’s done all her harbour pictures of boats and houses.

A Red Devon

Haze drew this after we’d seen those cows munching in tune to the bells in Cockington. She knows I like a good cow.

Red Devon cow edit

Illustration: Hazel Brown

I got green hills in me
Right up me udders

Pastured on rollicking
Rolls of meadows sweet

I am. I’s chow-down in chew
I’s proper Devon dozy

Thick double creamed and cosy
You herd my matey moo?

A buddi benign bovine
The easiest clumper cooow

You ever cud meet
Red round and rosey

Summat hard to unrefine
I’s Devon thro and thro

Words: Ian Nisbet