The Manly walk

Well, tis about time. What happened to the thrice weekly blog? The predictability of Tuesday, Friday and Sunday? News from the garden and rural France.


Believe me, I yearned for a touch of predictability this past week.

Let me count. I have gone from Sydney to Singapore, to London in 24 hours; a brief pause for two days to practise waking up at 0312 most mornings with jet lag. And a day of monstrous gardening work in the London home.

And now I am hurtling towards Paris where I will linger briefly. Change stations, travel another two hours, and hopefully arrive in Valence mid afternoon. Up the escalators and across the beautifully modern bright departures and arrival hall. Out the other side (pausing to admire the fantastic mass planting of cistus planted on the steep banks of the station.)


I will then no doubt stand stock still in the car park to try and remember where I parked the car two weeks ago; and then it will be out of town and up to the mountains. All being well I shall be glaring into the afternoon sunshine as I beetle my way up the Eyrieux Valley and then up and up and up to the farm.

But before I confront what has happened while I have been away. And I fear there won’t have been rain.  I need to show you my last lingering look at some marvellous trees.


Every year I like to walk from the family home around to the beach suburb of Manly via the Scenic Walkway.  Many of of you who live in Sydney know it. It’s the perfect tonic to prepare oneself for the gracelessness of international plane travel.

And frankly the indignity of airports and plane food and trying to squish into seats and teensy loos and just wishing the hours away while flying over half the planet.

I needed a good long walk before the enforced confinement. And my dose of the Australian flora.


Most of the other people on the walk were joggers, or chatting walkers in groups.  All polite and friendly, and no one minded how many times I stopped stock still and leant over to pat the bark of many, many trees.

IMG_0195Isn’t the bark on that banksia fab? Gnarly and marvellous.

Paris is looming in the distance. I need to end here while I still have a wifi connection.

Normal service should resume on Friday.