Showing posts from July, 2014


I was in this spot just a few months ago in the daytime, and I knew I'd drop by again one day for sundown. I was a little disappointed when I did though... the tide was in this time, and there was a definitely different look to the shoreline. It wasn't what I remembered and it wasn't what I wanted.

However, it didn't take long for me to shut 'the fuck' up and quit moaning. I'm still stunned by the colour show that I had the privilege to witness on this glorious evening.

Past halfway

Through the tunnel, down past the quiet cliff-top cafe, across the deserted bay and under the natural arch...

Now, now you're well past halfway to paradise.

Secret sunset

You'll have to walk - there's barely a path - but don't worry, it's not far, and it is worth it. The route isn't clear, but it is intuitive; look inside for the way, and head towards the dying light. Take a torch, your courage too; you'll need them both. Through the trees to the clearing, the path is hidden behind the lime grove. It drops away, quickly, out of sight. Watch your footing and use the ropes to help you. As the light fades listen to your heart not your head. Down the craggy steps to the dark shore, and wait...

It's just you now, and the rocks and the sand and the ocean and the clouds and the sky and the sun and the whole wide world in the glory of its golden hour.

Fifty years young and just begun.


As if to somehow reflect the range of experiences half a century lived must entail, my birthday jaunt was varied and episodic. I didn't mean it to be. In fact, I didn't mean it to be anything. Unusually, I had no plan at all... spontaneous drift was the only thing on the agenda. 'No plan' turned out to be the perfect plan.

I started at a lighthouse, climbed up a sand mountain, did some accidental bird watching, got my lenses too close to the sea, found a very well-hidden footpath down to a paradisical private beach, walked across a secret park, through the trees, to a wedding chapel set on the side of a hill.

50-Up sunset

I chose to mark the end of my 50th year in a very familiar spot; high on the hill overlooking the Uraga Channel. I've sat here many times, but this was the first time I'd sat out the light. Each time I'd been here, I considered that, because of its elevation and the views of the channel, the bay and (potentially) Mt. Fuji, it would be a great place watch the sun go down. And that's what I did as I watched the sun go down on my half-century.

Well, Fuji-san (as it often is from this 100km-distant spot) was too faint in the haze to take a decent photograph of, but nonetheless it was a beautiful evening with a captivating sunset.

Sakuma Dam Shinsui Park

So, I got a new bike for my birthday, a folding one, just to give me even more flexibility when I'm scouting about for nice locations. I took it for a quick spin around this dam park in Chiba. When it was built, it was set up as a great place to view the cherry blossoms in the springtime. And it is, and at that time of the year it's buzzing with people driving and walking round the lake, admiring the the beautiful sakura. There are dozens of shops and stalls to feed and water them all. It's a real flower festival...

... but in July, it's yours alone, and it has a very different feel. It was a lovely, peaceful ride/walk and it filled me right up.

Evenings spent on the beach

In early July I worked down on the Kanagawa coast. In Hiratsuka actually. The facility I was working at was literally just a stone's throw from the beach, which is where I spent my evenings... sometimes with company, sometimes without... always with a contemplative perspective. The gentle breaking of the waves undoubtedly encourages, perhaps even insists on such thoughtful taking of stock and, with a warm evening and a couple of cold ones, who am I to argue.