Su Lam

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The Su Lam Chinese garden in Portland is about 10 minutes’ walk from the main train and bus stations in a pretty concrete part of town. As soon as you step through the door you’re miles away. Photos October 2017.

Spinning the globe

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As longer-term readers will know, I very much like finding places that if you saw them in a book you’d mentally place on another point of the globe. I’m pretty sure most people would think this was a Scottish Island, unless you already knew the Pacific north-west.

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All photos Oregon, Cannon Beach. October 2017.

Reflections

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It says a lot about how much I enjoyed family holidays in Wales (rain! No sunburn! Castles! A baker in the next village with doughnuts!) that this is pretty much my happy place.

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But really, aren’t these lights and reflections beautiful?

Oregon, October 2017.

Heart-lifting

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In some years it’s September that’s a mix of seasons, but this year October seems to be hovering between the seasons. This pin sharp view was last week as I went out to walk across Blackfriars Bridge at lunch.

Fleet Street, October 2017.

Sissinghurst

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Sissinghurst was a place I’d long wanted to visit, and I’d tried to get there in July, but feeling rather tired had postponed it.

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But last month, spurred on my the imminent end of the National Trust season and last of the summer days I set off.

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If you don’t have a car, both google maps and the NT website make it unnecessarily complicated to get there from London. The quickest way is to take a train to Ashford and cab over, but it’s not the cheapest (it’ll be nearly £40 each way for the cab). Or you can wait for half an hourst Ashford, travel on another 20 minutes to Staplehurst and pick up your cab there (about £18 each way). Up to you if saving £20 is worth the extra hour on your journey. What you shouldn’t do is trust that the bus from Staplehurst will be there. It won’t – it leaves 2 minutes before your once an hour train from Ashford arrives, and on Sundays you’ll then have another two hours to wait.

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Moral of the story: learn to drive, or just look big and pay up for a cab. Either way, when you get there it’s completely worth it.

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Walled gardens lead off each other, doors opening into rooms of light and shade,

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colours clashed and melded and everywhere the wonderful orange brick set off the leaves.

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Around the edges were grand flourishes – an allee of lime trees, an abandoned statue, a lake,

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a pergola of roses looking up to the sky,

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and finally the orchards and vegetable gardens.

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Hard to believe that this is Kent and not the American mid-West when you look at these photos.

All photos September 2017.

Harvest

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Autumn is early this year – all photos from the cloisters of the Musee des Augustins in Toulouse in August 2017. Staggering to think these mid-autumn sights were the week of Ferragosto/the assumption feast, which is the peak of summer for Catholic Europe.