We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time. (T. S. Eliot, from Little Gidding)
I met my partner Kim in 2010 and we spent the next seven years commuting between our respective homes in Northumberland and Lancaster. By 2016 I had produced the last shows under the Demi-paradise banner at Lancaster castle and the following May quit the city for the country. Having grown up in a market town and later a village on the western edges of Dartmoor, the son of working class parents, It felt absolutely right to be moving back into a truly rural community at this stage in my life.
I’d ‘retired’ soon after reaching 65 from a ‘day job’ I’d held for eighteen years, tour guiding at the castle. I was still in that working phase when the response of old friends to my Facebook posts on natural history topics encouraged me to take it on from there. Most posts are about about this corner of the north-east though Lancaster, the South-west, Wales, the South-east and other places also feature. Notes and accompanying images were posted on this website (before it crashed last year) or over on Facebook (Stephen Tomlin and previously on This Other Eden pages). Meeting further friend requests I will be publishing simultaneously here and on FB.
Actual place names are avoided when writing about the home patch in order to preserve my own and other people’s privacy or anonymity and to keep observations and commentaries as open as possible. To that end some place names have also been changed. All mistakes and oversights are mine and I’m happy to be corrected where I’ve got things wrong.
I have sought to re-balance a long and satisfying working life with rediscovering the things that first peaked my interests and passions when growing up in the Devon countryside. I hope you enjoy what you read hereafter. You’ll find little that’s original or revolutionary. There are wonderful professional writers out there who are brilliant at doing just that and I love to read their work. No, I remain a happy amateur scribbler who loves where he’s ended up and the people he’s ended up with and tries to pay to one and all the respect and understanding due to them. In short, a simple online diary attempting to capture something of the character and qualities of This Other Eden….