It is the landscape that ultimately decides what is built or cultivated nearby, which industries thrive or die, or how secure a settlement is.
The more I explore of my local area, the more I understand what it means to live and work here. Like threads in a beautiful hand-woven rug, each strand, all not immediately obvious, inextricably bound together, are woven to make up a brilliant cultural tapestry that is Buckinghamshire and the Chilterns. I was recently invited to … Continue reading A brilliant cultural tapestry
Whilst out on our walk this morning, two vivid speckled birds with yellow faces and breasts, burst out of the undergrowth and landed on a branch nearby. Startled, the pair didn't seem too bothered by Leo and I, which surprised me, as a dog will make birds nervous. As we walked along the path, they bounced … Continue reading A little bit of bread and no cheeeese!
The fire had been provided by a portable BBQ, that now lay discarded with accompanying beer bottles under a tree just behind the mausoleum. I am sure Sir Francis Dashwood, creator of all I could see, would have approved of the party, but not the litter. Perhaps I was subconscioulsy drawn to West Wycombe hill that … Continue reading Hellfire On a Hill
England went mad: with the Easter weather forecast of doom for three of the four-day weekend, today was the day to get out. And get out everyone did! Up and down the land, queues formed for just about everything. Having just renewed my National Trust membership, I was eager to visit Stowe House and Gardens near Buckingham, once the … Continue reading Good Shot Terry!
Part of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site, Avebury is the more intriguing spectacle; a mishmash of the quaint, medieval, neolithic monuments, ditches, hedgehogs and druids. Thousands of years of chalk dust, stirred up by the tread of leather along the Ridgeway and around the ancient stones and mysterious monuments that dot the Wiltshire … Continue reading Who knew Hedgehogs could dominate the landscape?
Once the larder for London, the Chilterns' are enjoying a revival of food fortunes with independent producers setting up their stalls across the hills. I heard on the grapevine that pickers were needed to help bring in the Solaris harvest at Frithsden vineyard last month. 40 or so volunteers, including locals and "I missed it … Continue reading I heard it on the grapevine
Like Nuffield Place, Wormsley Estate is also typical of the Chilterns: slightly bonkers, intriguing and tucked away in a beautiful place you have probably only cycled past along the boundary-hugging Bridleway. The home of cricket and opera, not two pastimes I would associate with the same venue, but hey, that’s the Chilterns for you. I should … Continue reading Wormsley Estate, home to cricket and opera
It has taken me 25 years, but finally I made it to the Sussex Heritage Coast and to wonder at those iconic white cliffs - not of Dover - but the Seven Sisters and in particular Birling Gap, further west along the coast. I had only ever glimpsed those white cliffs through a sea fog, or … Continue reading The Seven Sisters
A day to discover what lies beneath turned into an altogether unexpected musical encounter as I headed out to spend a morning learning about the archeology that litters the floor of an ancient Chilterns woodland at Pigotts Wood. Near High Wycombe, Pigotts Woods is really tucked away in the Chiltern Hills, and if I hadn’t been in such a … Continue reading The Top Dog