The United States national parks celebrate an impressive 100th anniversary year in 2016 and what a privilege it was to re-visit some of the national parks over the summer. Living on an island that would easily fit into some of the American national parks, I had forgotten about the space, big skies, sheer spectacle, that if you don’t have a … Continue reading United Selfies of America
Forget M&S orchids, manicured to within an inch of their pampered lives and head instead to the nearest Chilterns summer meadow. The footpath glistens underfoot as it cuts through the drooping wild grasses, my wet boots and trouser legs a magnet for seed dispersal. The daisy petals are splayed under the relentless June rain, which … Continue reading Simple Orchids. Simply Beautiful
It is the landscape that ultimately decides what is built or cultivated nearby, which industries thrive or die, or how secure a settlement is.
On a recent visit to Belgium, I was both challenged and surprised with what I experienced; a restored heritage village whose retail offer was just a bread vending machine, enjoyed gourmet food, drank Leffe abbey beer, visited a castle haunted by a KKK look-alike ghost, had breakfast with pensioners visiting the many scenes from the famous … Continue reading The great Brexit debate
Forget the Taj Mahal, Tutankhamen's Tomb or even Tower Bridge: all grand in their own right, statements of wealth, status, conquest and achievement of the privileged elite and their contribution to society. Head instead to a place that is the ultimate leveller, a place where death insists the great and good spend eternity lying cheek by jowl with the infamous, … Continue reading When a man is tired of London, he should head to Highgate Cemetery
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?