Today is the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme
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
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!
For all the summer crowds, we were so surprised to have what seemed like the place to ourselves, if the killer seagulls weren't going to peck us to death first. I dug out the shoe-box of yellowing holiday snaps to remind myself of where we had been and what we had done on our last … Continue reading Cornwall really does what it says on the tin
This blog post is an unashamed excuse to celebrate one of the finest wilderness areas in the world. The Cederberg runs through my veins and I welcome any opportunity to celebrate it. Located a few hours drive north of Cape Town, it’s the place to go to really get away from it all. It's the … Continue reading Mills of the Cederberg
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