We stop to tickle the horses’ noses and listen to the birdsong along the valley before cutting up to walk back through the chocolate box hamlet of Latimer and the extraordinary Boer War memorials on the green that hints of battles fought and lost in a far-off land and a horse's heart buried in Latimer.
This Chilterns village has one of the most remarkable stories I have ever heard. And the most sensational 16th century murals in the country. Extremely rare and of national importance, these Pre-Reformation Catholic paintings, were hidden behind a sheet of course hand-woven linen until they were discovered by Arthur Lindley in 1953.
Meet the vintner who reaches deep into the South African soil and history, who like a good wine, has blended ancient rocks, sunlight, the smell and memories the soil holds, Cape honey bees, Cornish tin miners and black magic. All of which have cast a spell over me! The hot summer night air was conducive … Continue reading The Vintner with Rocks in his Pockets
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
Rebecca warned us we would become neon sign aficionados. She was right! A Boneyard, an evocative term not used much these days: it would have once referred to "a seventeenth-century boneyard, a graveyard, the oldest in the city...." for example, and quite out of place in a city as brash and bold as Las Vegas. A … Continue reading The Las Vegas Boneyard
Today is the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme
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