No. 132 Piccotts End. A cautionary tale of why it’s not a good idea to smoke in bed.

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.

Simple Orchids. Simply Beautiful

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

A brilliant cultural tapestry

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

A little bit of bread and no cheeeese!

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!

Hellfire On a Hill

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

Good Shot Terry!

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!

Who knew Hedgehogs could dominate the landscape?

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?

Nuffield Place – the epitome of understatement

Nuffield Place is typical of the Chilterns: modest, intriguing and tucked away in a beautiful place you have probably near heard of. The William Morris of the British Arts and Crafts Movement-fame casts a huge shadow on this William Morris who brought affordable motoring to Britain, and this is his story. Born in 1877 in Worcester, … Continue reading Nuffield Place – the epitome of understatement

The Seven Sisters

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

Gentle Giants on the Chiltern Ridges

Landscape plays a huge role in determining the form and function of buildings, not least windmills and watermills. The reasons they were built may be long gone, but there are often subtle reminders of lost buildings, in street names for example or from soapwort still growing nearby (used as a natural soaping agent), some mills still … Continue reading Gentle Giants on the Chiltern Ridges