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

Chenies Manor

It is the landscape that ultimately decides what is built or cultivated nearby, which industries thrive or die, or how secure a settlement is.

When a man is tired of London, he should head to Highgate Cemetery

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

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

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?

Repair and Refurbish and They Will Come

Who knew that we owe so much of our complex digital lives to the war-time activities of code-breakers toiling in secret during the Second World War at Bletchley Park? In an unexpected location, in the middle of a nondescript town in Buckinghamshire, north west of London, sits a visitor attraction that is bound to keep the … Continue reading Repair and Refurbish and They Will Come

A rallying cry from London’s Mayor: Let’s put the grout back into Britain!

It’s not very often the men in suits upstage a Roman antiquity. I was invited to the special opening of “Predators and Prey: A Roman mosaic from Lod, Isreal” at the splendid Rothschild mansion of Waddesdon Manor in leafy Buckinghamshire, a short train journey north west of London. The reason we were there was kept under … Continue reading A rallying cry from London’s Mayor: Let’s put the grout back into Britain!