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
United Selfies of America
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
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
The great Brexit debate
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
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
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?
A road trip in the Free State and neighbouring Lesotho
This short travelogue follows the discovery of a set of images taken during a trip a relative took whilst on holiday in South Africa in 1957. His handwriting was even worse than mine, so I am unfortunately not able to identify specific locations or people. He traveled from Germany by boat, calling in at Cape Town, … Continue reading A road trip in the Free State and neighbouring Lesotho
Do Small Children Like to Wear Lavender?
“Is this place only full of old people?” is what I hear from younger family members who dig deep to drum up enthusiasm for yet more hunt-the-horses, or count-the-crests whilst we visit another National Trust (NT) property. “Don’t go anywhere, near anything, or see if you can fit into that wardrobe, just in case, god … Continue reading Do Small Children Like to Wear Lavender?
Mind the Swan Uppers on your way up the river!
England is full of quaint customs - some funny and others frankly bizarre. Some with origins lost or simply re-invigorated to suit modern tastes and bank holidays. Swan Upping is neither. Firmly routed in the 12th century, it is both necessary for conservation of mute swans and acts as a gentle reminder of just who … Continue reading Mind the Swan Uppers on your way up the river!
It’s all about location location location.
I sometimes wonder if visitors who are in east London think they are there by accident, or have been mistakenly sent there by their friends or hotel concierge who are playing some sort of cruel joke. I tend to find myself on a busmans holiday whenever I set off on a day trip and this … Continue reading It’s all about location location location.