Category Archives: England

A Pebble in My Pocket

PART THREE: NORTH YORK MOORS NATIONAL PARK Day nine is twenty-three miles of dodging rain clouds across North Yorkshire. The footpath travels from Richmond to Ingleby Cross and the Bluebell Hotel via lush farmland that Wainwright deplores and upon which … Continue reading

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A Pebble in My Pocket

PART TWO: THE YORKSHIRE DALES NATIONAL PARK It is the fifth day. We leave Shap behind, crossing a footbridge over the motorway, passing the quarry and the steel factory spewing forth clouds of smoke. Three hours of mole-hills, moorland and … Continue reading

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A Pebble in my Pocket

PART ONE: THE LAKE DISTRICT NATIONAL PARK London, 1991. It is the week before Easter. We squeeze sideways onto the commuter train to Euston with heavy rucksacks, trying hard not to look smug. ‘There, but for the grace of God, … Continue reading

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Jersey Jottings

“Gradually the magic of the island settled over us as gently and clingingly as pollen.” ~ Gerald Durrell I do love islands. I seem always to feel more comfortable living on an island than in a landlocked country, be it … Continue reading

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Changing Seasons

A one-time bandstand on the beachfront. Pale blue sky, wisps of cloud. Vast merchant ships line the horizon in orderly fashion, like a game of battleships. Wooden groins, dusted in mossy weed, are half submerged in a rising tide. The … Continue reading

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Windmills

Patience. The windmill never strays in search of the wind.’ Andy J. Sklivis It’s been the perfect weather for ice-cream this past couple of weeks. The summer days have been long and gloriously warm. On our hill, 35 metres above … Continue reading

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Burnt Toast

‘My mother burns toast as surely as the sun rises each morning… I am nine now and I have never seen butter without black bits in it.’ ~ Nigel Slater The Other Palace is a terrific little theatre only a … Continue reading

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Operation Pied Piper

Remember the childhood fairy tale about a man with a flute, who lured all the children of the village away from their parents, after the townsfolk failed to honour their promise too him? With the best intentions in the world, … Continue reading

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Of Battenberg Cake & Coronation Chicken

I have spent a long morning immersed in English history in the Great Hall at Carisbrooke Castle, trying to untangle the web of European connections that is the British Royal Family. What better way, then, to blow away the cobwebs … Continue reading

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Back to Basics

Dougal, Florence, Dylan, Zebby, Oliver and Compton. Old or new, all the campervans in the Fishbourne fleet have a name, many with a Magic Roundabout twist. In the beginning, there was an Ermentrude, too. Ours was Isla. As in Isla … Continue reading

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