Monthly Archives: August 2012

Fabulous forties: Destination Dover, UK

It was like stepping back sixty years at the White Cliffs of Dover. Tourists were double-taking as a smartly dressed foursome made their way through what was one of Churchill’s front line command centres during the early part of World War II. The castle, sitting high above the English Channel, was a key strategic site […]

The Lake District, and why it is so green

So at the end of this rather wet British Summer, we went to the Lake District. We don’t go to the Lakes expecting dry weather every day, but it is good to see the wonderful scenery lit up by sunshine. This time mainly it was rather wet, but the boys and I did get out […]

The Man Who Found a Well in his Living Room

A slight dip in the living room floor has turned out to be a 33 ft deep well, dating back to the 16th century, for a man from England’s West Country. Colin Steer, 61, noticed the dip in the front room of his Victorian home in Plymouth, Devon, 24 years ago and vowed he would […]

Police lion hunt ends with village kitty

Brit campers swore blind they sighted a huge lion prowling free in an Essex village. But it turned out, after a 20-hour high-profile operation followed closely by national media, to be Teddy the cat. A crack team of 30 police, marksmen, and two police helicopters sped into action after campers claimed to have sighted a […]

Comic capers…and other food

What do parents do to give their kids a culinary treat these days, I wonder? Take them for a burger and a free toy to compensate for the disappointment of the burger? Take them to a pizza place where they can choose from a dozen different sickly sweety toppings for their ice-creams? With my own […]

A graphic day out

If you like to play around with aquarelles, colouring pencils or a dreamily soft 6B while you’re having a cuppa, there is only one place in England you need to visit. It’s a place that may be the subject of gentle ridicule when you mention it in a mixed company of non-artists, for it seems […]

Being Soldiers in Ancient Castles

Today we caught up with a couple of Roman soldiers. Thing is, today they were Romans, the next week they might be Normans and the week after Hussars from the Napoleonic army. For they are the new face of battle re-enactment in Britain: the cutting edge of action research with the Brit conservation body English […]

The Loneliness of the Short-Distance Surfer

You have to give our British surfers points for enthusiasm: they’re even out practising on the wash provided by the ferries in the English Channel, on England’s south coast. These are pictures from Folkestone’s sandy beach at high tide, today. The sea was choppy and the sky black, and a punishing wind whipped across the […]

Knit your own Royal Wedding

You may hanker for all things British and be stuck on the other side of the world during this most Anglophile of summers. But there is one surefire way to put that right. You can knit a British celebration all your own. Fiona Noble is a Brit knits designer who hit on a best seller: […]

The Nude on the Thames

She is quite the most captivating nude you will see in an English village.  And she owes her existence to an American who lost his life on the Lusitania. And yet her connection with the elite village of Marlow is as tentative as a theatrical infatuation with a view over the Thames. She was placed […]