Monthly Archives: November 2012

Sudbury, Derbyshire and a Crinkle Crankle Wall

This is the land of my birth. The place where I learnt to love wild flowers, appreciate walking in the beautiful countryside, and enjoy the architecture of the many fine properties in the area – this is Derbyshire – my roots. Sudbury Hall Sudbury is what is colloquially called an Estate Village, meaning that the […]

In The News

Time For Bed, Grandad The Rolling Stones breached their curfew this week.  Playing at the O2 Arena, according to The Telegraph: …the quartet, all aged in their 60s and 70s, were half an hour late starting, which meant the concert did not finish until just after 11pm [and] their set ran 40 minutes over a strict curfew. […]

Hidcote – an Arts & Craft Garden created by an American in the Cotswolds

Hidcote was created by American horticulturalist, Lawrence Johnston during the early 1900s, and is described as one of England’s great ‘Arts and Crafts’ gardens. Johnston was born in Paris (1871) into a wealthy American family, he was educated at home and then in 1893 at Trinity College, Cambridge.   The garden is in a series of outdoor […]

Flooded out: the UK in crisis

  I am thinking of getting the blueprints for the Ark out of storage. We are veterans of rain, here in the UK. We have plenty of umbrellas and wellington boots.  But even we are a little nonplussed at the sheer volume of water our leaden skies seem able to drop on us at the […]

Sport – en-chanting soccer songs

British football crowds sing songs at matches – known as chants. Often they are rude and generally mock the opposition, either en masse or individual players. At their best they are warm, self-deprecating and funny; at their worst they are crude, sexist or racist. Some manage to be all three in one verse. But every […]

A Very English Visit to the Pub

England: cold, bleak, dank. November is not the optimum time for outdoor comfort; the mist seeps into your bones and turns the tip of your nose red. Here we are in our winter woolies. Since time immemorial, we and our forebears have wrapped up warm and strode out into the grey melancholy landscape of England […]

From Falkes Hall to Vauxhall by Car

Stories, if repeated often enough, can acquire the solidity of truth. One such story is how the Russian word for railway station, vokzal, derives from Vauxhall, London SW8. Supposedly, a Russian delegation who visited in 1840 to inspect the construction of the London and South Western Railway mistook the name of the station for the […]

Hans Holbein in London

The Ambassadors’ – National Gallery, London In many of Holbein’s portraits there is much more to them than initially meets the eye. This painting was commissioned by Jean de Dinteville, who we see standing on the left. He was sent to England by King Francis I of France as an ambassador to protect the interests […]

Sport – The Non-English Premier League

The English Premier League is the best in the world – but it isn’t very English anymore – not that British if truth be known. Although football has been played in many forms since the days of the caveman (behaviours have improved a little since then, though not much); but it’s recognised that it was […]

St Pancras International Railway Station, London.

We left for the Moselle Valley from our local railway station, via London, to catch the Eurostar train to Brussels. Our station was part of the first major British railway construction for the Great Western Railway designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Isambard Kingdom Brunel via wikipedia A contemporary and historic photo of the great train […]