How can I possibly convey the size of this Giant Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum – later in the post I will call on some help from H.  Introduced from the Caucasus to Britain in the 19th century for ornamental reasons it is a spectacular plant but with a very dark side to its nature. This giant is […]

Not far from where I live is Clubland. No, I don’t mean the Ministry of Sound, but that is pretty close by too. Maybe the historians among you are already making connections. The church is where William Booth used to worship when he was working in a pawnbrokers on the Walworth Road. The same William […]

Big is best. Globalisation is the future. Online over High Street. Thus speaks the zeitgeist before it invariably fades away. That it does can be no surprise; as C. S. Lewis once said, what is not eternal, is eternally out of date. He was talking about matters of religion; this post is concerned with something […]

  The Strathspey Steam Train is now boarding at Platform 1  for the Spey Valley at 3.30pm

Nature creates blue magic around this time of year in British forests and cliff tops stretching from Scotland in the north to Cornwall in the far south –  it’s bluebell time. British bluebells, Hyacinthoides non-scripta, are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside act. You cannot pick them or dig them up. If you […]

“That sweet city with her dreaming spires” Matthew Arnold – Professor of Poetry at Oxford Brasenose College All Souls College Exeter college chapel via wikipedia The Bodleian library In the distance it is possible to make out the river Thames meandering through the trees on the right We took our granddaughter out for a birthday […]

Tintinhull garden in Somerset is described as one of the most harmonious small gardens in Britain which surrounds an equally charming manor house. Amateur gardener Phyllis Reiss designed the garden in 1933 when she and her husband, Captain F.E. Reiss, bought the house. Her vision was greatly influenced by Hidcote, which I showed here last […]

Today the cameras are going to be trained on London for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, and one building in particular will be in the limelight; St Paul’s, London’s cathedral, known especially for its iconic dome. I suspect attention will be more on those in the congregation than the building, but maybe some of those watching will […]

I love the lichens that thrive and grow in my garden. Every lichen is a partnership between members of two different kingdoms which live together in a special, mutually beneficial relationship – a symbiosis.  Each lichen is made up of a fungus and an algae: the body of the lichen is built up by a […]

When I hopped off the bus at lunch time on Thursday and dug my little Olympus out of my pocket to take some photos of the Old Town Hall I didn’t expect to cry, but that’s what I did. I was biting my lip, looking at the ruined roof, the sky visible through the shocked […]