A rare gem: Ham House

Why oh why did I not visit Ham House when I lived in London? This is an historic jewel of a property run now by the National Trust, situated just outside Richmond in South West London, close to the River Thames. We had the good fortune to be shown around the property by one of…

Canoe Lake AKA Swan Lake

I used to live around the corner from Canoe Lake – and one day will probably do so again – and regularly walked its circumference on my way home from school. I’ve always enjoyed it on fair days and foul. So just how old is Canoe Lake, which is now a central player and attraction…

The real Cockleshell Heroes

One sunny Sunday afternoon this March, I went for a stroll around the Canoe Lake area of the Southsea seafront and came across a plaque denoting the words, The Cockleshell Heroes. Being a bit of a fan of vintage film, I seemed to recall a film of the same name with Jose Ferrer and Trevor…

A new investigation into the past …

As readers of this blog will know, last week, I discovered the youth of my Great Aunt and Uncle and found out that they were intrepid travellers, regularly visiting Europe and Africa in the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. A couple of images however reveal a family mystery which I hope, over the next few…

The sweet sadness of memories

It’s taken a house move and several years before I have looked at the family photos my mother has passed down to me.  I grew up in a happy family, taking for granted my “Auntie and Uncle”, whose ongoing presence meant I never missed my unknown departed grandparents. Auntie and Uncle, in fact my great…

A design classic: Spode’s Blue Italian

I’ve always loved blue and white ever since I was a little girl.  I like its crispness and clarity and its affiliation with all things seaside.  As I’ve got older however, and have started to inherit things, I’ve begun to realise it might also have something to do with hanging onto my memories of cherished…

Foyle’s Hastings

Take the East Hill Lift for a view over Hastings If you loved Foyle’s War, then this post is for you.  Hastings, (East Sussex) where GreenLit Productions filmed the first six series, is as much of a cast member as Michael Kitchen and Honeysuckle Weeks and is showcased to its best through the high production…

A fun day out to Brighton, East Sussex

I used to come to Brighton as a child but I have to admit, I haven’t visited for a while so one summer, I took a day trip to visit the beach.  The town we know and love today dates really from the 18th and 19th centuries when Brighton established itself as a health and…

Rocking Dorking’s Rooster!

The Dorking Cockerel, Deepdene Roundabout, courtesy of Visit Dorking There’s a large silver rooster sitting in a roundabout, just outside of Dorking town centre.  Why, you might ask? Well, I’ll do my best to answer. The Dorking Cockerel, Deepdene Roundabout, courtesy of Visit Dorking It is better known locally as The Dorking Cockerel and the inhabitants of…

The French Nativity

When I travelled over to the French Riviera last winter, I didn’t expect to be spending an afternoon looking at nativity scenes – but I am so pleased that I did. High up in the hills, an easy 30 minute drive from Nice, is the village of Lucéram, a medieval perched village which in 1988,…