What’s in a plaque?

I do love to read a good plaque as I wander around the streets of London, camera in hand. It’s like having a mini-history lesson laid out for you as you take a path, walked by thousands of people before you. They help us connect our present to the past. They also help us enjoy the living…

When Churchill met Roosevelt

Have you ever wandered down London’s Bond Street and noticed the (as I call it) “When Churchill met Roosevelt” statue – the two elder statesmen sitting on a bench with a space for us in-between – wondering what it’s all about? All became clear for me on this vexed question when I sadly read the…

Big Ben falls silent …

The most famous peal of bells in the world is falling silent this year. That unique sound, created by a cracked bell called Big Ben will go mute whilst much needed restoration takes place. Work is scheduled to take place on The Great Clock within the Queen Elizabeth Tower early this year – part of a…

Anthony Trollope and the post box

Posting a letter the other day, I found myself pondering the concept of the pillar or post box and wondering about its origins. I love a good functional design and the pillar box is perfect for its job – safe, secure, easy to post and to retrieve mail, able to withstand the elements – a design…

London’s largest Royal Park

It’s taken me half of my life to finally visit Richmond Park, London’s largest Royal Park in fact. Perhaps its only now that I tend to go for long walks with faithful Hound in tow that I have come to appreciate the beauty of nature – and it doesn’t come better than this beautiful park….

Inspired by the Malvern Hills

I first set eyes on Wales’ dark and brooding mountain range whilst visiting the new owners of the Cottage in the Wood, a small hotel and restaurant in the Malvern Hills with stunning views over the surrounding countryside. These views inspired Tolkien I was told and I could well believe it. The Black Mountains being…

A sea of Bluebells

I wonder what it is about that deep blue, almost lilac, hue that sets pulses a-pumping? If it isn’t travelling miles to see a field of lavender, it’s doing the same to see a field of bluebells in a woody glade. So this being bluebell season, and as I’m located in the heart of Hampshire,…

The Model Village

This Easter saw the successful re-launch of a much-loved tourist institution – The Model Village in Southsea. It was once run by a Mr West who also owned the two shops fronting South Parade Pier and wonder of wonders, I used to work for him at weekends. Although work was a sideline – we actually…

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…

Semaphore Relay?

I’ve just seen an interesting little snippet about Lumps Fort, Southsea online. Apparently although rebuilt extensively in Victorian times, Lumps Fort dates back to the Middle Ages – around the 1500’s – and was an earthworks fort. Once you start to look, understanding what you are seeing, the skeletal remains of the fort become more…