West Sussex Sunday

We started from Sheepwash Lane, beside the cricket pitch in East Lavant, north of Chichester and followed the path by Manor Farm to where it borders the River Lavant. This was over a month ago, still officially spring but the sun shone like summer and cow parsley showed us the way. Continue reading “West Sussex Sunday”

Frames of reference

West Sussex Saturday

A month after my birthday and my present was to wake up under a new sky. We’d come away for the weekend and the bright morning window offered a fresh perspective, the fast-moving clouds seemed to suggest anything was possible. I’m writing this a month later, on the eve of a new dawn. Yesterday the General Election voted for a hung parliament, a brave new world where even Kensington seemed to be turning red. But here in Chichester the sky is perpetually blue. Continue reading “West Sussex Saturday”

Frames of reference

Two Days In Epping Forest

I suppose that’s a bit of an exaggeration, we didn’t stay overnight, but it sounds better than two visits or two day trips to Epping Forest. The first was a week after Easter, on St George’s Day, inspired by blogposts and tweets about holloways, I wondered what’s the closest thing to a holloway in Epping Forest? And so we went up to Jack’s Hill and walked to the western edge of Ambresbury Banks. Continue reading “Two Days In Epping Forest”

Frames of reference

South Downs Saturday

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It was half term. Sue was on holiday from school for a week so we went down south to the South Downs for a weekend. I don’t get a half term break otherwise we might have stayed longer. But it was perfect. Blue skies and a chance to breathe some clear Sussex air. Continue reading “South Downs Saturday”

Frames of reference

Around Shoreham

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I’d often wondered about Shoreham. It’s famous as the inspiration for many of Samuel Palmer’s bucolic paintings, but on the map it’s surrounded by motorways, an edgeland bordered by the M20, the M25 and the M26. I suppose I’d worried that it’s spell must have been broken. But then after a recent visit to Ankerwycke, also on the rim of the M25, I realised that magic can persist. Continue reading “Around Shoreham”

Frames of reference

Heaven’s Rope Swing

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Heaven’s Gate is a Capability Brown designed viewpoint overlooking Longleat House in Wiltshire. It’s a wonderful spot, a place to relax and drift away as the clouds unfold before your eyes.

The ground rises sharply to the east as far as Park Hill and Prospect Hill, on the top of which a viewpoint known as Heaven’s Gate looks out over the park. The slopes are planted with hanging beech woods, proposed by Brown but planted towards the end of the C18. Continue reading “Heaven’s Rope Swing”

Frames of reference

Chasing Golden Light

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A few weeks ago we went back to Epping Forest, before the leaves all disappeared, to soak up the seasonal colours and recharge our batteries. We’d been away far too long. It was the day we put the clocks back an hour, when darkness suddenly comes too soon. It was a beautiful autumn day but it felt like the sunlight was rationed and we hurried to catch the last of it. Continue reading “Chasing Golden Light”

Frames of reference

Manningtree (Slight Return)

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We came back to the North House Gallery in Manningtree to see Fin · River · Swift, a new exhibition by Julian Meredith. This piece is called Elmigration, a large woodcut measuring 3 metres by 1 metre, printed from a single plank of elm wood. Continue reading “Manningtree (Slight Return)”

Frames of reference

A Walk Along The Pier

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Southend pier is the longest in the world. It was built in 1830 to allow access across the mudflats for the boatloads of visitors arriving at the seaside resort from London. They came in search of its health giving waters and sea breezes. We came for fish & chips but Jamie and Jimmy’s Café was closed. Continue reading “A Walk Along The Pier”

Frames of reference

Manningtree

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Manningtree was another daytrip destination in the early 1980s. We came on the train with our bikes from Liverpool Street to explore the country lanes around Dedham and Flatford, but we didn’t see much of Manningtree apart from the station. It was the gateway to Constable country. Continue reading “Manningtree”

Frames of reference