Deacon Hill

We left the car on Great Green by the Motte & Bailey pub in the village of Pirton, not far from our previous walk to Kingswalden Park, attracted back again by the promise of more green lanes and Hertfordshire hedgerows. We left the village and straightaway we were on the Icknield Way. Continue reading “Deacon Hill”

Frames of reference

Kingswalden Park

This was another summer walk, back in July when it seemed like whenever we were not working we were walking. Walking had become our substitute for going out to the cinema, the theatre, music gigs, galleries, restaurants, shops, markets. Sometimes while out walking we might risk visiting a pub, but only if we could sit outside. Covid lived inside. Today we parked on the village green at Preston in Hertfordshire, beside the Red Lion pub. But its door was closed, its garden was empty and there was no public convenience. I needed a tree. I could think of little else, winding the village paths out to pasture and greatly relieved to find this welcoming field maple. Continue reading “Kingswalden Park”

Frames of reference

The Ways

Twelve framed hand-coloured linocuts by Liz Somerville in our window throughout August and September. They’re part of a suite of 48 prints called The Ways, celebrating four ancient paths through England. There’s also a limited edition concertina booklet of all the images in miniature. Continue reading “The Ways”

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Tewin & Back Again

Lower Green at Tewin, a pretty village midway between Welwyn and Hertford, 30 miles north of London and the perfect place for a circular countryside walk. We parked beside the green and just as I stepped out a football came flying past, but too quick for me to kick back, it continued into the road and lodged itself under our car. Which is why this picture appears so tranquil. The hectic to and fro momentarily interrupted. “Please mister, can we have our ball back?” Continue reading “Tewin & Back Again”

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Wood On The Downs

At the gate we met a man with a camera, overloaded with telephoto lenses, overexposed to the sun, returning to the shelter of his car. He’d taken up photography in retirement, pursuing butterflies over the Downs, but today there were too many people and too few photo opportunities. He’d seen Green Hairstreaks and Orange-tips but didn’t think he had any good photos. As we spoke, bright yellow Brimstones danced around his head, but too quick to photograph. “It’s the story of my life,” he said. Continue reading “Wood On The Downs”

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Hatfield & The North

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This post is for Hank & Paula, friends from the USA who have visited London so many times I think they know it better than we do. They really should be showing us the sights but instead we go out of town for a change. Last time we went to the Henry Moore Foundation at Much Hadham so it seemed appropriate that this time we should meet by his Large Spindle Piece outside King’s Cross station. Continue reading “Hatfield & The North”

Frames of reference

Into The Woods

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A couple of years ago this embroidered purse arrived in the post, a surprise gift from a benevolent customer. I was not sure what to keep in it, or whether I should just frame it, so it’s been waiting in a corner of my workshop. I saw it again recently and decided to discover where it came from. Continue reading “Into The Woods”

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Much Hadham & Much Moore

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We were welcomed to Much Hadham by a hysteria of wisteria, as though a single vine had united the genteel facades in a euphoric May bank holiday communal hug. Its root system spread throughout the village, linking the houses with its benevolent infrastructure. Or was that just my imagination? Continue reading “Much Hadham & Much Moore”

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Elizabethan Oaks

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Hatfield Park in Hertfordshire (not to be confused with its namesake Hatfield Forest in Essex) is home to an extraordinary number of venerable old oak trees, many of them believed to be over 1200 years old. A walk around the park might be described as a tour of the Stations of the Oak. Continue reading “Elizabethan Oaks”

Frames of reference