Comfrey & Coggeshall Grange Barn

The plan was to take a circular walk from Kelvedon to Coggeshall and back again via Feering through gentle Essex farming countryside. That was the promise of the guidebook, Walks In The Country Near London, but it had slept on our bookshelf since 2003 and it needed waking up. Or perhaps it’s fairer to say we needed waking up, because it seemed like we stumbled and fell at the first hurdle. Continue reading “Comfrey & Coggeshall Grange Barn”

Frames of reference

A Walk In The Woods

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A Walk In The Woods

There’s a lovely and surprising exhibition by Jelly Green at the Alde Valley Spring Festival, and there’s not a single cow in sight! She’s abandoned her usual subject matter and gone for a walk in the woods, and lost herself in the green and tangled delights of the trees, and found herself there. Continue reading “A Walk In The Woods”

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”

Frames of reference

Tree Of Heaven

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This is The Rowley Gallery joiners shop in the summer of 2012, a black wooden shed perched on the flat roof of the ground floor workshop. Access is by spiral staircase and it’s where I join picture frames. It sits in the shelter of a towering tree-of-heaven, Ailanthus altissima, which in my early days here I remember as a self-sown seedling. No-one paid it too much attention, but before long I loved its dappled light in summer, and in winter I measured the sky through its mesh of branches. Continue reading “Tree Of Heaven”

Frames of reference

From Saffron Walden

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This walk begins where In Epping Forest ended. Butlers Retreat turned out to be the perfect place for breakfast, with possibly the best coffee in Essex. It kick started our trip up to Saffron Walden. Along the way we passed huge fields of cultivated rapeseed and roadside banks of wild cowslips, a yellow landscape that was once purple with crocus grown for their precious saffron. Continue reading “From Saffron Walden”

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Hardy Ash?

Last Sunday I went back to St Pancras Old Church for the first time since April (A Walk From King’s Cross) to see how the Hardy Tree was getting on. It is not a particularly grand tree, nor is it ancient but it is probably London’s most significant ash tree. With all the hysteria in the press I wondered if I would find signs here of ash dieback. Is this tree able to withstand the coming plague or is it doomed and this site to become a memorial to fraxinus excelsior? Continue reading “Hardy Ash?”

Frames of reference