"Had we but world enough and time,This coyness, Lady, were no crime,We would sit down, and think, which wayTo walk, and pass our long love's day.Thou by the Indian Ganges' sideShould'st rubies find; I by the tideof Humber would complain."Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress We crossed the Humber bridge mid-morning in October, the sun [...]
It is always an absolute pleasure to drive through drive through Essex. Despite the popular media image of the county, it is heart-achingly beautiful, with it's pretty little villages with chocolate box thatched cottages. Mrs. P and I, along with a couple of young friends of ours, went touring this much overlooked county last summer. [...]
It is late July and I am sitting in the lounge bar of George and Abbotsford Hotel, in Melrose. We had ended up here after traveling across country from Alnwick, stopping for a very pleasant afternoon at Abbotsford. I was having a pint and taking in the scenery: it's obviously a pub that loves its [...]
Abbotsford is a rather grand, gothic baronial house, just outside of Melrose in the Scottish Borders. It was built by Sir Walter Scott, the famed novelist, friend of Wordsworth and favourite of Queen Victoria. It's often said that Scott invented the idea of 'Scottishness', with his Romantic nostalgia for the Jacobite rebellion, with tartan clad [...]
I didn't have very much time to spend in Rugby but I was determined to visit as the little midlands town was home to one of the greatest poets of the 20th Century, along with a great deal more literary history, much of it connected to the large public school that dominates the town. We [...]
Nuneaton! The very name is redolent of exotic holidays on sun kissed beaches, laying on fine white coral sand and sipping cocktails beneath tropical sunsets. It is actually quite a pleasant little Midlands town, complete with quirky local museum in a lovely town centre park and a love, bordering on obsession, for their best-known novelist. [...]
I've always liked Coventry. I first came here for a work conference at the University of Warwick. A slow afternoon had me catching a bus into town and taking a look around. In the 1940s, Coventry was home to a number of light engineering and armament factories. Between 1940 and 1941 the Luftwaffe attempted to [...]
She died in an upstairs bedroom,By the light of the evening star,That shone through the plate glass windowFrom over Leamington SpaSir John Betjeman, Death in Leamington Well, I'm back. It feels good to be back on the road again after so long behind closed doors. I hope I will gather enough information to see me [...]
In which I venture out alone into the Hertfordshire countryside...
In which I discover Arthur Ransome's favourite boat...