Tuesday 27 May 2014


Fenced off by the secretive swiss banker
We make our way down the muddy lane, past the Flowerpot Inn and down to the River Thames’ edge where we are met by Skipper Derek and his first officer Sarah J Robert.

A walk through the fields of Remenham (not far from Henley) and through Hambledon Lock, then we see Cantara of Dart moored up and ready for the off. The skipper welcomes us aboard. No morning coffee rather a morning glass of IPA from the Marlow Brewery.

The dogs play on the path close to the land fenced off by some secret Swiss financier who is busily sequestering every acre hereabouts.

Towards Henley Bridge
Casting off we motor gently upstream past Temple Island towards Henley.

Sun now high and hot; dogs pant in the shade offered by the seating on the upper deck.

Henley soon to be awash with hundreds boats and crews for the Henley Regatta, this is an essential part of the English social season. Marquees are already being erected to house corporate guests and champagne.

The suspect Vouvray we brought is opened consumed and then charged for loitering with intent to ruin a palette.

Under Henley Bridge upstream further to Wargrave.  The women disappear down to the Galley, only to emerge moments later with confections of cheeses, patés, charcuterie, pies and other steals from Waitrose.

Part of the Regatta's 1 mile 550 yard course
Our passage through the locks, Marsh and Shiplake was not impaired by lunch. Eventually skipper brought her hard to port and we headed back downstream.

Henley now bathed in afternoon sun. A saucy Sauvignon (to be served at an important wedding soon to take place) was tested and not found wanting.  Towards Temple Island Regatta people were hard at work driving in the piles and posts that mark the Regatta’s one mile and five hundred and fifty yard course.

We moored up and made our good-byes. 

I slept rather soundly that night; doubtless due to all that fresh air.

Saturday 24 May 2014


Room 4 British Museum
My office in London is the Members' Room of the British Museum. 

The location is centrally, relatively quite, somewhat exclusive and with good Wi-Fi. 

The only drawback is having to elbow one's way through the crowds of Italians, Spanish and French students to get there and arrive at one's 'desk' grumpy.

No so earlier this week when Room 4 through which I always pass was positively peaceful; So nothing for it but to sit down and enjoy Vizier Sisebek's sarcophagus and statues of Horus and Taweret, the goddess of fertility and child birth.  Peace.

Friday 23 May 2014


I slipped away found myself surround by sarcophagi of shining steel 

'In ancient Greek mythologyambrosia (Greekἀμβροσία) is sometimes the food or drink of the Greek gods (or demigods), often depicted as conferring immortality upon whoever consumed it.' - Source: Wikipedia

Each month a select group of  people descend on the Marlow Brewery and last Tuesday it was thus so. However this was no fable, we were here to enjoy a selection of fine beers, a wonderful selection from the Barbecue and the company of kindred spirits.

During this joyful celebration of the brewer's art I slipped away from my chums and found myself surround by sarcophagi-like tanks of shining steel attended by all types of pipes and gauges and cylinders and made this humble drawing in homage.

Tuesday 20 May 2014


Emerging from Victoria Station


Emerging from Victoria Station I was again struck by the sheer number of building projects in this and every part of London.
Every street or road is taken up with road works, building works.
Every other person seems to be wearing a fluorescent vest and a hard hat.

The winds send up brick dust and concrete grime.

On every street corner a concrete lorry, or a vehicle full of building materials is disgorging its load.

Every familiar bus stop seems to be suspended or moved 200 yards down the same street.
Pedestrians are shelved and funnelled in all directions by intractable diversion signs.

A new ‘Brutalism’?

Monday 19 May 2014


Last week I was delivering the 16 last training programs for a particular client in the wonderful Dunchurch Park Hotel

It was a fine sunny evening and just before I was due to sit down to supper I walked around the grounds for a final time and was again smitten by the classical architectural pastiche of the building’s shape and style!

It's been quite strange to drive up here every week, well, almost every week but the place is quite lovely in its setting in the Warwickshire countryside and as a hotel and conference centre quite stupendous with absolutely lovely staff.

THE DUNCHURCH WEBSITE IS http://www.signaturegroup.co.uk

Sunday 18 May 2014


In the Chilterns, as the bluebells fade the red Campion makes its big appearance in our hedgerows, side-swiped by the winds caused by horrid, rushing SUVs.

This flower is lovely to look at. I would call it pink (Campion) but apparently it is known as Red: Silene dioica

It is worth remembering, or useful to know, that the crushed seeds of Red Campion have also been used to cure snakebites.

The nectar of the flowers is crowd-puller for bumblebees and butterflies, and several species of moth feed on this plant’s leaves.

Saturday 17 May 2014


To soothe my spirit’s care

After an outstanding display in our woods and shady hedgerows, a pageant lasting weeks the bluebells have ‘melted’ away into the undergrowth of our woods.

The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air:
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit’s care.

Emily Brontë