Saturday 24 August 2019


Timbo danced with an Edmontosaurus
Cartography from the known and unknown world in the 1550's
They saw with their own eyes Bach being slain. Proud parents recorded the music!

August 8
Wendy discovered a Trilobite and lots of other creatures that were on the earth at the dawn of time.
Timbo danced with an Edmontosaurus. He watched as many children being admonished, by their parents, for running around the museum.

The cousins had a lovely lunch and Wendy paid. 
“My treat next time”,said Timbo cheerfully.

They entered a secret grotto close by, a cave of maps, and rare and precious cartography from the known and unknown world.

Onward Wendy and Timbo journeyed through throngs of people waving strange sticks and talking loudly in a language the cousins could not fathom.

On entering a church, which was busy too, with music being played by young people. They saw with their own eyes Bach being slain.

“Its time for tea!” shouted the cousins, and so it was.

Wednesday 21 August 2019



Sitting right on the edge of East Sussex, Great Dixter its exquisite house and gardens, is a tumult of borders, beds, pathways and plots. This is an herbaceous wonderland of colour and combinations of plants. Everything piles on top of you.

Great Dixter was the family home of a great gardener, Christopher Lloyd who with Edwin Lutyens created something quick special.

As an attraction the place is well organised, right down the provisions for refreshments, shade and lunch. 

A tour of the house is not to be missed; you can enjoy ambling round 15C mansion and the Lutyens add-ons. 

Although the place was busy, one of the hottest days of the summer, all of us were lost in this huge maze of plants and planting. Then, you’d turn a corner, or chose a small path and bump into a fellow visitor!  a sort of gardening Caucus-Race.

Sunday 18 August 2019


A lovely sunny day for the Cotswolds and everyone else thought so too. Off the A40 to Cheltenham, Burford was heaving with visitors, all enjoying the Farrow and Ball quaintness.

Escaping the high street is St Mary’s church. A huge box of chocolates, St Mary has it all: tombs, monuments, chapels and shrines. It survived the reformation and Cromwell’s stampede and also a drastic C19 assault by A G Street.

There is lots to cherish here and don’t miss the bale tombs immediately outside the south door.

As we retreated from Burford where a fight broke out over our parking space. The Swan Inn in Swinbrook provides a quieter place to enjoy a pint and their last packet of crisps.

And on to Chipping Norton, St Mary Chipping Norton is reached down a precarious lane that runs down to the river. We were negotiating local vehicles and Dutch number plates.

Like most of the churches here about St Mary owes is loveliness to the wool merchants of the Middle Ages.  The Perpendicular nave reaches heavenwards and remarkable windows let in so much light as to make this God’s greenhouse!

Most of the church is in the Decorated style, when English stonemasons and wood carvers were walking on water. Slight disappointment was the AV screen, a popular feature in modern church going, obscures the view of the chancel roof and most of the East window. Diuma, a wandering Celtic evangelist, who died in Charlbury in 658 A.D, first brought the Christian faith to this community. So in the grand scheme of things the PowerPoint screen is but a transient distraction

Friday 16 August 2019


August 4 2019

Not to be missed is an open day at Taplow Court. You can experience the grounds and house of the neo Gothic mansion with is main hall in a curious but lovely Romanesque style. 

Outside are gardens of wild flowers and well-tended herbaceous beds.

Taplow Court is the home of SGI-UK, a lay Buddhist society dedicated to working for a more peaceful and harmonious world. This must explain way the place; people and visitors have such an aura of happiness and warmth. Everyone is smiling and friendly, a counter point to the pervasive anger of South Buckinghamshire.

On these open days (2 – 5pm) you can enjoy the grounds, which look south to Windsor and tumble down to the Thames to the immediate west.  Don’t miss a guided tour of the house and insights into the history of the place.

We enjoyed peaceful afternoon of discoveries and a cream tea.

Tuesday 6 August 2019


It seems that googling any combination of vegetables coming from Sian's allotment brings up a delicious recipe!

I am grateful to for the divine sounding dip!  Thank you and g'day! 

Saturday 3 August 2019


Continuing my exploration of North Oxfordshire churches I visited St Peter in Hanwell and St Etheldreda in Horley village. This quite part of the county was were stonemasons and woodcarvers of the 12 – 14thcenturies created some wonderful work, which survived the Civil War, which was very busy hereabouts!

St Peter Hanwell stands on a hillside that sweeps down to meadows and next door there is a castle! Well one tower of which rises up from a grit drive and a moat of colourful herbaceous splendour. The stone carvings are remarkable outside one can make out the scene of a woman and a mermaid chasing a fox.  Make time on your visit to walk in the meadow on St Peter’s south side and walk up and enjoy a lovely view of this church.

With the church at Horley one is almost into Warwickshire, St Etheldreda* was bathed in sunlight and its ironstone glowed. Blessed with a central crossing the east end is Norman. The big story here is an enormous mural, c1450, of St Christopher on the north wall.  This is a treasure and there are other fragments on the wall for one to enjoy including one of St Sitha (Zita of Lucca) the patron saint of maids and keys.

St Etheldreda is blessed by a wonderful guidebook from whence some of these details come.

*An Anglo Saxon Saint, 630 to 674AD who founded a double monastery at Ely, one for men and the other for women.