A Very Different Houghton

A few years ago I posted about a visit to an annual fair in Houghton-le-Spring, a former mining town in the North East of England, so as I drove through the village of Houghton in Cambridgeshire I couldn't help but contrast the two.  Strangely enough this village too has an annual "feast" though in the…

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Unusual Garden Ornament

The Hoares of Stourhead didn't just go in for the grandiose.  The house is surrounded by some perfectly traditional lawns and shrubberies, and whilst the walled garden doesn't bear comparison with that at Wellington it features some colourful blooms. Even the ancient trees around the hall impress, though not with the same degree of delicacy.…

Wait ’til they get a load of this*

*apologies to Mr Nicholson's Joker for the bastardisation! The first stop on my summer excursion was Stourhead in Wiltshire, site of a Palladian Manor House built in the 18th Century.  I'll write about that house and its walled garden in a future post, but coming so soon after my visit to Studley Royal and the…

Dark Times

Perhaps I was suffering from a degree of geographic confusion arising from the sea being to my west rather than my beloved east coast, though more likely it was the mental clouding arising from having been made redundant from my training job less than an hour previously, but in either event my usual sense of…

Island Life… and Death (Farne Islands)

The existence of the Farne Islands is due to a geological feature called the Whin Sill, the term deriving from what regional quarrymen called flat sections of dark rock.  This is hard, volcanic material that erodes much more slowly than other rocks in the region and so gives rise to the high ground where Dunstanborough,…

The Seventh Seal (Farne Islands)

One of the problems about shooting wildlife, especially photogenic, entertaining, or threatening wildlife, is that you just don't know when to stop.  You shoot dozens of images in case this expression is better than the last, or that the beast in question is more in focus, looks more powerful, and so on.  I learnt this…