Glutton for Punishment

One of the advantages of living on your own is the freedom to indulge in whims. This why only a couple of weeks after my unsuccessful attempt to find a beautiful sunrise over a frost covered Whitby I was setting my alarm for another 5.45 start, this time to try the coastal hamlet of Staithes. … Continue reading Glutton for Punishment


Mistaken Identity

Two days after seeing the Chapter House stairs in Wells Cathedral and mistakenly recognising them from "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves", I ventured to another county and a setting that I was certain had appeared in the film.  Perhaps I should make clear at this point that I'm not an obsessive following in the footsteps … Continue reading Mistaken Identity


On my short exploration of the parts of England that I don't usually reach I eventually arrived at Hackney, and Sutton House.  Now Hackney is not just a place-name, without the capitalisation it is defined here as Middle English: probably from Hackney in East London, where horses were pastured. The term originally denoted an ordinary riding … Continue reading Hackneyed?

A Sanddancer among the Cockneys*

Rainham Hall in Essex has been described as one of the finest and best preserved examples in England of a medium sized early Georgian merchant’s house which seems a fairly narrow category to dominate but never mind.  The merchant in question was not a Londoner, he was born near to me in the North East. … Continue reading A Sanddancer among the Cockneys*

666 is no longer alone*

* Genesis - Supper's Ready   People attach special significance to certain numbers whether they're religious, freemasons, or just seeking the advantage of a little luck.  Depending on which sources you read, any number from 1-25 (and many more beyond that including the number of the beast in my title) has special meaning in the bible. … Continue reading 666 is no longer alone*

“You’ll know it when you see it!”… how I referred to the difference between baroque and rococo when discussing decoration with one of the National Trust volunteers at Claydon House in Buckinghamshire.   I'm afraid that the same does not apply to you dear reader as I shall explain. For nearly four centuries this has been home to the Verney family, … Continue reading “You’ll know it when you see it!”…

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 … Continue reading A Very Different Houghton