A sunny Sunday morning in June is the perfect time for a walk in the countryside. Conjuring up the devil is a less common pastime, I hope, but I had the opportunity to combine both. Our walk from Oving to North … Continue reading Raising the Devil
When you’re wandering round an Oxfordshire town centre in 2018, there are certain things you don’t expect. Such as random sightings of replica cows. Milton Keynes, maybe; it has a reputation for concrete bovines. But we saw a few as … Continue reading The cows have come home…?
There’s always plenty to see at Waddesdon Manor, perhaps the most famous Rothschild house in Britain. At the moment, in addition to the many and various splendours on show all year round, there’s a special exhibition about the Aldobrandini Tazze, … Continue reading The show must go on? The Silver Caesars mystery
“Were you born in a barn?” was a question irritated adults used to ask during our childhood, if we left a door open and the cold came inside. The question probably didn’t have a specific barn in mind: certainly not … Continue reading From monks to Moneypenny: 007’s car and an Oxfordshire barn
Off the A418 between Aylesbury and Thame sits a historic house that once housed a French monarch for five years. Hartwell House, now a luxury hotel under National Trust ownership, was home to the court of Louis XVIII of France … Continue reading Louis, Robert and Winston: traces of the famous at a Bucks historic house
Today we visited somewhere we have driven past on countless occasions over the years, a classic example of tourist’s doorstep law (you don’t bother looking at things under your nose). After a morning examining two ancient hillfort sites, one at … Continue reading A Chinese president and a non-takeaway
Marlow has boasted several famous writers as residents: TS Eliot, the Shelleys, Isaak Walton. But the town’s most extraordinary author was surely Kate Marsden (1859-1931), who became a writer by chance: she was a nurse, who first became obsessed with … Continue reading Marlow’s Siberian connection
I admit it – that heading’s clickbait. As it happens, my view is that our current monarch is one of the more blameless people in British public life today. She has served, stoically and dutifully, for well over 60 years. … Continue reading The carelessness of Queen Elizabeth II
If Rupert Brooke had spent more time drinking in and around Henley rather than Princes Risborough, he might have inverted his most famous line. For, in the little village of Stoke Row, there is some corner of an English field … Continue reading Some corner of an English field…
It’s a tricky one. What’s the best known poem in the English language? And how do we prove it? Does it depend on what you were taught at school, or something else? And are we talking about an entire poem, … Continue reading Paths of glory: the best known poem?