A Visit to Compton Verney, Warwickshire, in December 2021

Compton Verney in Warwickshire is one of my favourite places; an elegant Georgian house set in a glorious landscape. A visit here and a walk through the Capability Brown parklands always gives me a feeling of bliss and tranquility. Capability Brown knew what he was up to when he rode through the grounds of theseContinue reading “A Visit to Compton Verney, Warwickshire, in December 2021”

A Tribute to a Gifted Friend: Multifaceted Artist Alison Hird-Beecroft

Today I want to celebrate a rare soul and gifted artist, a lover of the structure and form and beauty she found in the world, both in nature and in the built environment, who cunningly wove that into her own exquisite artefacts: Alison Hird-Beecroft. Alison was a dear friend of both myself and my sisterContinue reading “A Tribute to a Gifted Friend: Multifaceted Artist Alison Hird-Beecroft”

Rescued Maori Meeting House in the Grounds of an English Stately Home

I was fascinated to see this Maori meeting house in the grounds of Clandon Park, Surrey. It immediately attracted me as I loved learning about the Maori culture in New Zealand during my November 2019 visit. I discovered that the original meeting house, Hinemihi, had been sited in an area of New Zealand’s North IslandContinue reading “Rescued Maori Meeting House in the Grounds of an English Stately Home”

Spring 2021 Writing News

Spring is almost with us and new hope is rising. What’s new here in Warwick, during what we hope will be the final months of the final lockdown? I’m following lots of online courses  – Pilates classes; online song rehearsals with community choir Songlines; a writing course with the amazing sitcom scriptwriter Paul Kerensa, which I do with my comedy blogger son Jamie;Continue reading “Spring 2021 Writing News”

Glimpses of Paranormal Warwickshire Part 1: Shakespeare’s Ghosts and Spirits

This is the first of a series giving you a few tasters from my book Paranormal Warwickshire which will be released by Amberley Publishing on 15th November 2020. Warwickshire is a county steeped in the supernatural, as befits the county of Shakespeare and the many ghosts and spirits that he conjured up in his works.Continue reading “Glimpses of Paranormal Warwickshire Part 1: Shakespeare’s Ghosts and Spirits”

Cornwall Mini Series Part 12: Trellisick National Trust

What an enchanting location this is for a grand house: situated on the Fal estuary in Cornwall, views across to the water are to be glimpsed from the terrace at the back of the house, and also from many places in the parkland. As one of my friends on social media remarked, grand houses likeContinue reading “Cornwall Mini Series Part 12: Trellisick National Trust”

A Resurgence in Withdrawal – Covid-19 Lockdown Art

So many of us have reacted in different ways in the UK lockdown, some being energized and leaping into action in house and garden, others relapsing into lethargy, feeling flat and down and disorientated and bewildered by what’s going on in the world. Others may have taken up a new activity or found themselves behavingContinue reading “A Resurgence in Withdrawal – Covid-19 Lockdown Art”

Inspiration for Creative Writers From Grayson Perry in Grayson’s Art Club

Honesty and truthfulness – these are the outstanding virtues of a great artist. And as a creative writer I am currently finding inspiration from  artist Grayson Perry as he showcases “Covid-19 lockdown art” in his TV show “Grayson’s Art Club” on Channel 4. Grayson makes use of our contemporary culture which he transforms into artContinue reading “Inspiration for Creative Writers From Grayson Perry in Grayson’s Art Club”

Australia and New Zealand Mini Series Part 28: Queensland, Australia: from University Campus to Botanic Gardens and Iconic Lookout: Brisbane Highlights

This is the twenty-eighth and final post in my series of short reflections on different places in Australia and New Zealand, as experienced during my November 2019 visit. In my last post I wrote about our final visit in New Zealand: Auckland Botanic Gardens. Whilst there we enjoyed the outstanding Sculptures in the Gardens exhibitionContinue reading “Australia and New Zealand Mini Series Part 28: Queensland, Australia: from University Campus to Botanic Gardens and Iconic Lookout: Brisbane Highlights”

Australia and New Zealand Mini Series Part 27: North Island, New Zealand: Auckland Botanic Gardens

This is the twenty-seventh post in my series of short reflections on different places in Australia and New Zealand, as experienced during my November 2019 visit. Today concludes my account of a journey through New Zealand’s North Island. In my last post I wrote about our visit to the Coromandel Peninsula. I described our stayContinue reading “Australia and New Zealand Mini Series Part 27: North Island, New Zealand: Auckland Botanic Gardens”