A Visit to Stourhead National Trust: a Perfect Vision of an Idyllic Landscape and Lake; an Infamous ‘Romantic’ Encounter in the Temple of Apollo

Before visiting the gardens at Stourhead, Wiltshire the other day I looked forward to seeing for myself this ‘living work of art’, for I had created a brightly coloured, stylised copy of a photo of that iconic view just last year, during the first UK lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic. When we visited the garden,Continue reading “A Visit to Stourhead National Trust: a Perfect Vision of an Idyllic Landscape and Lake; an Infamous ‘Romantic’ Encounter in the Temple of Apollo”

Thoughts on ‘Witch Child’ by Celia Rees

Today I share my review of ‘Witch Child‘ by Celia Rees, now out in a special 20th Anniversary edition. This is a compelling historical novel of the arrival of a group of Puritans in New England in 1650, of their encounters with the Native Indians, and a tale not only of religious intolerance but ofContinue reading “Thoughts on ‘Witch Child’ by Celia Rees”

Book Review: ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens

Today I share my review of this enchanting novel by nature writer Delia Owens. ‘Where the Crawdads Sing‘ by Delia Owens is set in the swampland of the North Carolina coast. Kya, the main protagonist, is abandoned by her family members one by one until, at the age of seven in the year 1952, sheContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens”

Perfect Cottage Retreat in the Surrey Hills

Hello – I write on the first day of the relaxation of the lockdown here in the UK and we have travelled from Warwick in the Midlands to the lovely Surrey Hills, close to Leith Hill Tower with its wonderful views.   This early 18th century cottage was originally a gamekeeper’s cottage and is hiddenContinue reading “Perfect Cottage Retreat in the Surrey Hills”

Book Review: The 99th Koala by Kailas Wild

This account of the koala-rescue campaign in bushfire-ravaged Kangaroo Island is gripping and very emotional. Accompanied by superb photos, arborist Kailas Wild tells a story sometimes dramatic and inspiring, and at other times sad and heartrending, packed with tense and harrowing descriptions of koala rescues. As one of the few professional tree-climbers/ experienced koala handlersContinue reading “Book Review: The 99th Koala by Kailas Wild”

Warwickshire Lockdown Walks

Curious how when we are instructed by the government to stay at home and only venture out for a very few clearly defined purposes, those of us who didn’t do enough walking prior to the pandemic suddenly find ourselves seizing the opportunity to get out every day. And I am one of those. Living inContinue reading “Warwickshire Lockdown Walks”

The Avon in a wild mood at the Saxon Mill Warwick

Many of us share a fascination with the power of nature, and we love to gaze at storms and mighty waterfalls and erupting volcanos and turbulent seas and raging rivers – as long as we are in a safe viewing spot, and not in the middle of them. And so we were among those drawnContinue reading “The Avon in a wild mood at the Saxon Mill Warwick”

Paranormal Warwickshire Part 17: Coughton Court, Alcester

This is the seventeenth in a series of glimpses into my new book Paranormal Warwickshire which will be published by Amberley Publishing on 15th November 2020. The Tudor house at Coughton Court, for centuries the family seat of the Throckmorton family, is one of the loveliest National Trust properties in Warwickshire and it has aContinue reading “Paranormal Warwickshire Part 17: Coughton Court, Alcester”

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”