The Gard’ner’s Almanac

The Kaledarium Hortense is a classic gardening book by John Evelyn. It takes the gentleman gardener through the year, detailing what he is meant to do in the garden with fruit vegetables and flowers. Much of his advice is straight forward gardening knowledge and logic, and something you may well hear on TV, radio or […]

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SHOCKING ACCIDENT

“On Saturday morning, an accident which has unfortunately terminated fatally, occurred to a man named Dobson,” starts a news article from the 1850s. “The deceased sat upon the stone while it was being raised, to prevent it shaking the scaffolding”. I read this out loud to an audience as part of a talk on the […]

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The Abbey

The meaning of historic places has very much changed in recent years. People have been using them in very different and personal ways, above and beyond the usual interest in architecture and historical events. I’ve seen this developing at an historic site I’ve been visiting for the past 15 years or so. It was an […]

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Visscher’s People

Claes Visscher’s panorama of London is one of the most famous images of the City for many reasons. We see the various landmarks across London, such as the churches, Leadenhall and the Exchange, all of them labelled. Architecturally the panorama is superb, with the buildings drawn in great quality, detail and precision. It shows us […]

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The Hand in Hand Birds

This doodle of two entwined birds was drawn in May 1670 while recording the names of an illegal gathering in Kingston Upon Thames. The image is on the back of a document held in the Kingston upon Thames archives. It is a simple line sketch, using one stroke of a quill and ink pen, creating […]

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Standon Puddingstone

Puddingstone is nothing culinary. It’s geological, mythological, historical, and extremely intriguing. As stone goes it is awkward.  It looks like a wonderful fruit pudding, or cake, just before it goes in the oven. There is a rich brown colour to it, but not too dark. There are various sized pebbles, some whole, some broken or […]

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Engineering is a thing of beauty.

There used to be a joke. Look up Engineering in the Yellow Pages – it says “See Boring”. A whole generation, or more accurately, the post modern generation, labelled engineering as being something for the un-adventurous, for those without passion or compassion. The subject has no style, taste or philosophy. It is an occupation not […]

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