Hay Bluff and Hay-on-Wye

Friday was probably the hottest day in the UK this year. We felt the heat walking up Hay Bluff. The photo of it doesn’t do justice to the steep (but short) ascent. It was an enjoyable short circular walk before driving to Hay-on-Wye, the UK’s bookshop town. Living up to Wales’ reputation, Hay delivered spits … Continue reading / view photos Hay Bluff and Hay-on-Wye

Clee Hill, Shropshire

This was a fairly short walk on Sunday from The Welsh Marches, a pocket walking guide book. It was a walk of two halves. The first half required walking past industrial coal, ironstone and dhustone (black stone) quarries. The view improved on the pathless moorland route to a radio station. At other times of the … Continue reading / view photos Clee Hill, Shropshire

Cannock Chase and Stafford

Cannock Chase in Staffordshire is an area of outstanding beauty. The dense woods are a wonderful place to walk and relax. We did a short walk there in the limited time we had on Saturday before going to Stafford. I noticed how much more friendly people were in Cannock Chase than on the Gorring walk … Continue reading / view photos Cannock Chase and Stafford

Pigs in Notting Hill

This Sunday, in trying to avoid coronavirus-drenched crowds but still wanting to make the most of the British summer, we turned to Stephen Millar’s book, London’s Hidden Walks. We went to Notting Hill. It was an illuminating day. The origins of the name Notting Hill are uncertain. An early version, Knottynghull, was recorded in 1356. … Continue reading / view photos Pigs in Notting Hill

Cows and chips on the Thames

For a moment, I thought I was back in India, where cows are everywhere – from the high street to the beach. Curiously, I’d been on several Meetup walks in Gorring but none of them took in the Thames. We were following a walk in the OS Pathfinder series for the Home Countries, which I … Continue reading / view photos Cows and chips on the Thames

Kew Gardens after lockdown

It was lovely to return to Kew Gardens after so long. Unlike normally, you couldn’t just rock up and go in. You had to book a slot for a particular day and time. Usually when I go, as a member, I can bypass the queue and waltz in. No such luck this time. There was … Continue reading / view photos Kew Gardens after lockdown

Freedom Tower

Apparently, those who were around when President John F Kennedy was assassinated remember where they were and how they heard of his death. I wasn’t alive to have a JFK moment. I did, however, have an Elvis Presley moment: I was playing football on the street and a friend shouted to me from an overlooking … Continue reading / view photos Freedom Tower

Lockdown sourdough bread

Sourdough was first invented in about 1500 BC by the Egyptians for extended periods of social distancing or other periods when you had time on your side. It was rediscovered in the UK in 2020 AD. Word of the new British appetite for all things doughy has gone global. Even The New York Times had … Continue reading / view photos Lockdown sourdough bread

Camp rock guitars

When I first went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (“the Met”) in 1988, two things struck me. The first was how well the collection was curated: everything from the selection to the colour of the galleries was well coordinated. The second was Jackson Pollack. I’d never heard of him at the time but I … Continue reading / view photos Camp rock guitars

Vessel

After the morning bagel breakfast in Brooklyn and the walk along the scenic High Line, we went to see Vessel. When we went, it was free to enter but you had to pre-book, which my generous Airbnb hosts, Max and Alia, had done. I loved The Vessel. There was something different yet familiar about it. … Continue reading / view photos Vessel