What is it that links landscape so closely with the human heart? We’re all aware of a ‘sense of place’ at times, but which is too deep for words. Continue reading “A Sense of Place”
Tucked away in a quiet part of Hampshire, nestling in the narrow lanes beneath the northern slopes of the South Downs, lies a place of pilgrimage for lovers of the natural world. Continue reading “Gilbert White’s Selborne”
One of the glories of England’s quiet shires is the patchwork of little country parishes each with its own church and churchyard, many of them national treasures. Come and see ours and find out how mistaken Philip Larkin was!
Continue reading “An English Village Church”
The Ford at Eynsford in Kent
When we lived in Kent, a favourite short day trip was to the nearby village of Eynsford in the Darent Valley. The valley carves out its graceful course through the hills of the North Downs. This was hop growing country and some is still grown here. It was here that I last heard a cuckoo.
Some months ago a friend staying with us shared how she had taken a short break in the North, including a visit to Durham cathedral. For her it was a sort of pilgrimage. While in the cathedral she said she was very conscious of the memories of two great saints, Cuthbert and Bede, who were buried there. Sadly, I have never visited Durham, but the words of my title from the poem by William Wordsworth encourage me to stay in the North East for this post. As a ‘southerner’, like our friend, I want to pay my own respects to these two great saints and pioneers of the Christian faith in this country. Continue reading “Great men have been among us”
There is no escaping from the influence of the sea here. Holy Island, Lindisfarne, off the east coast of Northumberland, is dominated by the rhythm of the tides as they ebb and flow. Nearby are the Farne islands with their colonies of seals and sea birds. When the day tourists have left and the causeway is covered by the sea the island is again cut off from the mainland. The noise and bustle of ‘civilisation’ seems a million miles away and Lindisfarne is left to the wind, waves, the gulls, and other sea birds and the few local residents. Continue reading “Holy Island”