Spring Buzz

We’ve been enjoying some lovely weather this week, and I thought you might like a little glimpse of southern England’s springtime glory. Our insects are beginning to buzz about amongst the early blossoms; this rather awesome bumblebee was enjoying the flowering cherry plum trees out at Maylandsea on the Essex coast today where Jeff was leading…

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A Taste of Italy

We couldn’t resist. The Italian Food Market came back to Rayleigh yesterday, and we wanted to soak up the feast of food, accents, and conviviality. We’ll be back in Italy in a few weeks, so we saw this as an appetizer, a little sampling to whet our appetites for the real thing. A calzone for…

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We Will Remember

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. We will remember. (Button memorial in St. Martin’s Church, Little Waltham, Essex)

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Raiders of the Lost Carp

He sits in the tree at the bottom of the garden like an angel on top of a Christmas tree, right at the top, watching. His prey is our neighbour’s koi carp, so his menace is real – but it’s still kind of exciting to see this huge Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) fly in every…

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Southend After Dark

The nights are drawing in but the weather has been dry, so we’ve wanted to be out and about. Last night we had a wander along Southend seafront to enjoy the lights without the crowds. Never Never Land was a popular children’s park back when Jeff was a child – he remembers going with his…

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Assandun

Leaving Paglesham the other day, we were happy and full, but we still didn’t feel quite done with our day. Not far away is St. Andrews church in Ashingdon, set up on a hill overlooking the fields and marshes – the best vantage point for miles around. We had to drive all the way around…

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On the Road to Paglesham

The Essex estuaries are not just about riverways and coastal walks… it’s an interesting area dotted with villages that sometimes merge into urban sprawl. It’s an ideal landscape for us labyrinthine personalities as the roads (which are often straight due to their Roman origins) still manage to meander around the rivers and marshes. In other…

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Autumn on Wallasea

Sometimes we don’t have to wander far to find lovely and unusual landscapes. We have been watching the the transformation of Wallasea Island for the past several years as the sea has been allowed to breach the sea defenses in a carefully orchestrated and managed conservation project. As wetlands and lagoons are created, birds and…

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Macmillan Night

Britain has the most wonderful cancer support charity imaginable, and every year they urge us to hold “coffee mornings” to raise money to keep the charity running. In this day and age, everyone one of us knows someone who has received a cancer diagnosis, and of course, we know that it could happen to any…

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A Ton of Wood

We’re getting ready for winter. We’ve converted the old WW2 brick bomb shelter in our back garden into a woodshed and stacked it to the ceiling with fire supplies to keep us warm whatever comes. Some years are mild, others more cruel, but either way, we rank staying cosy as a high priority. We’ve got kindling, coal,…

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