Life

10 September 1916

‘Edward was so popular with the whole Battalion, and you have the consolation of knowing that the dear child – for he looked so young – met his death with the greatest courage and bravery. The whole life out there was hateful to him, but he never murmured, and has been, and always will be, […]

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Away, Life

Folly

With so many words, in all media, dedicated to the repercussions of the UK referendum, I have been reluctant to express an opinion here. But on this morning, the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme, with the blackbird, wren and chaffinch singing in the garden and highly-appropriate skylarks soaring in […]

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Away, featured, Landscape, Life

Gathering thoughts in May

Robert Browning may have craved his homeland in April (and who would not?), but is there any month more urgently, lasciviously, resplendently English than May? The very word drips with subtext; with sappy, fleshy undercurrents of light, warmth and fecundity.

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Away, Legacy, Life

The break in the chain

Meat used to be a matter of confidence and pride. Every market town held its own local fat stock show and sale in the weeks before Christmas, where farmers would compete to present the best-finished beef animal and butchers would vie to outbid each other to secure the champion beast and the honour of offering its meat […]

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Landscape

Saying ‘goodbye’ to a friend

Sadly, a casualty of Storm Katie was the horse chestnut tree which stood at the foot of Dux Hill. It was such a handsome tree, its sticky buds just breaking into bright green soft leaf, full of the promise of the white flower heads, called ‘candles,’ to come.

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Landscape, Life

A winter walk

These frosty nights have aroused the fox. I heard him go down the lane, the last two nights, barking Wow-wow-wow on the cold starlit air. But now it is day, the sun high, and I have letters to post.

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Legacy, Life

What do you see?

For the uninitiated, the Plaxtol sign can appear baffling. What could a woolly goat standing proudly upon a mountain crag possibly have to do with a parish spanning the Bourne valley in decidedly lowland Kent?

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Landscape, Life

Fieldfares

The first fieldfares were heard in Plaxtol from the last weeks of October onwards. Fieldfares come here from Scandinavia and Russia to winter among our pastures, turned fields and orchards and will stay until March. They come at first in ones and twos, later in ever-growing flocks, and while their arrival may be delayed by […]

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