This week… pumpkins, previews and Philadelphia

If you are one of many who feel dismay at turning the clocks back to give us an extra hour of annus horribilis 2020, just bear in mind that it will take Horological Conservators over 40 hours to adjust Her Majesty’s mechanical clocks this weekend.

This includes 450 of the finest historic timepieces, musical clocks, astronomical clocks, miniature clocks and turret clocks, at Windsor Castle, 600 at Buckingham Palace and 50 at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. I’ll never complain again about faffing with the kitchen clock, the digital bedside piece and the clock in the car, the latter often left rebeliously one hour behind for months.

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This week… adapting, aspiring and acting out

The pandemic resurges and the world continues to turn. Whereas essential items in my mum’s handbag were lipstick and a cotton hankie, I now automatically check for hand sanitiser and a mask before leaving my front door. I can’t say it’s exactly second nature as a part of my (emotional) brain still hopes I might wake up and find it’s all been a dreadful nightmare. Whilst society strives to adapt, some days, I’m not actually sure whether I’m acclimatising or in complete denial.

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Interview: Going (Totally) Wild and the art of foraging

If you were lucky enough to grow up surrounded by nature and wild spaces, you will know what it means to be able to roam freely as a child. Certainly that was my experience growing up, and a frequent supply of food was essential to fuel our long rambles. Consequently, we always had an opportunisitic eye open for anything remotely edible in the fields and hedgerows. This month I asked professional forager, James Wood, about his lifelong love affair with wild plants, developed since he was a child growing up in a country village, and how this led him to develop a professional qualification.


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This week… wine, workshops and writing

So, how’s your week been? The tourism industry traditionally slows down this time of year, in the best of times. Pre-2021 season, there’s still skiing and winter sun holidays to consider, if you’re in the market after the economic year we’ve been having. As a freelancer, I’m not that fortunate. Pre-pandemic I had been intending to escape somewhere warm this winter to work remotely. Consequently, I’m sitting at my laptop in the rapidly cooling UK temperatures, wondering what the heck to write about in my journal.

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This week… wellies, weather and wild food

This week I pulled on a sweater and my wellies and headed out into the Hampshire countryside around Winchester. Despite muddy ground underfoot the ethereal autumn sunlight danced on the surface of the River Itchen. I never tire of exploring this ancient countryside in the footsteps of Iron Age and Roman peoples. The city was subsequently the medieval capital of England and is surely a candidate for nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amongst this green and pleasant land I can breathe deeply and it literally goes to my head, as surely as a glass of vintage champagne.

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