This week… sheep stations, Star Wars and sainthood

In the bleak midwinter. January is cold and damp in the UK. It’s my least favourite month and I’m always relieved when the 31st comes around. There are signs of spring in nature like the catkins, daffodils and snowdrops I spot on my walks, and the days are noticeably getting longer, if not any warmer. The pandemic continues to sweep across the planet and every day the sun comes up and sets again at night, and I’m grateful. Period.

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This week… bears, bocadillos and Banksy

How have you been? It’s been mostly cold, grey and wet in Britain this week. I have been learning about the piddock and its antics. I Zoomed to the Sainsbury Centre in East Anglia to review a fascinating new Bill Brandt Henry Moore exhibition and drunk copious cups of tea, spiced with cacao, orange and cloves to warm my cockles. Confused? All will become clear, read on…

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This week… the festive newt, feasting and festivities

More than ever this year it seems we are all looking to nature and simple traditions to soothe our souls. It’s feels like the time to take a slow, deep breath and steady ourselves as the year draws to an end. It’s also a time to be thankful. We got through the roller coaster ride of 2020. There has been sorrow and sadness but we made it. A new year is on the horizon and we need to nurture that little spark of hope for new beginnings. Let’s take the time to find our simple pleasures where we may and follow the pragmatic example of Dame Joan Collins, who declared this week her intention to “squeeze every ounce of joy from life”. The show must go on.

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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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This week… Tarzan, treehouses, and traceability

News of a new luxury treehouse resort drops into my inbox this week. The Treeful Treehouse Eco Resort is set to open next spring in rural Nago, on the north side of Okinawa Island in Japan, one of the world’s Blue Zone Regions. Think secluded private rooms with air conditioning, nestled amongst the jungle canopy. Tarzan never had it this good.

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