31st August 2013
So much family history tied up with this area; I think you live differently in a place when generations of your family have lived there; like the aboriginal idea of 'belonging'. Like this place. Every time I walk past here I hear my Granddad, who loved to take the most circuitous routes to get from A to B, telling me, "You can go anywhere in the world from Shutford Five-ways".
22nd June 2013
Though they were cruising down the canal on the Banbury-size of Grant's Lock, I'd been gaining on them for a few minutes. As I got closer then appeared to be unsettled. Then they started to do a display. As if to say, "Let's look cute and he might feed us!". Unfortunately I had nothing to give, and though they pursued me for a short distance, in the end they fell behind.
30th November 2016
Places often have a certain feel. Some asked to be regularly revisited in order to experience that. I walked to Rainsborough Camp before my teens, having seen it on the map and thought it might be interesting. And it does have 'something'. You get a sense of 'deep time' in this place; of indescribable numbers of people having stood where I am now – though in the cold frosty dawn, I'm certainly the only person around now.
28th March 2016
I haven't been here for a while. Strange that my relationship to this place was once so strong, though today it has little meaning. Though in many ways all that I am now has its roots in what went on here almost 40 years ago. The nuclear bombers have gone; the peace daffodils remain.
6th June 2015
I'd had a "hard day's night", working on a deadline. I needed a walk, otherwise I knew I wouldn't sleep well. Going out to meet the dawn, though the sky wasn't that exceptional, the rising sun had set the grasses on fire. I lay flat on my belly on the damp, dewy ground – it was the only way I could truly capture the spectacle.
11th March 2012
It had been just another evening's walk, on just another dull and overcast day. A day to walk for the joy of walking, not for the purpose of seeing. Then, as sunset approached it became something else, as the sky wound itself up in to a panorama of shadows and fire. Sometimes nature uses 'sublime' in its true sense.
29th April 2016
All day the showers had been threatening, but veering off to the east or west. From the hills above Daventry and Badby you could see these dark masses, occasionally rumbling with thunder, moving past at speed. Now the sign points to the approaching storm; I'm going to get wet. This one 'has my name on it'… being addressed "to whom it may concern".
26th April 2016
Spring is really here; the birds are nesting and the lambs are bleating. Except these three, who seem lost in tiredness, laying in a small depresion in the ground out of the whistling wind. It must be so tiring waiting to be eaten!
20th May 2016
Sometimes industrial architecture, however derelict, retains its grandeur. This old wind pump, presumably a device of wonder before the arrival of piped water supplies, must have seemed like a gift – replacing the human toil of drawing water from the well. Now, when elsewhere wind turbines are cluttering the skyline to generate power to pump water, it looks sad. Even the best technologies are useless when neglected.
2nd November 2014
At least once in a season I like to walk through Wychwood, doing the long circle from Charlbury to Chilson and Finstock, the the longer drag through Wychwood and then along the south-bank of the Evenlode to Hanborough. It never disappoints. This particular view, rather like a natural diorama, is always different. It always has the feel of an Impressionist picture. I wonder if Monet ever visited Wychwood?