I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
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* One exception: short stories.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Where I hang my hat

IN HEREFORDSHIRE, my present county, people are thin on the ground – 85 to every square kilometre. Even thinner in rural parts outside the city of Hereford which accommodates a third of the total. You want crowded? Try Surrey where I used to live: 683/sq km. Or the London suburb of Islington: 14,000/sq km.

This under-population is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s still possible to “go for a drive” on uncrowded roads, on the other hand there isn’t really enough council tax income to administer quite a large area. Much of Herefordshire’s character has disappeared or is under threat.

I wonder how much longer Lock, Stock & Barrel will survive. It specialises in brass bits and pieces and it’s difficult to pass down its jam-packed aisles. The owner’s attitude is, shall we say, idiosyncratic; perhaps rude. He doesn’t clean his windows and his crowded displays are comical. A rubber tap nozzle exposed to the sun for several years has perished. But at least LS&B is not McDonalds or JD Sports.

NEW INVENTION is in Shropshire, north of Herefordshire, and consists of four houses on a cross-roads. Why the name? A farrier is thought to have attached horse-shoes backwards way round to confuse people. Or possibly the horses.

AS AN anniversary present I bought VR a silk pillow stuffed with silk gubbins. It cost a fortune and replaces an earlier silk pillow she much favoured. I think the pic conveys her enthusiasm.

ALL PIX courtesy of Sir Hugh, my younger brother, who lives in Arnside a swanky townlet south of the Lake District. He’s available for commissions.


  1. Photos can be a blogger's gift. One of my fellow outdoor bloggers has just posted about his TGO Challenge ( an annual coast to coast walk across the wilds of Scotland organised by The Great Outdoors magazine). Most participants post boring pictures of unidentified hills, usually covered in cloud. Alan had the presence of mind to photograph the disaster of his leaking sleeping bag inside his tent:


    Copy and paste the link to Dropbox if it isn't live here.

  2. Is there a littering problem in the U.K.? The denser the pop. here the filthier the roadsides become.....awful in even the smallest cities. People simply discard everything from moving vehicles, from disposable cups to bathroom lavatories (they may have to halt to pitch these off bridges into the waterways).

  3. Now that I looked gubbins up, I want to see them, in silk. I am also braking my brain trying to find a French or German word as short as that but have not succeeded as yet.
    I found a Greek word but it's not appropriate.

  4. I love the shop front and its window display - it must remain exactly as is. I hope there will be protest marches (even if only of 5 or 6 people) to prevent its demise.
    And I wonder who the enlightened Council official was who allowed the 'New Invention' hamlet its name?
    That's the wrapping (very nice) and the box: where is the silk cushion?

  5. Sir Hugh: Alan will go far; let's hope he records things other than the steps he takes.

    MikeM: At 53,316 souls Hereford is a very small city; however it has a cathedral founded in 1250 and a string of anglo-saxon archbishops dating back to 676 with very funny names (Putta, Tyrhtel, Cuthbert, Podda and Acca). Hence its city-ship.

    Litter. Perhaps Herefordians are too mean or possibly too poverty-stricken to scatter their litter; who after all would discard a lavatory that merely didn't work? 'twould make a marvellous planter for geraniums.

    Ellena: Gubbins can be roughly translated as "a-techno-detail-which-I'm-too-lazy-to look-up" By all means use the Greek word; it'll add a bit of class. The meaning is immaterial.

    Natalie: Well it wouldn't take you long to find out; just four front doors to knock on. Pillow not cushion: no pic because one pillow, however pricey, looks very much like any other.