Monthly Archives: June 2014

Walking with my MP

On Saturday the Ramblers’ Chilterns 20s-30s Walking Group organised a five-mile walk from West Wycombe with Steve Baker, Conservative MP for Wycombe, and his wife Beth.  Steve is my MP so I was particularly pleased to meet him. What better way to get … Continue reading

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Thirty-five years, by George!

I first met George Laurence 35 years ago today (18 June 1979) in the rarefied splendour of the Moses Room at the House of Lords.  (I was 24 and thought he was ‘gorgeous’.)  I was one of the petitioners against … Continue reading

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Thames Path—with no view of the river

The 184-mile Thames Path National Trail follows the river from source to sea. Well almost. There are still places where it is forced away from the river onto busy roads.   One of these is a short gap which, due to the intransigence … Continue reading

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The new Vikings?

The attractive town of Tobermory, on the north-east coast of Mull, is busy during tourist times but not unpleasantly so.   Not, that is, until a luxury cruiser moors off its shore and ferries its passengers across to the town.  We were … Continue reading

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Ayes (golden eagles) to the right

It was a bit like a division in the House of Commons.  ‘Golden eagles to the right, white-tailed eagles to the left.’  Thus averred the lady with the binoculars and telescope, to whom I spoke as I set off on the … Continue reading

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Beach of the meadow

The white-sanded beach at Calgary Bay, north-west Mull, was noisy with children playing and swimming (we had taken the last space in the small car-park).  Calgary Bay comes from the gaelic Cala Ghearraidh, meaning Beach of the Meadow. As we followed … Continue reading

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Success at Common Wood

Common Wood: part 4 It’s always good to see the fruits of your labours.  In the last 18 months the indefatigable Dartmoor Preservation Association volunteers have spent three days on my land at Common Wood in the Tavy valley, west Dartmoor, … Continue reading

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The joy of running out of sight

Today I was back at Prestwood, Bucks, for the second of my breeding bird surveys (BBS) for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).  It was five weeks since my first one, which I reported here, and it was all quite different.  For a … Continue reading

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Striking lucky in Scotland

We were lucky on our recent trip to Iona and Mull—lucky with the weather and lucky with birds. I bought a couple of books for advice on where to see birds and they served me well. The book on the left, Birdwatching … Continue reading

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The stuff of Staffa

Basalt and birds, a heady combination.  The day after we went up Beinn Talaidh, a group of Radical Ramblers set off from Iona for Staffa on the good ship Iolaire of Iona. We had a helpful and informative skipper who pointed out … Continue reading

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