Competition Results

29 June 2016 // Competition

sylvia-patterson-2-xlarge_trans++T_NgP97hmQeg1nYBfQfCkhm17PyZEfHTrTL1npQ7IAk Sylvia Patterson and Jarvis Cocker

Here are the results of our latest newsletter competition:

We had three copies of Sylvia Patterson’s I’m Not With the Band, out now via Sphere, to give away.

We asked: Sylvia has penned sleeve notes to the greatest hits of two major British bands. Can you name both of them?

And the answer is: Oasis and Take That. The winners are (more…)

Five Rivers – Beginnings

29 June 2016 // Five Rivers


Words and pictures: Malcolm Anderson

My jacket ruffles in the wind like a crisp packet being opened in a quiet pub and as a shadow skids over the pages of my notebook big fat splodges of rain fall, landing with an audible plop. My words smudge on the page but before I can close the dogeared pages and pack it in my pocket the shower has gone, the sun reasserts its authority and it’s spring again.

I’m sat up on the edge of the chalk escarpment that runs across the northern edge of the Pewsey Vale, having climbed up from Alton Barnes, past the white horse, over Adam’s Grave and onto the summit of Knap Hill. Across the valley floor towards Burlinch Hill and Alton Priors light patches chase shadow across rippling fields of deep blue-green early season barley. The grasses around me as I sit shift endlessly on the breeze, sounding like summer on a Dorset shore. In the now-clear sky a skylark is singing his heart out only a few meters above me. (more…)


28 June 2016 // On Water

This piece was originally published on Some Small Corner. Many thanks to Matt for allowing us to repost.

No Fishing

Words and pictures: Matt Poacher

Belched out of school’s hot throat into Spring’s amber dome. Late afternoon. Levitating with tiredness. I haunt the high street awhile, looking for an answer, a line of force. Aimless, I follow the familiar tip of gravity to the river.

Standing under the sign of the mill: ‘1243’ – a dictat from history: no fishing. The river is a bedlam of froth and roil; the land yipping and yawing. I think to take a photo, without really knowing why. (more…)

Suburban Herbarium

27 June 2016 // On Nature //Photography

Diva Harris talks to William Arnold about his 21st century homage to Victorian botany.


Yellow Archangel (Lamium gleobdolon)

William Arnold is a photographer living in Cornwall. Having chanced upon a copy of his Antler Press photo book some time ago and following him on Twitter, I began to notice the fruits of his latest labour, Suburban Herbarium, springing up on my timeline.

Pared-down yet enchantingly beautiful, William’s photographs document the plant species he encounters on regular lunch break walks around the western outskirts of Truro.

As someone who is unreasonably excited by anything which makes reference to popular Victorian practices (herbaria, floriography, hairwork…), I wanted to know more about the project, and was delighted when William agreed to answer my (possibly too) enthusiastic questions via email. (more…)

River Diary by Ronald Blythe

26 June 2016 // Books //On Water

wild+garden%2C+winter%2C+john+nashRiver in winter by John Nash. Via Wormingford blog.

River Diary by Ronald Blythe
Published by Canterbury Press Norwich (2008)

Review by Nic Flook

River Diary is a collection of Ronald Blythe’s weekly articles for Church Times that dates back to 2005‐2006, the year in which his friend Roger Deakin died. It was through reading Roger Deakin’s Notes From Walnut Tree Farm that I irst became intrigued about Ronald Blythe. He lives near the bottom of a long, stony, winding track obscured by the ‘English jungle’ as the previous owner, the artist John Nash, described the yeoman farmhouse on the border of Suffolk and Essex. Ronald Blythe confesses to only leaving the area around Bottengoms farm once or twice a year and his writing is proof that although physically we might be rooted in one place, it doesn’t mean that our thoughts can’t do the travelling for us. Blythe is writer as catalyst, stoking up our imagination with his years of acquired fuel that includes history, nature, religion, art, memoire and a long lifetime of reading and writing. As well as friendships with some of Britain’s best known artists, writers and clergy. The ‘everyday’ of ironing, lost socks, his white cat and the state of his gardening clothes, provide texture to the detailed observations of the changing seasons in his garden, the river and the fields. (more…)