An unwelcome visitor

Somewhere beautiful does not automatically mean lovely people, it would seem. This at least is my conclusion after a trip to the beautiful village of Bradford on Avon a few days ago.

Bradford on Avon wall

I've been meaning to pay a visit for months now – it's about an hour away, and fairly well known for being a typically chocolate-box West Country town, and it really is beautiful: stone cottages, thatched roofs, old stone bridges over the river. Despite all of that, the atmosphere was pretty fraught and hostile – especially if you happened to be wandering around with a camera.

Old women pushed past us in the street, muttering audibly, and builders practically chased us off a public side street. There were cars getting in each other's way and clogging up the narrow routes between those high stone walls. To top it all off they were holding a Bradford-on Avon 'Feel Good Festival' in the park, which unfortunately didn't seem to be making much of an impact on the general atmosphere.

All in all, I was an unwelcome visitor, and I was pleased to get home.


Small Town


When I was little I used to go to the shop along the road to buy the newspapers in the morning. Outside it would be blowing a gale, with the waves threatening the road, or the sea would be flat calm, and the sun would be out. The fishing boats would have long come back in, and be bobbing around on their ropes at the pier. In this unusual place, everyone would just be going about their usual business, and I would just wander home with the papers.

It is the usual ways of a Scottish fishing village that King Creosote and Jon Hopkins have sought to capture in their recent album, Diamond Mine. I'm completely taken by it, and, although I have never blogged about music, I am making an exception for this. The album is melancholic and atmospheric, and I find it endlessly fascinating.

It is based on a way of life that exists mainly in fishing villages in the north and east coasts of Scotland, places that don't generally have an easy time of it, and that won't survive in their current form for much longer. As luck would have it, the Guardian are streaming the whole album here. I would thoroughly recommend that you have a listen if you have a chance.

All of the images above are screengrabs from the video for 'Bubble', which, as it happens was directed by a friend of Ben's, Elliot Dear, who does beautiful and amazing things with very little - watching it is a beautiful way to spend 4 minutes, so I have posted it below.



Most days I commute backwards – I live in the city and drive to the countryside, while all the more conventional workers speed past me in the opposite direction.

Lately I've been driving past these beautiful corn fields, all overrun with poppies, and have been desperate to stop and take photographs. On Saturday, I went back along my commute route and went for a wander through the fields beside the road. We had summer for a day, and I like to take advantage of these things.

Poppies & Thunder

I'm delighted with this dress from Mango – I've mentioned before how much I like their recent change of direction and move into a niche I've been desperate for someone to fill for a long time. Their designs are pretty and practical, with clean classic cuts that are cut for the shapely rather than the pre-twenties, as this New York Times article agrees.

My lovely new Thunder in our Hearts tote officially begins its summer service, and announces what I always try to keep in mind when I'm driving along with the rat race on my way to the office.