Out of the blue….

Welcome back to life – that end of August feeling, September turning, the new school year starting, new notebooks… have you been doing this weekend what is my favourite thing of all, an autumnal spring clean?  There’s something slightly melancholy about the end of summer, but something that I find incredibly energising about this time of year too. Maybe it’s a little harder to feel optimistic in 2021 than normal, as the relentless bad news drums like a broken record, the same half dozen insurmountable problems that we are all completely incapable of doing anything about; the same media narrative (now playing out on the US President, and perhaps also on the Canadian Prime Minister, for good measure) of building...

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June passing….

I can’t quite believe the whole of June has flown by like this? Can you? And I am sorry that yet again it feels that the blog, which I used to publish so religiously on a Sunday night or Monday evening, has somehow slipped into being a ‘periodical’ – a term that a friend recently put in my direction as the ideal description of something where you can’t quite commit to weekly, monthly, or quarterly…. The truth is rather a lot has been going on. But I’ve just had an enjoyable while, this evening, looking back at photos for the last month and it’s been a happy time.  Slowly, grindingly, we are easing out of the lockdown – I can’t...

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The Saturated Palette of Spring

It’s seeming as though it has never stopped raining this May, although I manage to only take my camera out for the brief 3 seconds a day when the sun shines. Have you noticed that most days it rains all day and then the sun comes out just as it’s time to go inside in the evening? But Wednesday, actually, was a bright and breezy day too. I was in Faversham, in Kent, where the Duchy of Cornwall is planning a large extension to this wonderful town. I’m working on the designs, together with a big team of talented people, but especially my great friend Kim Wilkie the landscape architect. Together, I think, we are all making something that could...

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Happy Days really are here again….

“I thought you already owned a Morris Minor?” said a text from my friend Val (from New York) on Monday. “Or am I going mad?”. That was what alerted me to the fact that the blog, developing a mind of its own recently, and obviously missing the fact that I hadn’t written anything for a long time, had decided to re-issue a very, very old blog from I guess at least ten years ago, when I bought the Morris 1000 that we still love and use most days. That blog, appropriately, somehow, was called “Happy Days Are Here Again”. And you may have opened it on Monday morning, thinking, great, there’s a new and optimistic blog from Ben. Well, here...

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An Easter of hope

It has been a beautiful weekend – I hope you have had a very restful, happy Easter. Spring has arrived in Dorset. The air has been filled with birdsong each morning; the evenings are getting lighter; the garden is bursting with blossom and life again.  As we begin to turn a corner from the darkness of the pandemic, it literally and figuratively feels like a time of deep redemption. Sunset on Good Friday….

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