My thoughts on writing, books, reading and folklore.

Potton Wood and the Ghosts of WWII Airmen

Potton is a small town in Bedfordshire that I used to live in. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book and it is said that Hereward the Wake did pass through there. It's a nice place, and a mile or so east of town is Potton Wood; in truth, the trees are closer to the hamlet of Cockayne Hatley than than they are Potton. It's an ancient woodland and a beautiful place. In the spring and summertime it is full of wildflowers, butterflies and birds, thick old trees like oak, maple, ash, and with the forever promise of spotting deer fox or badger. It’s a quiet and peaceful place. And Finty, my daughter, and I went there history seeking. You see on the 18th September 1945 a B-24 Liberator bomber crashe

The Ghost of Marion de la Bruyere

Visit Ludlow. I could leave it at that, but I won’t. Ludlow is a gem of a place, in Shropshire, close to the border with Wales, and described by our own Sir John Betjeman as “...probably the loveliest town in England”. Who am I to disagree with a Poet Laureate who was want to describe his own self as “...a poet and a hack”. Great man, great words. But back to Ludlow. It's like stepping back in time, a place of hidden and not so hidden history. To be honest it’s everywhere. Crammed with Medieval and Tudor half-timbered architecture, but that’s only part of it. You see, in Ludlow they refuse to let chain stores move in and take over the centre, so here are the streets packed with small bespoke

Labyrinths and the Trojan Connection

Labyrinths... I mentioned finding a labyrinth on a walk in Boscastle. It’s carved into the dark rock of a granite cliff behind an abandoned mill. There are two, next to each other and dated to around 1,200 BC by the National Trust, although there are some who say they are from the 18th or 19th century. That’s quite a time gap... But they do go back a very long time in general. Indeed, they can be found in Italy to as far back as the early Iron Age, 1,000 BC, and as decorations on Etruscan vases. In Spain back to the Bronze Age. The Romans used them as ornament through to medieval times, and all along the coast of the Baltic and northern Europe they appear. But what is a labyrinth? First, it

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