What it’s like to live in the real Downton Abbey

More than 30,000 tourists walked past my kitchen window in 2019.  Downton Abbey was filmed in Bampton and the library did duty as the Cottage Hospital.  Our cottage - perhaps ten yards over the narrow lane from the library - featured too, although only in passing. This bus would have been followed by at least... Continue Reading →

Let the passengers take the strain.

I should have realised that attempting to use a train to travel anywhere more complicated than London was a mistake. We booked tickets to go to Cornwall this weekend. All peachy - only a small second mortgage required. Now we discover (because we checked - not because anyone thought to tell us) that the train... Continue Reading →

Driving from the back seat.

I've not worked as an advertising copywriter since June 2013.  I'm rather relieved about this.  A recent Twitter post about difficult clients reminded me why, so I dredged this out of my 'drafts' folder.  It's a piece I wrote in March 2008 to try and illustrate why the traditional client/agency relationship in advertising was (and... Continue Reading →

The 241 year old pendulum clock that’s more accurate than your watch

241 years ago today, John Harrison, one of Britain's finest clockmakers died.  He left behind designs for a clock that makes the accuracy of that quartz watch on your wrist look pretty average. Chances are, your quartz will be be reasonably sharp.  Probably just +/- 15 seconds a month.  Not shabby, given the low price of a... Continue Reading →

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