Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Horror at Hunton Park in Herts

Here we are
Hunton Park, a treasure box facade.

What satisfaction to discover something nice close by the M25.

Tucked away in nest of horrid intersecting ‘A’ roads is Hunton Park.  This gem of the Queen Anne style is in Abbots Langley. It was originally called Hazelwood House when built in the early 19th century.

Gorgeous Judy Geeson
The original house was destroyed in 1908 and completely rebuilt. Emperor Haile Selassie stayed here for a while after the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1936.

In the 1970s, the cinema industry became absorbed in the house as a location. A number of the Hammer House of Horror gems were made here.

The Executioner directed by Sam Wanamaker was filmed here with George Peppard, Joan Collins and gorgeous Judy Geeson. To think we all drove down the same tree-lined driveway!

Shortly after Sam packed up his shoot businessman Paul Edwin Hember bought the house and changed its name to Hunton Park.

Now anyone with the resources can have a conference or a wedding here and film it presumably.

Monday, 21 December 2015

The Tower of Power, Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge London on a blustery day

I love my job, especially when at the lunch break I can see views like this - majestic Tower Bridge, whose loveliness frames the excrescences of glass gherkins and other unimaginative crystal vanities in the City., Tower Bridge is a timeless iconic delight.

By the bridge’s north bank was formerly Irongate Wharf. From here Patrick Leigh Fermor began his walk to Constantinople on a blustery rain filled afternoon in December 1933 described in his wonderful book  A Time of Gifts

‘We halted on the bridge just short of the first barbican and the driver indicated the flight of steps that descended to Irongate Wharf.  We were down them in a moment, beyond them with the Dutch tricolour beating damply from her poop and a ragged fan of smoke streaming over the river the STADTHOUDER WILLEM rode at Anchor.’

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Practise in the park

A dash of colour
Meanwhile later on Saturday the rain had cleared.

Rosie Dog, is normally, like the rest of the family, a lay-a-bed,
Ardent is her desire to spend time on the sofa or upstairs on the most comfortable bed.
Nonetheless by mid morning she was keen for a walk
En famille we went to Wooburn Park.

A hearty group of hefty young men, practising for the afternoon game, where the only people about aside from we. There is nothing like the observation of intense activity to remind one of lack of one’s fitness.

Apropos of the great game, George North is returning to Scarlets next season so we might well be back on the touchline, 12 miles west of Swansea, in 2016.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015


Along Lillyfee Farm Lane,  Beaconsfield 

Early morning and it came onto rain as soon as I cycled away from the house. There were chores to complete in town.

I am still not sure as to why I wanted to cycle further. 

Halfway along Lillyfee Farm Lane I stopped to make a drawing of a lovely stand of some dozen cattle. I regarded them. They watched me whilst the rain did its very best to remove the marks on my paper!  

A colour wash was added when I eventually got home to make sure I was not imagining that I had made some marks on a piece of paper!

Friday, 11 December 2015

Thames, Bourne End, Wooburn Green, Gale now ceased

Gale now ceased but southwesterly gale force 8 expected later
Wind West or southwest 5 to 7, occasionally gale 8 later.
Visibility Moderate or good. 

In these winds the land is scuffed and scraped, desiccated and dehydrated. Rosie dog and I perambulate around Wooburn Park and we gaze up to that top ridge. And never tire of looking at it.

Wooburn Park towards the ridge