The continuous ridge of russet, stone-strewn lakeland mountain encircles a valley floor as flat as a paddy field. Lights of farms are beginning to spark and the cries of tawny owls reverberate around the bowl of darkening fells. In the distance, sunset pinks the snow-dusted peak of Glaramara. It is a suitable stage to approach the most notable trees of northern England.
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Sunday 01 November 2009
Peter Stanford says that for 470 years the Church of England has "... been walking a careful middle line, halfway between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism..." ("Has the Pope outfoxed the Archbishop", 25 October). The position on the Protestant-Catholic continuum varied in accordance with the views of the reigning monarch. So, Henry VIII was more "Catholic" than his son Edward, who was more "Protestant" than Elizabeth I. The debate about the nature of the Church of England became a feature of the English Civil War, not as a result of the need to tread a middle line, but because of the growth of the Protestant Puritan faction. The Church of England's Anglo-Catholics may want to trace their line back 470 years, but it is doubtful that it can be traced further than the 19th century, to Newman and the Oxford Movement.
Sunday 01 November 2009
Wednesday 28 October 2009
The Met Office has declared that this autumn is officially an Indian summer, predicting balmy temperatures of 21C in the South-east and Midlands tomorrow. What better way to celebrate the arrival of "summer" – and save some money during half-term – than with some leaf peeping? This activity – taking a walk in the woods to admire the glorious leaves, not spying on your neighbour through the garden hedge – has been popular in the US for years. But while New England's trees certainly put on an impressive display, our own woodlands also make a splendid seasonal splash. Here are some of the best spots for kaleidoscopic leafy loveliness.
Monday 21 September 2009
Sunday 20 September 2009
Monday 14 September 2009
This week I will mostly be eating humble pie. About two years ago now, British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman felt compelled to write a feature in her magazine about moths. How banal, I thought to myself. And this in one of the world's most aspirational and inspirational publications.
Sunday 30 August 2009
Wednesday 12 August 2009
Rescuers were working frantically yesterday to airlift villagers from remote communities in Southern Taiwan amid growing fears for the lives of more than 700 people trapped by enormous mudslides after Typhoon Morakot ravaged the island.
Sunday 09 August 2009
Saturday 25 July 2009
Adrian Padfield made a most generous bid for me in The Independent's Christmas auction. He intended it as a present for his wife, Gillian, a keen gardener and expert flower arranger, but tragically, in early January, she died. The garden became a painful thing for him to confront, stitched through with the plants his wife had chosen (many of them specially for her flower arranging) and which she, over the 20 years they had been in their home, had looked after. For her sake, Dr Padfield wanted the garden to continue. But, though he had been involved in its planning and construction, the actual plants in it were in many cases a mystery to him. Before he could learn what needed to be done with them, he had to know what they were.
Jerusalem, Royal Court Downstairs, London<br/>The Apple Cart, Theatre Royal, Bath<br/>Bassline, Barbican Centre Car Park, London
Sunday 19 July 2009
The Theatre Downstairs has turned into a wooded dell. Leafy trees arc over the stage and a girl in a satin slip stands by a recently axed trunk, quietly singing William Blake's "Jerusalem", as if it's a mournful folksong: "And did those feet in ancient time ...".
Friday 17 July 2009
David Guterson first came to prominence in 1994 with his memorably named novel, Snow Falling on Cedars. As befits a Seattle-based writer, he then wrote a series of novels featuring outdoorsie loners who were at one with nature and the wild. This latest novel follows a friendship between two teenage boys from different sides of the tracks: John William Barry, the scion of one of Washington's smartest families, and Neil Countryman, a carpenter's son. Brought together by a distain for the "organised social world" and a love of Japanese Haiku's, the friends stay in touch as adults.
Monday 29 June 2009
Despite not being able to spell, Accsys (pronounced Access) Technologies is a company on the march.
Saturday 13 June 2009
Wednesday 10 June 2009
A businessman has been sentenced to life for hiring a business associate to murder his ex-wife.
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Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
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