Chatwin country: the Black Hill / Simon Calder
Where readers write back

'On the Black Hill'

While the film was set in Brecknockshire, Bruce Chatwin's book is set in Radnorshire, to the north of Hay-on-Wye. Virtually all the place names are from around Painscastle, where he was staying while he did the research. I later knew the two old boys, the main characters.

One of my pals, a stonewaller named Mike, became a character in the book after he accidentally met Chatwin at Lady Betjeman's home. His name was altered to Theo and his nationality was changed from Australian to South African. Not enough to deter the young lass who accosted Mike in Hay with: "You're Theo in the book, I want to go to bed with you".

Jeremy Atkinson

I grew up in the Llanthony Valley and still live nearby. The Vision was never the home of Bruce Chatwin. It belonged for many years to the Haines farming family and then was bought by Monty Don. The word "vision" is thought to be a corruption of the Welsh word "uchaf" which means "top". This was probably a top house and somewhere nearby was a "bottom" house.

Gill Smale

48 hours in Bogota

I highly recommend participating in the Ciclovia on Sundays and eating ajiaco, the regional dish, at Antigua Santa Fe.


The important tourist attraction that the city has to offer is Zona Rosa and the iconic Parque 93, along with old-town Santa Barbara .


Little Red to close

It's a shame, but having flown a number of times on nearly empty planes, I'm not surprised.

Malcolm Reed

Manchester-Gatwick flights would be a good thing, handy for travelling from the North-west to south of London.


Blackpool airport

It needs to be saved! It's a huge part of Blackpool and has a wonderful team of staff. Balfour Beatty [the owners] should be ashamed of themselves.

William Hogarth

Gosh! It is clear that the users who love this airport are not willing to pay the extra cost of keeping it, but can't they use someone else's money? Can't we force someone to lose money hand-over-fist or shunt the losses on to the taxpayer to keep these privileged people in the airport they would like to become accustomed to?


Flight rights

Many in aviation may believe the compensation levels are disproportionate to the air fare. However, often a claim is made because people have lost a day's holiday or pay. People would probably be less inclined to claim if they were treated with respect. Look after them properly when delayed and answer them when they contact you after the event. The airlines' lack of respect means a lot of people see the pursuit of 261/2004 claims as being their only way to express their annoyance.

Harry C