'Context' - A Blog

Page 1 of 3

What’s the Rush?


Approaching the anniversary of one of the most important train stops in English Literature, at Adlestrop in Gloucestershire, I take a mental walk around the history of streets of my local town, Llandeilo, and wonder whether it might be time to think a little more carefully about our experiences of moving around. ...more

Thoughtful Walks and a Reflective Wait


How a lost station in Carmarthenshire, an ‘unlost’ track in Surrey and other fragments of the way we once travelled, provide a chance to gain a reflective connection with our past. ...more

Staring at the Sky


How a lifetime of gazing skywards led to the spontaneous creation of a painting commemorating the action of a Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot, who died eighty years ago today. ...more

The Green Snow of May


It sounds like some biblical type portent, but is this (only slightly weather related) event a sign of a comeback for the elm, one of our most intriguing native trees? ...more

Why a Farmer Might Have Empty Pockets


Working in farming, using historic faming and smallholding techniques and working with old tractors has always been interesting for so many reasons. But there is one peril that no-one ever mentioned to me in all the training and instruction I have received over the years... stuff falls out of your pockets. ...more

Is It Time To Pack Up The Plough...Or Get It Out Again?


A lot of thought is going in to ‘no till’ (also known as ‘no dig’ or ‘no plough’) systems of land management these days. Could it be that the writing is on the wall for this several thousand year old implement and all its elegant simplicity of purpose? I’m not so sure. ...more

My First Time Ploughing
(and why you should have a go)


When I first got to use a plough in earnest, it all turned out rather a mess...but what a superlative piece of kit it is... ...more

The Farm Machine in the Nettles- Will it Ever be Used Again?


How the enigma of an old plough in the nettles led to an insight into the landscape all around and helped seed a lifelong interest in the significance of ploughs, ploughing and ploughlands. ...more

A First Experience of Horse Ploughing


How I ended up behind a horse and plough because of a day’s sketching ...more

The Scent of Spring


A lovely spring smell is in the air which takes me back to the scent of grass and earth mixed together on a Sussex farm... ...more

Esker, Esgair, What's in a Name?


How paying attention to the geographic definition of esker and its Welsh equivalent, esgair, was a missing key to understanding the landscape around me. ...more

Naming a Place


How a place name comes about in the first place and what it might tell us about those who first used the name. ...more

The Meaning of a Place Name


How looking at the roots of the old words for the hills and other places in the landscape around us, can bring us into closer touch with our surroundings. ...more

View of a Hill


When we look at hill, do we ever see it properly? ...more

A Change of Perspective


How seeing the same things around us from a different angle for a moment, might help us gain a little sense of escape from the day to day difficulties that surround us. ...more

'Cockney Sparrows'


Why the determination of these little birds draws comparisons with the inhabitants of wartime London. ...more

The Brightness of Sparrows


How a tiny, unassuming brown bird provides cheer and inspiration in the cold of late winter. ...more

February Thoughts from a Shepherd’s Viewpoint


How thoughts in February centre on damp and difficulties, at one of the hardest times of the shepherd’s year. Yet there is solace and strength to be derived from the sheep themselves. ...more

The Meaning of a Figure in a Landscape (Part 2 of 2)


Should the figures in our landscape paintings be harmonious or discordant, or even there at all? ...more

The Meaning of a Figure in a Landscape
(Part 1 of 2)


Should the people in our landscape paintings be from now or the past and should they confront or soothe us? ...more