Not far from Melton Mowbray is a tiny hamlet, just off the undulating road that winds through the Leicestershire wolds up to Colsterworth. Just a handful of houses, and a railway crossing keeper's cottage next to a gate that still has to be opened manually. I tipped up there earlier this year, roaming about looking for a decent photographic viewpoint of the church. Outside of the main churchyard was a little enclosed area, probably ear-marked for new resting places. In one corner was a wooden hut, a sexton's lock-up for spades and grave templates perhaps, and behind it was a stack of broken pottery. This piece caught my eye, made by Italian makers La Primula. Don't ask me why I pocketed it, don't ask why it's been sitting on my kitchen window sill next to the geranium pots for six months. Of course there's a story here, but for want of it I've had to make something up. The blue typographic plates were in pride of place on the vicar's wife's kitchen dresser, a souvenir from either Lake Como or a Lakeland cookshop. Their daughter has an Italian girlfriend to stay and the vicar commits an indiscretion with her. The vicar's wife finds out and hurls the innocent crockery after him as he races for sanctuary in the church vestry. Later that night he gathers the pieces up and hides them away. Presumably at the back of the shed because the dustbin's full. Oh I don't know, more likely they're left-overs from a fete where wooden balls were chucked at crockery. Perhaps you have a more convincing solution. Or have I just completely lost it.
I am a designer, writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012), Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012) and English Allsorts (Adelphi 2015)