I'm more at home with this week's puzzle picture, having just shoved some tulips in the Agricastrol jug. And just look at that radio, or 'wireless' as we call it in Unmitigated England. We had one of this vintage in the 50s, and there is a photograph somewhere of my father smoking a Player's whilst listening to it in the late 30s. I learnt to tune it in to Listen with Mother after the glass valves had warmed through, turning the big Bakelite dial past stations with exotic names like Luxembourg and Hilversum. But I think the biggest treat was Childrens' Hour, particularly when David Davies read The Hobbit, with Greig's Hall of The Mountain King announcing his rich fruit cake voice: "...Bilbo Baggins was standing at his door after breakfast smoking an enormous long wooden pipe...". My father rigged-up an extension speaker in the kitchen, where I could listen with mother while she thumbed through the Bero cookbook. Or run out into the garden when Victor Silvester came on. Learning to read meant I could look up programmes in the single colour Radio Times, and gorge myself on the superb line drawings by people like Robin Jacques and Edward Ardizzone. But I think that's for another posting. Tune in soon.
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)