Good one this, I think. I won't go on about the slightly Hitler Youth-ish boy, or the fact that there appears to have been a nuclear explosion in the next village. Instead I'll tell you about kite flying at Anderby Creek in 1952. We bought a big red box kite for flying out over the North Sea, one of us being sent down to the shop every ten minutes to buy yet another ball of string. Being called in for lunch we didn't know how to keep the thing airborne without anybody tugging at the line, but my uncle went and got a spare rubber fanbelt from his pre-war Ford. He tied the kite string to it and attached the whole thing to the verandah railing of our bungalow. Round about apple crumble time the line snapped. The string by this time was so long we couldn't see the kite, but after lunch we scrambled down the wooden steps to the beach and followed the line of string virtually to Chapel St. Leonards. We never saw the kite again, imagining that by teatime it was descending in gentle looping circles into a garden in Antwerp.
I am a 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) and Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012)