This week I've been photographing the remarkable stone-built town of Stamford in Lincolnshire, for a project I'll talk more about later in the spring. In the remains of the day I found myself at the west end of the town, and in particular on this pathway that runs between a stream and the water meadows that stretch out to the River Welland. It's called Melancholy Walk, and is in fact a raised causeway that ends at a few acres of allotments and an isolated cottage. Standing there I was taken back to a spring evening long ago, when aged about three I was taken down here by my two older girl cousins who lived nearby on Tinwell Road. They held my hands and patiently let me toddle on between them until we reached a gateway that's just out of sight to the left of this photograph. We tried to traverse an area of deep black mud churned up by cattle, in an attempt to cross the meadows, but I got stuck fast, my little wellington boots slowly sinking into the ooze. They pulled and pulled, to no avail. And then a man in a raincoat and flat cap appeared, cycling slowly down the causeway either to the allotments or the cottage. "Excuse me mister", the elder girl called out, "But our cousin has got stuck in the mud". He didn't even turn and look, but just shouted over his shoulder "Bugger off".
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)