Monday, 15 October 2012

Lamport in Diapers

Lamport is a small estate village roughly halfway between Market Harborough and Northampton. On the main road you can see a pair of magnificent swans rearing up on the gate posts to the mid seventeenth century Lamport Hall, and turning into the village one notices
the charming juxtaposition of the Hall to All Saints church. The village street runs inbetween them without visual hindrance from the Hall, and it's down here that we will find the polychrome brickwork of the 1854 estate cottages. We often seeing decorative brickwork like this, but on this scale? It's as though someone read the plan wrong, as in Spinal Tap's miniature Stonehenge. We call it  'diaper', meaning an ornamented pattern, a word also used by our friends across the Atlantic for nappy. Quite how that happened is a mystery, unless it's to do with criss-cross patterning being water and whatever-else-proof. My second photograph above (doesn't England look good at this time of year?) is of another Lamport estate house positioned deliberately, one imagines, a little bit away from the madding crowd. 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A Bouquet for Cheltenham

Well. A very big thankyou to those of you who found me in Gloucestershire yesterday for The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed myself so much in a tent. It was quite extraordinary, and thankyou so much to my new friends who so generously looked after myself and Only Daughter. Even Frankie Dettori managed a smile over his crustless cucumber sandwich. Coming up soon: Diapers in Lamport.