It’s not every day that you get to speak to the ‘Quadfather’ of British tennis, or to one of the biggest names on cycling’s world stage. So catching up with Hampshire’s medal winning heroes from London 2012 was a real thrill. Peter Norfolk OBE and Dani King MBE were just two of the athletes that shared their memories from last summer and it was a real honour to gain an insight into their world. For Team GB’s next rising star, look out for seventeen-year-old Paralympian Olivia Breen, she’s already got a bronze medal under her belt and has her sights firmly set on the Rio Games. The latest (July 2013) issue of Hampshire Life has the full story.

Talking of inspired, master stone carver Simon Keeley turns his hands to some challenging assignments. I interviewed the artist for June’s issue of The Guildford Magazine ahead of his month-long exhibition at the National Trust’s Clandon Park. From gargoyles to green men, Simon’s commissions include both heritage and contemporary pieces, all of which demonstrate his passion and skill for this traditional craft. And Simon’s stone carving courses are very popular too.

Keen to hone my own skills, earlier this month I signed-up for a workshop with travel writer Peter Carty. I may not have recognised the significance of a ‘gherkin’ beforehand, but I certainly do now! Seriously, it was a really worthwhile day, spent both in the classroom and out on the streets of central London. Challenging, yes, yet immensely helpful to be on the receiving end of such objective feedback. This satisfied ‘customer’ promised the travel writing workshop a link,  so here it is.

A mention should also go this month to the Dorking Community Orchard. Who’d have thought wandering amongst fruit trees in the Surrey Hills would reveal such tales of rampaging pillage and destruction – well that’s rabbit for you. Undeterred the orchard’s management team is confident the first apple crop will hit the local High Street this September. That’s certainly one in the eye for all those South American imports occupying our supermarket shelves. Demonstrating, once again, that home grown in whatever form it takes is worth nurturing.