It’s true to say that most months are pretty varied when it comes to writing matter and May proved no exception. Two years ago when I stepped on to this merry-go-round who’d have thought that one minute it would be a case of donning hiking boots to walk the footprint of a new Surrey woodland, while the next it would be all aboard for a harbour cruise in Hampshire. Or, that in a single week I’d be meeting both members of the Ancient and Honorable Guild of Town Criers, immediately followed by an aspiring Bollywood actor-come-model.
Memories of World War One are rightly in the spotlight this year and credit goes to the Woodland Trust for initiating plans to plant four new centenary woods as a lasting memorial to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Due for coverage in Surrey Life, the flagship site at Langley Vale near Epsom, should prove a big draw for locals and visitors alike. In the meantime, thanks go to the WT’s John Brown for sharing his passion for our ancient woodlands – it sounds as if sometimes turning back the clock is no bad thing.
If a reminder’s needed of the lessons to be learnt from the nation’s tumultuous naval history, then a tour of Portsmouth harbour packs a punch. At less than an hour long, there’s only a teasing glimpse of Nelson’s flagship Victory, and there’s no guarantee which of the modern fleet will be in port, but seeing things from out on the water brings a whole new perspective. The sight that sticks in my mind is of some of the most famous names from the Faulkland’s campaign now waiting to be consigned to the scrapyard. Surely we shouldn’t forgot these heroes either?
One group of individuals who continue to make their presence felt are town criers. Guaranteed to turn heads whenever they appear it’s interesting that despite social media, a man (sometimes a woman) dressed in an historic costume and shouting at the top of their voice still grabs our attention. Vantage Point will have the local low-down in a month or so.
And someone else who’s trying hard to make themselves stand out from the crowd is young actor Kiran Rai. The interview for Hampshire Life proving if you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t expect anyone else to.
Me I’m staying for the ride.
Postscript: the blog’s re-skin is still in progress…watch this space!