25 April 2013.
BRITAIN’S canals link city to city, meandering through open green countryside in between. The roving networks create a linear floating village where people connect and nod hello. Canals are all about travel, and relationships (by necessity) are formed quickly with passing strangers. Sometimes canal hubs develop with static clusters of boats and buildings that spread out on the canalside. Braunston is a canal village huddled in the best countryside of Northamptonshire.
27 March 2013.
WITH the end of the financial year, sorting out your taxes, although arduous and annoying, is a relatively straight-forward process.
For many, the annual interaction with HMRC, or its equally humourless website, has come to say more about who we are than the rhythms of the seasons, or how we are viewed by our neighbours, friends and family. After all, if HMRC sees us all as numbers (albeit individual ones) why shouldn’t we? In these austere times, we are used to talking about ourselves in financial language to the extent that the loss of Triple AAAs is understood to mean that our economy is not as robust as it could be, not the fact we have misplaced some very small batteries down the back of the sofa.
26 March 2013.
A MUSEUM, by definition, is meant to be a building where objects of interest are stored and exhibited, but the National Waterways Museum is a magnificent rebel. Its buildings are part of the whole show, and no matter where the eye spins, indoors or outdoors, there’s always something extraordinary to see.
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