Sculpture at Minsmere
And if you meander around at Minsmere in Suffolk, in addition to seeing a large number of shore and wetland birds, you might find odd bits and pieces of plastic rubbish washed up along the beach. If artist, Liz McGowan, is on hand she might make you a nice piece of sculpture like this - if not then put it in the bin where it should have been in the first place!
Or, if your meanderings lead you through rural Essex, you might stumble upon the village of Debden, which, as you can see, is twinned with Tang Ting in Nepal. There is a Nepalese restaurant in the village too which I suspect may be the origin of the link. Even so one wonders if the local Women's Institute goes on goodwill outings to the Himalayas. Perhaps not.
In Ancient Footsteps
Just a farm track like many to be found in the fens, but unusually this one has a name....
Akeman Street just happens to be the name of a Roman road and that is exactly what this little track is. Insignificant as it looks, it's following the precise line first laid out by Roman legions over 2000 years ago. A little further along a modern road coincides with the old Roman route though I'd bet that few of the drivers are aware of the ancient history beneath their wheels.
A Right-Royal Regalia
It was during the reign of Elizabeth I that it was decreed that all churches should display the royal coat of arms, since the monarch was the head of the Church of England. These arms changed many times over the centuries and in theory churches were supposed to keep up to date with all these variations. However keeping up to date has never been the churches strongest suit and, as we've seen in recent posts on this blog, some old ones survive if you keep your eyes open.
Many were destroyed during Cromwell's time and then, when the monarchy was restored, there was a tendency to celebrate by creating a new crest. So few older than this time exist. But this one at Wisbech is one that has survived. From the details of the central shield we can tell that it dates from the time of James I, 1603 to 1625.
Pretty as a Picture
Outside that same church in Wisbech is this prize-winning garden. This summer the theme is the art of Vincent Van Gogh. I think the idea must have been to create a sunflower picture within the frame which had been constructed. But the sunflowers rather outgrew the project!