A trip to East Anglia, to the Fens and to Norfolk in search of finger in the ear folk singers, Brexit country and a vision of the future when the floods come and the UK becomes a minor archipelago, its lowlands lost and forgotten under the North Sea.
William Hershel, professional musician, amateur astronomer, discoverer of Uranus, built a telescope in Slough so huge it remained the biggest in the world for fifty years.
Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in Bath. Jane Austen was there only a few years before. Maybe the two crossed paths.
The Cornish pastiche: Tintagel, a castle on a rocky outcrop, is this Camelot? No, it’s not.
Reg Presley, suddenly rich from the proceeds of a hit song, devotes his money and time to uncovering the secrets of the Warminster Triangle: UFOs, crop circles and the changing shape of planet Earth. Reg is voiced by Long John Silver.
Silbury Hill – the largest man made mound in Europe – a solemn dome, a green whale, an alien submarine. Is it the Great Goddess? A watchtower? A swollen node on a ley line? No, it’s a big cake.
A cuttlefish squirts sepia ink and creates a pseudomorph of itself to divert predators. With a little more know-how it could manufacture 3d sepia images of Weston’s Grand Pier, its Big Wheel or Helicopter Museum.
In Cambridge, looking for the Wittgenstein Archive, we find a brick wall, a skip and a white slip-on shoe.
The Roseland peninsula, Cornwall, almost dreamlike, but its castles summon up images of an era when England was threatened with invasion from France and the Holy Roman Empire. Now the invaders are the wealthy middle classes, ramping up house prices, reviving Cornish nationalism and interest in the Cornish language.
John Buchan can’t stop thinking about ham. Alfred Hitchcock is frightened of eggs. Charles Dickens is hungry all the time. In Broadstairs I eat British chips and wonder where the seventy eight steps are now.