One Foot In The Fifties (The Goodwood Revival)

The Goodwood Revival

(Goodwood Motor Circuit, 13-15 September 2013)

Until Saturday, I’d never been motor-racing in my life and there can’t be many more fabulous ways to experience it for the first time than to attend the Goodwood Revival. For those unfamiliar with the event, the racing circuit at Goodwood, near Chichester in Sussex, winds the clock back in time for one weekend every September and, for three wonderful days, everything takes place between 1948 and 1966. No modern vehicles are allowed inside the perimeter and visitors are encouraged to wear appropriate dress for the period. And so, on Saturday morning under a blue sky (later to cloud over), my parents and I picked our way out of the muddy car park and into the full glory of the past.

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History Live!

History Live! 2013

(organised by English Heritage, Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire, 20-21 July 2013)

‘What is this strange contraption?’ It was 9:30am on a grey, cool Sunday morning and I was in a 12th-century encampment from the Holy Land (temporarily translated to a damp field in Northamptonshire), explaining the principle of photography to two Normans. Within five minutes’ walk were two thousand years of British history, ranging from a Roman legion to Second World War troops representing Britain, Germany, the USA, Russia and Poland. The day ahead would encompass tanks, trebuchets and muskets, thundering hooves and shattered lances, showers of arrows loosed from English yew, a shield wall, and the spine-tingling thrum of a Merlin engine, as a Spitfire burst through clouds of smoke to do a victory roll in the skies above. This was History Live! (formerly the Festival of History), English Heritage’s annual smorgasbord of a weekend celebrating British history.

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A Day at the Paralympics

Paralympics: Simmonds

This summer in London has been incredible. We were initially all rather cynical about the Olympics, but swiftly found ourselves caught up in the fever, and became armchair experts on sports as diverse as distance running, cycling speed trials and dressage (I still can’t get over the fact that some horses have better musical timing than I do). Now the Olympics are done and dusted; the Paralympics have swept into view; and finally I had my chance to savour the atmosphere at first hand.

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The Making of Harry Potter: Warner Bros Studio Tour

The Making of Harry Potter

Now for something completely different… You have two choices. You can read my post and listen to me burble, or you can simply skip all of that and buy your tickets right now. This is a fantastic experience. It’s the perfect day out for Potter fans, film buffs or parents who are wondering how on earth to keep the children amused until they go back to school in September. Without a doubt, it is one of the best visitor attractions in the UK at the moment; and I say that with complete objectivity, because I’ve never really cared that much for Harry Potter

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