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Henry VII and Henry VIII (1485 - 1547)

Pig basics (part two)

Lanefoot Farm, Thornthwaite, Keswick, Cumbria

Acton Field, Langton Matravers, Swanage, Dorset

Hole Station Campsite, Highampton, Beaworthy, Devon

Politeness

RULES OF SUCCESSION

The Heel Stone, Slaughter Stone and Avenue

Wild boar and domestication (part three)

Kitts Cottage Camp, Freshfield Place Farm, Sloop Lane, Scaynes Hill, West Sussex

Castlerigg Farm Camping Site, Castlerigg, Keswick, Cumbria

Go Camping UK at Overstrand, Beach Close, Overstrand, Cromer, Norfolk

New pigs (part one)

Beadnell Bay, Beadnell, Chathill, Northumberland

Warwick: Castle for a Kingmaker

News from our friends
Stone handaxe
THIS small handaxe is one of the most beautiful in the British Museum. It is made from quartz with attractive amethyst banding, a difficult material from which to make tools because it is extremely hard. The toolmaker would have had to hit with considerable force and accuracy to remove flakes. Such a high degree of difficulty makes the thin, symmetrical shape of this piece a masterpiece of the toolmakers’ art.
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DepartureNow it's over. Your flight's been called; only a few minutes remain in which to grab a last jacket potato with tuna mayonnaise, or to write those goodbye-and-thank-you-for-everything cards you bought (the British have a card for every occasion). Then it's farewell to "This royal throne of kings / this precious stone set in the silver sea" - the land where they tear off their tops at the first glimpse of the sun, but where life grinds to a halt the moment a few flakes of snow fall. You know you'll be back one day, for who could keep away? Meanwhile, there are your memories. And your hand luggage bulging with souvenirs: Union Jack shorts for your brother, Winnie the Pooh writing paper for your sister, the tea-towel with the Loch Ness Monster on it for auntie. Oh, and the stick of Brighton rock. Whatever that's for!
ShoppingThe British invented the idea of the fixed price. This was to avoid the embarrassment caused by haggling. We don't like bargaining for things and we do not like pushy sales assistants, which is why shopping in hot countries can be such an ordeal for Brits.
QueuingIt is not true that queuing in Britain has died out. Only the bus queue seems to have dissolved more or less into a continental free-for-all. Go to a post office, or bank, or supermarket check-out and you will find the custom is thriving, with special rails and tapes to keep the line straight.
Ye Olde BritainThe coach sets you down at the market cross. The people here live in black and white half- timbered houses with pretty window boxes full of flowers. There's a Norman church with Saxon windows and a Gothic spire. There's a grand house with priest holes and a ghost.
You are taken down a cobbled street to see the oldest pub in England, where pilgrims, smugglers and runaway princes all met (though not necessarily at the same time). There, sitting outside at a wooden table with a ploughman's lunch and a tankard of ale, you'll find our true Brit. Stroll out of town past the guildhall, and the mediaeval stocks where rogues were punished (unlike today!), then climb the hill to the old castle with its ruined battlements. The weather is always fine, so stop for a picnic in the meadow with scones ("as mother used to make them") and strawberries and cream. On the river there are chaps in blazers standing up in flat bottomed boats, and girls in straw hats waving to them from the bank. They say you shouldn't live in the past. But the true Brit does, and he's very happy there.
Mind the GapThe London Underground is full of romance: the names of the stations alone evoke the glories of English history and legend: Knightsbridge, Baker Street, Marble Arch, Angel, Temple, Swiss Cottage, Arnos Grove, Turnham Green... Take a deep breath and plunge far below the streets of the capital city by escalator or gleaming lift into the 253 miles of windy tunnels that make up the 'Tube'. Once aboard a train, the overseas visitor is reminded that silence is compulsory and that loud conversation or laughter may cause the train to come to a sudden stop. As you sit waiting in the dark, your mind will be teeming with questions: "Should I have changed at Gloucester Road? How will I read all the advertisements? How do you pronounce 'Marylebone'? What if I fall asleep and wake up at Cockfosters?"
DrivingAt one time the British were known throughout the world as a nation of courteous and careful drivers. We motored quietly along in our Rovers and Rolls Royces, our Minis and our Morrises, stopping occasionally to let an old lady or a flock of sheep cross the road. In recent years standards have fallen and the government has introduced all kinds of measures to encourage better driving, including voucher parking, speed cameras, traffic cones, congestion charges and road rage. The last of these requires motorists to stop their cars and threaten each other with violence if they believe this olde-worlde courtesy has been breached in any way. The True Brit still maintains many of the nobler motoring traditions in this country, such as stopping at red lights and giving way to hedgehogs. As for the famous question which "side" are you on? Well, of course, in Britain right is wrong and left is right. Will we ever change? Not likely! The True Brit would rather abandon his car altogether and walk (which, come to think of it, he's doing more and more these days).
Asking the WayThe visitor who is not a native speaker of English may experience difficulty in understanding connected and extended speech especially if spoken in the street with an unfamiliar local accent. Do not burst into tears or start waving your arms and saying "Stop! Stop! I don't understand. Please speak clearly in standard English, without swallowing your words." Such a reaction may damage international relations. In order not to appear rude (or silly) you should listen attentively to the native speaker with the lively appearance of understanding everything that is being said. The British are mostly very helpful people and they enjoying giving directions to strangers. Because of the complexities of our town planning these directions are not always correct. But as you are unlikely to understand anyway, it doesn't really matter. The important thing is that you have made contact with a member of the British public!
The Mighty SpudThe cornerstone of our national cuisine is of course the potato. A true Brit will have nothing to do with pasta or noodles and will only eat rice if it's in a sweet and creamy rice pudding.

Fish and Chips— or rather, "fish'n'chips" — is another essential experience for the visitor. Britain is an island and eating fish reminds us of our practical and spiritual dependence on the sea. The chips symbolise our people: no two chips are the same, but we are united because we are all cut from the same bag of potatoes, all deep-fried in the same oil.
Enjoy Your Meal!For generations envious foreigners have made fun of our eating habits and our table language (or lack of it). The fact is that Britain has one of the greatest cuisines in the United Kingdom. There's our famous "full" English breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausages, grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried bread, baked beans, black pudding, kippers and porridge. Furthermore, we boast a wonderful range of national and local specialities, such as Lancashire Hotpot, Yorkshire Pudding, Bubble& Squeak, Shepherd's Pie, Spotted Dick, and Tinned Pears with Evaporated Milk. Sadly, most visitors to this island never try these delicacies but huddle together in continental-style cafes or fast food outlets eating pizza, tapas, kebab, noodles and all kinds of peculiar foreign imports.