About Face

Sometimes I just vant to be alone.
Sometimes I just vant to be alone.

Some years ago when I read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, the incredible first novel by Dave Eggers, I was electrified by his lucid writing and awed by his ability to find humor in a true story of loss and struggle.

Since then, I’ve read some of his other books, but none stuck with me the way the first one did. Until now.

I just finished The Circle. Zing if you know what I’m talking about. Or hit “like” unless you are one of the handful of holdouts still hiding your face from Facebook. Good luck with that.

The Circle is a chilling Orwellian cautionary tale about the insatiable spread of social media. Anyone who has dipped a toe in the vast digital sea will recognize the symptoms of addiction, compulsion, and self-absorbed blindness that afflict Mae, the female protagonist. And while the plot veers toward the surreal, none of the ideas is far-fetched enough to be unbelievable. As Mae increasingly surrenders her privacy, her autonomy and her freedom in order to gain artificial status and the hollow fame that comes from being followed online by millions of “invisible friends,” her real life unravels while her virtual world expands.

The dark satire explores some of the deeply troubling aspects not only of Facebook and its ilk, but the entire spying, lying, couch-potato stalking aspects of “social” networks. The insidious spread of drone usage, the short-sighted maneuverings of political leaders, and the dramatic increase of economic disparity worldwide combine to create a toxic climate for all.

But to me the scariest part of the future Eggers so vividly conjures in The Circle, is the growing threat to privacy. Something is deeply askew when reading quietly alone in a room is viewed as an antisocial act. When taking a walk alone in the woods is considered selfish. When failing to respond to hundreds of unsolicited emails and texts and posts every day is taken as an act of rudeness.

As a writer, I cherish solitude. I need a certain amount of empty space in my life in order to think clearly. Other people thrive in a group dynamic. And that’s fine. For them.

But among the most vital human rights must be the right to choose how we spend our brief lives. Surely we should have the right to be alone with our thoughts from time to time.

To paraphrase E.M.Forster: Only disconnect!

Slow Burn

Is it hot in here, or is it just me?
Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

I am part of the problem.

I drive a car. I fly across country in fuel guzzling jets. And even though I make an effort to recycle faithfully, I am part of the dominant throwaway culture.

When the world succumbs to runaway mutant viruses and the ice cap melts and life as we know it vanishes without so much as one last desperate Tweet tapped into a dying iPhone, you can blame me and the millions of people like me, who feel concerned about global warming and the loss of habitat wrought by too many humans wreaking havoc upon the natural world but lack the ability to do much about it.

At times like these I turn to science fiction. Before the days of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, the first authors to enjoy popular success writing about imagined worlds, there were always writers and thinkers who tried to see into the future.

But not until our own era, when powerful computers and vastly improved technology have given us the tools to actually see and measure some portion of the universe in which our planet is but a “pale blue dot,” as Carl Sagan famously noted, have we been able to really get a sense of what a mess we’re making of this former paradise.

Such a perspective could have made us take stock of the very small niche we occupy in the Big Picture. But you know how it is. The movie ends, you walk out, and within minutes hunger, boredom or fatigue divert attention from weighty ideas such as planetary survival.

When I was younger I was never much of a sci-fi buff. I read “1984,” “Fahrenheit 451,” and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”. I read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” which, while not exactly hard science fiction, derives much of its humor from twisting the limits of scientific understanding.

We do know a lot more about the universe now than we did in 1898, when H.G. Wells wrote “The War of the Worlds.” Fat lot of good it seems to do us. Our inability to get along with each other remains a huge stumbling block to every sort of progress.

Some people have suggested that video games such as the immensely popular World of Warcraft help humans to work out their frustrations without shooting real people. I wonder. Some of us carry our anger around just under the skin. The slightest bump or scratch and out it comes.

As we enter what could be an end game era for our planet, it would behoove us to get serious about science. Beliefs can be comforting. But they can also lead us into states of confusion, and at this point, with sea level rising measurably every year, it’s time to stop ignoring the data.

This ain’t no video game. When the lights go out all over the world this time it will be a bit late to start brainstorming about brilliant ways to charge up the batteries.

I’m currently reading “The Windup Girl,” a disturbing science fiction novel by Paolo Bacigalupi about a time on Earth after climate change and runaway gene manipulation have led to devastating loss of diversity and worldwide starvation. Not exactly a fun read. But as a cautionary tale it’s right up there with “1984” and “Fahrenheit 451.” When those books were written the ideas they described were considered far-fetched. Surely there would never be a time when a Big Brother government could follow your every move and thought, or when books would be banned for fear the ideas in them might spark revolt against tyranny.

The truly sobering facet of science fiction is how frequently science fiction evolves into science fact.

I am, of course, a dreamer. A Pollyanna in the face of peril. I’d like to believe that even now some brilliant team of nerds is working on a plan to reverse the carbon overload in the atmosphere, to turn back the clock on global meltdown.

Maybe it can only happen in science fiction. But at least that’s a start.

Rake Season

In autumn sunlight gilds the birches at the edge of Green Lake in Seattle.

Far from the maddening mud fight of politics, the world of gardening spins steadily along. Days shorten, temperatures drop, and leaves skitter across the lawn.

Gardeners are immune to the vagaries of political power struggles. Regimes and movements come and go. Conditions get better or worse, fortunes rise and fall almost as predictably as the tides.

Meanwhile, in the quiet backwaters of real life, gardeners carry on. We rake and clip and mulch and dream of other summers, other springs. It’s not all roses.

Murderous storms, withering heat, deadly cold and relentless bugs provide a gritty ballast to keep even the giddiest gardener from harboring illusions of success. But there are moments.

For people caught up in the madness of horticulture, the troubles of the fractious grasping world recede to a background static. We sympathize with the passion and the agony of those trying to make the world a better place. But the world is such a big place. Perhaps if everyone made a start in their own backyard?

For me, the madness of gardening began as a child. I planted radishes and Indian corn, not from any desire to eat either of them, but because it was an adventure to plant a seed and watch what happened. My gardens in the last several decades have seldom lived up to my dreams, but my dreams still sustain me when reality fails and negativity don’t pull me through (thanks be to Bob).

Yet even the most enthusiastic gardener occasionally yearns for a little encouragement from a kindred spirit. I have been blessed with some wonderful gardening friends, but the constraints of time and distance limit our time together. However a good book can work wonders. I recently discovered “Garden People: The Photographs of Valerie Finnis,” by Ursula Buchan. Published in 2007, this remarkable collection documents the colorful and personal gardening styles of legendary British gardeners by one of the greatest of them, Finnis herself.

Her unmatched passion for horticulture and for sharing and encouraging others is an inspiration.
As this gardening season shuts down and another dark winter looms with forecasters predicting all sorts of weather-related mayhem, I plan to hunker down in the company of “Garden People” and dream of other springs.

At the National Cathedral the Bishop's Garden offers a glimpse of classic British garden style.
At the National Cathedral the Bishop’s Garden offers a glimpse of classic British garden style.


After Happily Ever

The hopeful sign will fade and fall off; the journey goes on.
The hopeful sign will fade and fall off; the journey goes on.

I broke up with Romance a few years ago.

I fired off a bitter post and threw out my romance writer magazines. I put away my childish dreams, having decided it was well past time for me to grow up. After all, my children had done it. Surely it was time for me.

And for the last few years I’ve tried to dwell in the dark and grim margins where the media pack lurches from one horror story to another, groaning and scrabbling like a horde of you-know-whats. I even tried my hand at writing a darker sort of fantasy, forcing my characters to struggle with problems bigger than a rip in the heirloom wedding gown.

But to my surprise, after a while, my characters rebelled. Oh they kept jumping through the hoops I set before them. They quipped and parried with the fell forces of darkness, because, you know, what choice did they have? But gradually, without my willing it to happen, they began to sneak off together into quiet spaces and cavort with each other. And I, being the permissive author that I am, gave them freedom to “explore their feelings.” And wouldn’t you know? In the face of all the gloom and doom, those kids were falling in love whether I liked it or not.

That’s when I realized that try as I might to quit the romance genre, I can’t escape the romance in my nature.

Yet I was born a skeptic. My parents told me my first word was no. However I think this might have been a misunderstanding on their part. I wasn’t saying no to everything. I simply wanted to make my own choices. And there is no choice more exciting, more personal, and more unpredictable than the choice to give your heart to another human. Talk about adventure!

The thing that repels me about Romance with a capitol R is the narrow definition of exactly what is romance. James Thurber once wrote a droll little book titled “Is Sex Necessary?” which described the ways in which men and women differ in their approach to romance. Thurber was never more brilliant than when delineating the vast mystery that exists between the sexes. Most romance novels make good use of this fertile ground. Yet the deepest vein of romance remains untapped until after both parties have passed the checkpoint of commitment.

Early romance, fed on wine and roses and carefree hours together, is a surface thing. It can be fun. But at some point, if it’s going to last, it has to be more than just fun. When the going gets tough, romance either grows deep, or drowns. Either way, it’s a stronger story line than Happily Ever After.

Because there’s always After Happily Ever After. And that’s where I plan to make my stand as a romance writer. Yet much as I admire Shakespeare and appreciate the poetry of tragic love stories, I don’t want to read them. Or write them.

So next spring, after I wrap up my fantasy series The Greening (which has been quietly turning into more of a romance than I’d anticipated anyway) my next book is going to be about love that doesn’t need diamond rings or champagne to keep it alive. It’s going to be about the burning hot flame of passion buried under the quietest mountain.

Because what matters most happens After Happily Ever After.


Swing Boat

I don’t usually look to the best seller list for reading material. But recently a Seattle friend sent us a copy of “The Boys In The Boat,” and it ran away with my heart.

This remarkable account of the true story of the University of Washington crew team who rowed their way into history as they pursued the gold medal in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin brims with drama and beauty. It’s got real life heroes and villains, thrilling adventure, heartbreak and romance, even a touch of humor. But what makes Daniel James Brown’s brilliant book so deeply compelling is his keen appreciation for the almost spiritual aspect of the sport itself, and the reverence it inspires in its followers.

Among the fine portraits in the book is that of George Pocock, the British boatman whose careful crafting of racing shells, combined with his astute observations on the fine points of rowing, gave the Washington team a priceless advantage.

Describing the mysterious alchemy of character and strength that produced the eight-man crew team that defied all the odds, Brown’s prose at times borders on poetry. He grounds his narrative in the particular experience of Joe Rantz, one of the eight boys, and Joe comes across as pure of heart and brave of spirit. But in order to become one with his crew mates, he has to learn to let go of his self and trust the team.

Perhaps the most evocative passages in the book deal with a thing called “swing.” When the eight boys are rowing as one, when their hearts and minds are “in the boat” and the pain slips out of sight, the crew is said to have found its swing. And when that happens, well, you just have to be there.

Set in the darkest years of the Depression, the story pits the under-financed Western team against the privileged teams of the East. But when the team had to compete against Hitler’s specially picked and specially favored team in the cold Berlin waters, they demonstrated all that is best about Americans on the world’s largest stage, at one of the pivotal moments in history.

In the current self-obsessed state of our nation, where self promotion and self fulfillment, not to mention the plague of “selfies,” are viewed as perfectly natural, Joe’s willingness to sacrifice and struggle for the good of his team is inspiring on every level.

For anyone feeling discouraged by the rude and random waves of our current world, I suggest dipping into “The Boys In The Boat”.

They didn’t walk on water. They rowed their way into the stars.

No Ordinary Book

The Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C., includes telling quotes from the New Deal era, as well as World War II.
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C., includes telling quotes from his momentous twelve years in office.

I don’t know who I am anymore.

I used to be this fiction person. Never willingly read anything else. But something’s come over me in the last year or so. Call it reality, at long last rearing its hydra heads, or maybe it’s just the anesthetic of youth finally wearing off, but whatever it is, I find myself increasingly drawn to long, detail rich, laboriously researched and exhaustively annotated books about history.


I’m not sure where this is coming from, though I suspect it may be rooted in the sense of vertigo that came upon me after losing both my parents. Suddenly there’s no one holding down the floor anymore. It’s up to me to know what came before. And before that. And boy there’s a lot.

While I’ve more or less abandoned hope of ever fully grasping the ups and downs of the Byzantine Empire or the Balkans, and European history is so full of incident and horror that I doubt I have the intellectual stamina to get far in that field,  I feel the least I can do is try to get a grip on the story here in North America.

You might have thought that, as product of Virginia public schools, I would have picked up a bit on my way through. But back then I was unable to really care about what happened before I was born. I mean, you know, life begins when you’re born, right?

However, I just finished reading “No Ordinary Time,” Doris Kearns Goodwin’s 1995 Pulitzer Prize winning account of how the extraordinary partnership between Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt changed the United States during World War Two, and I’m beginning to realize that I owe a lot to Eleanor. Also probably FDR. But honestly, as I worked my way through more than 600 pages filled with incident and amazing detail, it was Eleanor’s courage, determination, and vision that inspired me most. Her influence on civil rights, labor, and social justice for all helped change the nation. She took a lot of heat for being an uppity woman back before people had learned to appreciate the wonders an uppity woman can perform. She paved the way for generations of crusaders.

The 1940s were indeed “No Ordinary Time.” Yet perhaps no time is ordinary. We live in an age of such breathtaking miracles and heartbreaking terror, sometimes it makes me want to curl up on the couch and take a nap.

But then I think, what would Eleanor do? She was no napper.

I’m trying to measure up.

No ordinary dog, FDR's beloved Fala has a place of honor at the memorial.
No ordinary dog, FDR’s beloved Fala has a place of honor at the memorial.


Et Tu, Anthony?

"The Big Train,"pitcher Walter Johnson led the Washington baseball team to the championship in 1924.
Baseball has its own history. Walter Johnson led Washington baseball to the world championship in 1924.

There is history, and there’s History.

Lower case history tends to be personal. It happens to all of us as we go through our little lives. Upper case History more often involves the rise and fall of nations, civilizations, great leaders and vile despots. Such history generally relies on a  fair amount of hard facts and reliably recorded data.

Hard facts have always been a stumbling block for me. I’m inclined to step around the side of any fact and imagine how it would look without its makeup. It’s my firmly held belief that perception influences data. At least that’s how it seems from my angle.

This aspect of history baffled me throughout my academic years. I struggled to get through every history class. The sheer volume of history was just too discouraging.

However, as we learn if we give History a chance, Time changes everything. Including history.

Television has dramatically enhanced the way history is shared. Ever since Ken Burns began making his engaging documentaries about defining events such as the Civil War, the Dust Bowl, and World War II, as well as his inspiring films dealing with social and cultural topics such as Prohibition, Jazz, and The Brooklyn Bridge, history has escaped from the quiet pages of books. In Burns’s films the soul and passion of history are revealed.

As may be apparent from the gushing, lately I’ve come around on History. While reading Doris Kearns Goodwin’s thrilling Team of Rivals I was enthralled by the wisdom, the patience, and the sheer goodness of Lincoln. Now I’m reading David McCullough’s fascinating The Great Bridge and learning  things about Brooklyn I’d never known, in spite of the fact that my Dad was born and raised there.

Admittedly, history may never grip the general population the way reality TV apparently does. But I’ve been delighted to learn that history buffs come in all sizes and uniforms. As regular readers of this blog may be tired of hearing already, I am a baseball fan. I have my favorites among the teams and certain players whose skill and style lift my mood. One of these is the National’s Anthony Rendon, who shines wherever they put him on the field.

However, Rendon ruffled a few feathers recently when, in answer to a reporter’s question about whether he would be watching the All Star Game during the break, he replied that he didn’t like to watch baseball because it was too long and boring. And that he preferred to watch The History Channel.

The way the media fell all over themselves analyzing this shocker was good for a few laughs. You would have thought he’d insulted the Pope. Some fair-minded reporters suggested that perhaps he had been kidding.

Well, all kidding aside, I’d like to think Rendon enjoys The History Channel from time to time. I mean, Ken Burns made a great documentary about baseball, too. What’s not to love?

My Heart Belongs to Laddy

My Dad, who woul dhave been 91 tomorrow, was a lifelong cat lover, but he had room in his heart for dogs. This is Laddy, our collie who made life interesting in our tiny house until he bit the mailman and had to move to a farm where there was more room for him to run off his high energy.
My Dad, who would have been 91 tomorrow, was a lifelong cat lover, but he had room in his heart for dogs. This is Laddy, our collie who made life interesting in our tiny house until he bit the mailman and had to move to a farm where there was more room for him to run off his high energy.

Did we learn nothing from Planet of the Apes?

While that classic sci-fi film may be a bit dated and far-fetched, the ideas it raised remain compelling. In particular, the way the film exposes the tendency of humans to view themselves as masters of all other species.

Of course, we have books, written by humans, which codify this conceit. However, simply because something is written in a book, or even a law, doesn’t make it necessarily true or right. The argument has been around for centuries, long before Darwin suggested another way of looking at things. Yet we are no closer to a clear understanding of the Big Picture, even when it’s screened on IMax.

So why do I care? Well, this morning, in my glutton for punishment way, I was reading the newspaper and came across a story about recent research into the mechanisms that cause depression. Such studies have been going on for decades. You might hope they would have figured it out by now. But no. What they have figured out is how to cause debilitating depression in mice. And dogs.

That’s when I began to feel depressed myself.

I mean, obviously I understand the need to conduct research to find life-saving drugs. And I realize that it isn’t always possible to use human subjects for all tests. Yet when it comes to problems humans face, stress doesn’t seem to me to be high on the list. Yes, we live in stressful times. But there has always been stress. Being chased by a sabre-toothed tiger? Not exactly a theme-park thrill. Yet stress is a natural part of existence, and overcoming naturally occurring stress is part of the process of being alive.

But there’s stress and there’s stress. Someone you love dies or becomes very ill, that’s stress. When someone forces you to walk barefoot on an electrified floor with no apparent means of escape, that’s torture. A different breed of stress entirely.

That electrified floor was used on dogs in a well-known 1967 study which showed that when dogs are made to feel that they have no options, they develop what is called “learned helplessness.” In other words, they learn to give up hope. This induced depression can be traumatizing to a human. How much more traumatic it must be to a dog, a creature which has been bred to trust humans.

I have no moral high ground on the issues of animal rights. I’m no vegetarian. But I draw the line at dogs. Also cats, but that’s a much harder argument to win.

Dogs, on the other hand, are, in fact, Man’s Best Friend. Everybody knows this. Even people who claim to dislike dogs have to respect the heroic qualities of our canine companions. They sniff out bombs, they save babies from burning buildings, they lead the blind, they comfort the sick and aging. They go into battle and they don’t do it for medals. They do these things because we ask them to.

For some incredible reason, dogs love us. God knows why.

Some may argue that we humans deserve our “right” to dominion over all the animals because of our superior intellect. I would argue that if we wish to consider ourselves “superior” to any other species the proof of this edge must begin with greater compassion for all other species. But especially dogs.

A few years ago the brilliant comic writer Tom Holt penned a remarkable satire called Blonde Bombshell which riffed wildly on the idea of a planet where “a dog’s best friend is his man.” It’s a lot funnier than Planet of the Apes, though that may owe something to the fact that a human dressed up as an ape could never hope to rival a golden retriever.

It’s been more than two thousand years since a wise teacher gave us a golden tip: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The luster of that line has sadly dimmed in these me-first  times, and realistically, maybe we’ll never be able to love one another. But if we can at least learn to treat our best friends as well as we’d like to be treated, that would be a start.


The Art of Lending

A glass of wine, a book of verse, and thou beneath the palm trees. What could be better?
A glass of wine, a book of verse, and thou beneath the palm trees. What could be better?

As a young nerd I was never the sort of child who had to be encouraged to read.

My parents were more concerned that I spent altogether too much time with my nose in a book and not enough time playing outside with the neighborhood kids. The Boomer Generation ruled our neighborhood. But it came as a rude awakening to me at around age seven to discover that few of them enjoyed reading. Not only that, but they had an ingrained distrust of anyone their own age who thought twice about more or less anything.

Suffice it to say, books were my best friends in grade school. And once I discovered that the public library was in walking distance and I was allowed to go there by myself, well, the writing was on the wall.

I’ve been a lifelong lover of public libraries. Wherever I’ve lived, getting a card at the local library has always felt like a vital part of feeling at home. These days, when every laptop can provide access to digital books anywhere anytime, the notion of a brick and mortar library might seem hopelessly quaint to the modern generations. But bibliophiles are nothing if not imaginative. And the mere fact that the times have changed hasn’t altered the imaginative landscape for those who feel naked without a book bag.

A few years ago while walking through one of the old neighborhoods here in D.C. I noticed a little house on a post right beside the sidewalk. At first glance I thought it might be a birdhouse. But as I got closer I discovered that it was a little lending library. A sign on the side of it encouraged passersby to take a book, and return it later, or leave another in its place. Wow, I thought. What a cool idea.

I didn’t realize it was part of a grassroots library movement. In fact, the Little Free Library craze is a relatively new phenomenon. The first one was put up in 2009 by a Wisconsin man named Todd Boll who did it to honor his mother. The idea was immediately embraced by locals and spread like wildfire. Today there are more than 15,000 Little Free Libraries all around the world. You can read all about it on their website, as well as keep up with their blog, get a kit to build your own Little Free Library, and much more.

On a recent trip to Dunedin, Florida, I had just finished the book I’d brought along to read on the plane, and was wondering if I could find a bookstore nearby to get something for the trip home, when I was delighted  to discover a Little Free Library nestled under a palm tree at the water’s edge. I placed my book inside it and perused the books available. As it turned out, none of them caught my fancy. But that’s okay.

It’s encouraging just to know that in this world filled with strife and distress there are altruistic book lovers out there sowing the seeds of literacy far and wide.

Sometimes, hope is the thing with pages.

A splendid location for a Little Free Library.
A splendid location for a Little Free Library.

Lost and Found in Austen

There'll always be an England in one small corner of Georgetown.
There’ll always be an England in one small corner of Georgetown.

Every fandom has its debates.

Gryffindor vs Slytherin. Edward vs Jacob. Angel vs Spike.

Fans of Jane Austen tend to be a civil bunch, disinclined to wage the sort of rough and tumble debate that thrives on the internet. Although, much as I like Colin Firth, whose 1995 portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the TV series raised the bar for repressed heroes everywhere,  I think we can all agree that the 2005 Keira Knightley/Matthew Macfadyen film version of Pride and Prejudice was as close to perfection as we are likely to see. Ever.

However, that doesn’t stop us from allowing our modest hopes to rise every time some trailer bursts on the scene announcing a new take on the works of Miss Austen. Thus, when I saw the wacky clips from the 2013 spoof Austenland, I couldn’t help hoping it would at least be watchable. After all, the cast included Keri Russell, Jenifer Coolidge and Bret Mackenzie, all gifted actors adept at light comedy. It seemed reasonable to expect something entertaining.

To be fair, the movie wasn’t terrible. But it was no moon shot. In spite of an amusing premise — a modern American woman visits an Austen theme park in England in hopes of finding her own Mr. Darcy — the film managed to shoot itself in the slippered foot.

Yet of course, Austennut that I am, I still enjoyed it. It’s comforting to believe that there are other people similarly obsessed with the carefully edited and beautifully observed world of Austen’s novels.

I had only the sketchiest idea about her work when I went to college. But there, while seeking respite from the weighty work of Aristotle and Plato, I came across an old copy of Pride and Prejudice in the college library. From the famous first sentence I knew she was The One, the writer I could count on to soothe my soul and provide escape from the fractious static of the so-called real world.

People who don’t enjoy fiction must, I presume, find other ways to negotiate the sticky parts and sharp curves that give life its curious flavor. But for me, fiction has always been essential.

I’ve never been to England. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to make the trip to visit the places Austen describes. Perhaps those places don’t exist anymore, at least not in the way they did when she was writing. But I know how I’ve always seen them in my mind.

Recently I discovered a place right here in the District that comes close to that imaginary ideal. On a surprisingly secluded 5-1/2 acre property at the northern edge of Georgetown, Tudor Place offers a serene glimpse into the past. In the gardens, especially if you are an Austen fan, you can easily imagine Elizabeth Bennet strolling the gravel paths, enjoying the roses and the grand trees, while musing on the perplexing business of human emotion. And perhaps hoping to bump into Mr. Darcy in the shrubbery.

Old roses thrive in the sunny knot garden.
Old roses thrive in the sunny knot garden.
At the end of the bowling green a shady pool offers a perfect spot for a tryst.
At the end of the bowling green a shady pool offers a perfect spot for a tryst.
This "Millennium Landmark Tree" on the lawn is more than 200 years old. Jane would have loved it.
This “Millennium Landmark Tree” on the lawn is more than 200 years old. Jane would have loved it.
The song a robin sings plays on at Tudor Place.
The song a robin sings plays on at Tudor Place.