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Mike Tyson takes us out with his mighty icy gloved blows…

April 7, 2013
Reculver brown signMy weekend should have been spent working. I have 3 big things coming up on Monday: an interview on BBC Radio Lincolnshire at 8.20am, a job interview at 11.10am and a big meeting about the legal/professional side of a huge complex project I've taken on to try and buy a huge old historic pub in Bromley (not just with my own money you understand it'll be a collaborative thing) at 12pm. The problem is though that when I have a full day ahead of me without any meetings of proper...

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Northern Ireland are brown sign trailblazing (literally)

November 20, 2012
Reader, please see attached an image of the newly approved brown sign symbols which are going to be rolled out all over Northern Ireland. They're part of a new initiative to encourage more visitors to explore and take in more of Northern Ireland than just the most regularly visited sites (e.g. The Giant's Causeway). The symbols will be used on walking routes and cycle paths as well as signing the way to areas of outstanding natural beauty, which is nice and novel and hasn't been done before so therefore I...

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A visit to the gallery where the most stolen painting in the world hangs…

November 18, 2012
Today, while my boyfriend languished on the sofa fully primed for a whole day of sport, I was off out on my own exploring in the romantic yellowy-orange-falling-leafy-gorgeousness that so characterises these lovely autumnal days of late. I've lived in and around South East London most of my life yet it was only today I realised (when I noticed the brown sign, of course) that I hadn't been to the Dulwich Picture Gallery since I was a child. As is so often the way in life though its often the...

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Fishing villages and a little museum in Dublin

November 9, 2012
Last weekend I muscled in on my best friend's weekend away in Dublin. She was attending the Christening of a child I'd never met and I was, well, chomping at the bit to do some Irish brown-signing and frankly happy with any excuse to go away, even if it did mean jumping on other people's bandwagons and attending lively Irish christenings of children I'm not even a little bit connected with. I'd learnt that Dublin was slowly phasing out its brown tourist signs when I called the Dublin Tourist Office while...

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Here’s to establishing an arts, culture and community space in my hometown!

October 15, 2012
I sing the praises of destinations with brown tourist signs because I love all things heritage, arts, culture, sport, countryside, urban and creative, basically anything FUN! Places with brown signs celebrate all these things and I visit them to immerse myself in what they can teach and show me about the world I live in. But as much as visiting these places started out as a quirky pastime, slowly it has turned into much more than just a fun thing for me to do - seeing the imaginative ways that...

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A visit to Great Dixter House and Garden with my moofies

October 7, 2012
Yesterday I went out for the day with my Moofies (aka my mother) to one of her favourite gardens down near Rye in Kent, Great Dixter. These guys run a plant fair every year where stall holders from far and wide come to sell their plants and talk to visitors about their specialities. Living in a 1st floor flat in South East London reduces my horticultural potential to the size of a small hanging basket but that doesn't stop me wishing I had a small holding, so I went along...

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What more can museums do for us?! Hmm… what more can we do for them?

October 5, 2012
On Monday I was very happy to be part of an "un-conference" (think conference with no formal agenda) called Museum Camp held in Birmingham at this industrial heritage canalside gorgeousness (left), where museum people from all over Britain congregated to discuss a whole host of museum related matters. As we all know one of my favourite things about museums are the fantastic people behind them and being in a room with so many who cared so much about sharing their collections, well, that for me was excitomondo my friends. There were...

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This mahoosive project needs a little help from its friends…

September 26, 2012
[caption id="attachment_6496" align="alignleft" width="210" caption="Setting off on the Brown-Signed Trip"][/caption] So, I've been working on this project of mine to celebrate and map the fantastic array of destinations with brown tourist signs across Britain (and indeed the world) for the last 3 years now. In fact, its exactly 3 years this week when I first headed off in my crap car (which currently sits abandoned on the road outside because I'm pretty sure the clutch has imploded) on a big trip visiting as many brown signed destinations as I could in the space...

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The Cartoon Museum

September 16, 2012
Today I happened to notice this brown sign for The Cartoon Museum, just around the corner from the British Museum. I'd never been before and you know me, once I've spotted a brown sign I must follow it, so we paid them a visit. I love finding out how museums began, I find it so interesting when someone (or usually a small group of like-minded individuals) feel strongly that a subject should be bought to the attention of the general public in a place where it can be properly celebrated and...

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Crap days out? Really?

September 3, 2012
At the ferry terminal yesterday, after a too-enormous-for-any-normal-person-to-consume-without-having-an-immediate-5-minute-wee-afterwards latte, I was on my way back from the toilet and noticed the best seller shelf in W H Smiths. I popped in to have a mooch and delay my return to the half dried coffee spills and yesterday's discarded blueberry muffin that characterised our seating area. At number 6 was a book called "Crap Days Out". I'd never heard of it before but its clearly doing well enough to get to the heady heights of the top ten in the literary count...

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Brown signs en France mes petites amies!

September 2, 2012
I'm very excited this morning. I'm excited the way I always get when wake up early because I'm going in holiday (and also a bit anxious because of course I haven't done anything useful like packing or thought about where the hell my passport might be in my pit of a bedroom). I'm a bit more excited about this trip than normal because I'm going to France, not the most exotic of destinations you might be thinking dear reader, but seasoned brown-signers and regular visitors to this site know that France...

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Rare brown signs: Elusive antiques centre brown sign spotted!

August 28, 2012
Yep, here it is, on the A40 just coming up to Whitney, Oxfordshire. I've been searching for one of these little puppies for ages after I began my chapter on antiques centres for the book. I like finding "rare" symbols like this one, mainly because I'm a massive brown sign spotting nerd but also because I like having real life examples of the places I write about (its why I bankrupt myself driving my car into the ground caining it all around the country to experience them). In fact a...

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Racehorses, trains and monks cutting shapes on their monastic dance floor

August 26, 2012
Last week I went up to York for some light horse racing action. The Mose has taken very well to working from home as a self-employed photographer and has thus managed to get herself right royally addicted to Channel 4 Racing. The superhorse of the moment and winner-of-everything Frankel was running and The Mose couldn't resist the prospect of seeing him go, yep she was completely wouldn't-bloody-stop-going-on-about-it excited. That racecourse also just so happens to have a brown sign, so I am officially calling this trip research. The first horse race ever to...

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Books about fishing and when enough just isn’t enough

August 13, 2012
Today I'm researching the history of fishing for my never-ending exhaustive book about the pursuits one can undertake by following brown tourist signs. This leisure fishing (not fishing for commercial or survival purposes) is referred to by people with sticks ("fishing rods") and maggots ("bait") as "angling". Because I've embarked on an absolutely enormous project with this whole brown signs malarky I've begun to realise that my research reflects virtually every activity of any description that has evolved from the beginning of time - from sleeping to white water rafting and about...

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Getting lost is woodlands trying to find some art…

August 3, 2012
After my visit to the Long Player project in Trinity Lighthouse a few weeks ago (audiovisual tour of my experience here: Long Player Project) I was inspired by my research of the composer and artist, Jem Finer, to visit another one of his music/art installations which is (quite literally) buried deep in an ancient woodland-come-arts-extravaganza near Challock in Kent. His piece is called "A Score for a Hole in the Ground" and was inspired by the tranquil sounds of Japanese singing bowls. The installation uses a series of bowls sunk down deep into the...

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The Alternative Brown Sign Torch Relay comes to an end

July 31, 2012
So on day 64 the Olympic torch entered London, my very own home town (I went along, please see small white torch bearer running through Crystal Palace on left). But in the last few days of the Olympic torch relay it proved more than a little difficult to pick a brown signed destination along the Olympic torch route because, without boring you too much with the nerdy details, brown sign rules change once you're inside the M25, making them far less prevalent here. This means that I've had to think of another...

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The death throws of the Olympic torch relay – Shipwrecks, community parks and English wine – YUM!

July 24, 2012
We're nearing the end of our mammoth jog around the country with our torches and it's time to take you through the random brown signs along the last leg, let's go... Day 60 - Brighton to Hastings - The Shipwreck Museum, Hastings. "At the Shipwreck Museum in Hastings there is a remarkable collection of artefacts and information about ships and shipping. Although our focus is principally on wrecks, we aim to use the artefacts recovered from them as stimulus for insights into the past.  Our displays also show how we learn about and understand...

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Trinity Buoy Wharf – A 1000 year long song, eggs over easy and Michael Faraday

July 22, 2012
Yesterday my boyfriend and I went to Trinity Buoy Wharf, right across the river from the Millennium Dome (sorry still can't allow myself to call it the O2) because I wanted to go and experience the Long Player project which plays out from listening posts inside the lighthouse there (I love lighthouses, another thing that gives me the willies but love anyway - creepy cool). The Long Player project is the brain child of one of the founder member of The Pogues, Jem Finer, who also happens to be a maths genius. In collaboration...

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More catching up the Olympic torch via water lilies, clock makers and kingfishers – ahhh joy…

July 20, 2012
Today we have a look another 6 days along the torch relay that it covered in my absence and we'll be getting distracted by yet more brown tourist signs as we go. No time to lose, that flame ain't gonna be burning forever... Day 54 - Reading to Salisbury - Destination: Salisbury A new destination to be technically allowed on my website because it recently got itself permission for a brown sign on the road leading into the city. There was a big hoo haa about this in the local paper on which I...

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Catching up with the Olympic torch via pubs, teapots and Indian wells in country villages

July 18, 2012
Right, I've moaned before on the blog about life getting in the way of me doing what I love most (hanging out and visiting/writing about brown-signed attractions) however while this pursuit of mine continues to pay me no money at all I also need to engage in other far more boring time consuming things like doing a proper job. Boo. Two of my other issues over the last few weeks have been 1) writing a piece for the Guardian which almost certainly won't get published but I thought I'd give...

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