I have recently visited some truly gorgeous villages in this area – dripping with chocolate box cottages and pretty pubs and the odd even prettier shop. When you look up at the frontages, near the thatched roof and down the front and back corner ‘seams’, you can see how crooked and higgledy piggledy these places are, yet they’ve stood come rain, shine, wind factor 100 whatever and nothing seems to affect them. It is amazing. This all seems to be without any organised planning on the builder’s part. There were no town planners as we know them today. Very few ordinary folk could write or draw, yet they managed to build fantastic places. Cottages really fascinate me – they still always look and feel really solid. That wattle and daub method really worked. Those very thick window casements give the game away when you try to age a place. If only we could tell those early cottagers how brilliant they were!