‘The capital of Merry England’, or the town now known as Leighton Buzzard, is a 1,000-year-old English market town situated a few miles north of the flinty Chiltern Hills, on the southern edge of Bedfordshire. It has been my home for a decade and I am sorry to say that for much of that time it has been a place that paled in comparison to other more exotic locations that had shaped my consciousness.

It had become a place I was not only disinterested in but also disconnected from and it was only when a writing assignment prompted me to visit its oldest building that I realised the place I’d put ...


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