Mau­reen Kish­taini

This England - - This England's Golden Anniversary -

Ifirst be­came aware of This Eng­land when I re­turned to Bri­tain after liv­ing for over 30 years in the Mid­dle East, first in Bas­rah, Iraq and then Abu Dhabi in the UAE. But it was as a teacher of English as a For­eign Lan­guage in Abu Dhabi that started my ar­ti­cle writ­ing, mostly about teach­ing but also re­flec­tions about life in an Arab so­ci­ety. But back in Eng­land on a per­ma­nent ba­sis, I had the op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover or re­dis­cover places that in­ter­ested me, be it re­gard­ing his­tory, ar­chi­tec­ture or land­scape. Not for­get­ting the peo­ple who had made a mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tion to their fields of in­ter­est or ex­per­tise. So my ar­ti­cle writ­ing con­tin­ued. But I needed an out­let, hope­fully a mar­ket too. For­tu­nately, my ar­ti­cles seemed to tick just the right boxes for This Eng­land and thus be­gan a happy and suc­cess­ful as­so­ci­a­tion.

How do I choose my sub­jects? In a va­ri­ety of ways. An­niver­saries of births, deaths and sig­nif­i­cant events are a good start­ing point. So too is find­ing some­where or some­thing unique. Brom­ley House, a pri­vate li­brary in Not­ting­ham, cer­tainly qual­i­fied in this re­spect. Re­search is es­sen­tial. Ca­pa­bil­ity Brown was a point in ques­tion. Fa­mil­iar with his name but lit­tle else, I de­voured books about his life and work as well as en­joy­ing sev­eral of his gar­dens at first hand.

And once in the field, the ap­pro­pri­ate equip­ment is vi­tal — note­book, cam­era, eyes and ears. In par­tic­u­lar, I try to dis­cover some nugget of in­for­ma­tion that ex­udes the at­mos­phere of a place or re­veals the char­ac­ter of a per­son. Re­cently on hol­i­day in Looe, Corn­wall, I was fas­ci­nated by a young boy crab­bing by the har­bour. The words, “crus­taceans, claws, translu­cent” floated into my con­scious­ness, al­ready des­tined for my next ar­ti­cle.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.