Wow, this is my 200th post! In honour of this, I thought I'd write about something a little bit different today. Earlier this week Gail from Today's Agenda posted on her blog inviting readers to ask her questions. If you asked her a question, she would ask one in return.
I posted a question for her, and the one she asked me was "What are your favourite and least favourite things about the place you live?"
So, today I'm going to tell you a bit about where I live, and what I love about it.
I live in a small town called Berkhamsted, in West Hertfordshire, about 25 miles North-West of London.
Berkhamsted dates back to Roman times, the current High Street is where the ancient Roman Akeman Street ran from St Albans to Cirencester. Berkhamsted first featured in history in 1066 after the Battle of Hastings, when William the Conqueror received the surrender of the Anglo-Saxon English in the town.
The town has ruins of a medieval castle which was host to many medieval kings and queens.
In more recent history the author Graham Greene lived in the town, and attended the Boys School, where his father was headmaster.
The High Street features many independent shops and varied architecture, along with numerous restaurants, pubs and bars.
Top left in the above picture is the old town hall, where we held our wedding reception.
Berkhamsted is a lovely place to visit on a weekend morning for breakfast or coffee and cake. We live about 15 minutes walk from the centre of the town, so in nice weather we will often walk into the town for just this purpose. We did so this morning.
The Grand Union Canal runs through the town, and it's a lovely alternative to walk into town along the tow path in good weather - it can get very muddy!
One of my favourite things is to walk this way in the winter - if it's really cold the canal freezes over.
Berkhamsted is also home to The Rex cinema, which was named by the BBC as "possibly Britain's most beautiful cinema". The cinema first opened in 1938 and closed 50 years later. After being left derelict for 16 years, it was completely refurbished in it's original art deco style and reopened in 2004.
Once you've visited the Rex, you don't want the multiplex experience!
As I was writing this post, I kept thinking about Gail's original question, and I find I can't really answer it fully. I love everything about this town, from it's location set in the Chiltern Hills - we can be in the countryside in a matter of minutes - to the fact that whenever you walk along the High Street you're almost guaranteed to meet someone you know. And I can't actually think of anything I don't like about it at all.
I hope you've enjoyed my little tour around my town. I've lived here for 17 years, and couldn't imagine living anywhere else.