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Antony Woodward studied Art History at Oxford University and the Courtauld Institute of Art. He has produced documentaries for the BBC and ITV, written for the Independent on Sunday, Sunday Times, Time Out and Independent. His first book, 'Propellerhead', made it onto several bestseller lists.
The son of two passionate gardeners, Antony Woodward was born with chlorophyll running through his veins. Unfortunately, growing up with Latin plant names took its toll, and he was ingrained early on with a profound loathing of both gardens and gardening. Buying Tair-ffynnon, a derelict smallholding 1,300 feet up in the Black Mountains of Wales, changed everything. Hooked by its beauty -- when not buried in cloud -- Woodward battles to meet the strict requirements of the famous 'Yellow Book' in this unlikely terrain. He finds himself driven by apparently inexplicable compulsions: wood chopping, hauling a 20-tonne railway carriage up a mountain, even beekeeping. Soon, his voyage along the rocky path to his own patch of paradise takes on a more personal tenor as he unearths the deep roots linking gardening and his childhood in this warm, funny and unlikely memoir. Beautifully written and effortlessly engaging, 'The Garden in the Clouds' is a compelling read for anyone who has ever gardened -- or ever dreamt of doing so.
It is a fact universally acknowledged that the British are obsessed with the weather. This is not surprising as no country in the world has such unpredictable weather, with such power to rule people's lives. THE WRONG KIND OF SNOW is the complete daily companion to this national phenomenon. From the Spanish Armada to the invention of the windscreen wiper, each of the 365 entries beautifully illustrates a day in the weird and wonderful history of the British and their weather. 31 January: The Big Freeze of 1963 brings the FA Cup competition to a halt: every football pitch in Britain is frozen: the third round takes 66 days to complete: the Pools Panel is formed as a result. 9 February: British Rail blames the 'Wrong Kind of Snow'. It was a journalist's phrase, but on this day in 1991 it stuck to the beleagured BR like flesh to ice. 15 July: The exceptionally hot and steamy summer of 1858 caused the Great Stink of London, resulting in the building of London's sewage system, still in use today. On the same day in 1930, rainfall in Yorkshire was so heavy that the Whitby lifeboat makes a rescue two miles inland. 10 September: A violent storm rather than British sea power defeats the Spanish Armada in 1588. Had the weather held and the fleet reached home, it would have been hailed as a Spanish triumph. Four centuries later, bad light and rain stop play at the Oval . . . And much much more.
Join the real Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines as they compete in the Round Britain race. .Woodward's warm, wry account of learning to fly will lift hearts everywhere. BBC2 documentary based on the book - 30 January 2012. Antony Woodward wasn't interested in flying, he was interested in his image. So in his world of socialising and serial womanising, a microlight plane sounded like the ideal sex aid. So why - once he discovers that he has no ability as a pilot, it costs a fortune and its maddening unreliability loses him the one girl he really wants - does he get more and more hooked? As he monitors the changes to the others in the syndicate; as he learns that there is a literal down-side to cheating in flying exams, shunning responsibility and pretending to know stuff you don't, the question keeps on surfacing. Why? As the misadventures mount - accidents, tussles with Tornadoes, arrest by the RAF - he keeps thinking he's worked it out. But it isn't until The Crash, in which he nearly kills himself and Dan (taking a short-cut in the Round Britain race) that the penny finally drops.... Flying is the antidote to modern life he didn't even know he needed. It's the supreme way to feel real.