Stop - Unplug - Escape - Enjoy Stop - Unplug - Escape - Enjoy

Fennel’s JournalFine Things

Fine Things celebrates the special, hand-crafted, traditional, and sentimental items that convey our personality. The writing is fast-paced, quirky and humorous, reflecting lifestyle author Fennel Hudson's enthusiasm and eccentric view of the world. But be warned: if you look inside Fennel’s mind, you might see a hula-hooping hamster named Gerald, shaking his maracas, loudly banging a bongo, and getting him into all sorts of trouble. So strap yourself in. This Journal picks up pace and takes some unexpected turns. From the deeply personal to the outright eccentric, it’s a journal for those who seek to be different.

  • Contents

    Chapters

    1. Introduction – The importance of sentimental things.
    2. The Curse of the August Dumpling – Where a love of fine things began. Watch the video.
    3. Hobnailed – Fennel 'feels the pinch' of traditional attire.
    4. This is Me – Psychometric what?
    5. The Reverend James – Fennel travels 200 miles for a pint of beer.
    6. A Rucksack from the Lakes – An adventure bag with provenance.
    7. Kelly and Me – A brew in the open.
    8. A Suitable Age for a Beard – The things people do for a glass of gin.
    9. The Canvas Effect – A new tent, thanks to a hamster called Gerald. Listen to Fennel read the chapter.
    10. X Plus One – The addictiveness of collecting things
    11. Botanically Brewed – Fennel's addiction to ginger beer.
    12. The Pen that Flew the Atlantic – Twice! – How not to spend your partner's savings. Read sample chapter.
    13. The Guv'nor – A vintage-style bicycle, with attitude. Listen to Fennel read the chapter.
    14. The Silent Roar – Time to start cycling.
    15. Experiences at the Flat Cap Cafe – Just how much can you cook in one frying pan? Watch the video.
    16. Four and Twenty Blackbirds – Fennel makes the biggest pie known to man.
    17. Two Plus Four – A formula to help you purchase more tweeds.
    18. Tip to Toe – 'Suit you Sir', in country tweed.
    19. Legacy – What will we wish for ourselves, and others, at the end?

    Publication details

    Published by Fennel’s Priory Limited. Global book distribution by Ingram.

    • Limited edition collectors' magazine published in 2012
    • Abridged eBook published in 2013
    • Extended version in hardback and paperback published in 2017
    • Audiobook published in 2018

    Book specification

    • Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 14 mm (8 x 5.5 x 0.5 in)
    • Page count: 188 pages
    • Language: English

    Copyright © Fennel Hudson 2012, 2017

    • Hardback ISBN 978-1-909947-30-6
    • Paperback ISBN 978-1-909947-31-3
    • eBook ISBN 978-1-909947-29-0
    • Kindle ISBN 978-1-909947-28-3
    • Audiobook download ISBN 978-1-909947-84-9
    • Audiobook CD ISBN 978-1-909947-85-6

    A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.


     

  • Commentary

    Fennel's Commentary

    The cover of Fine Things features a fob watch. It’s something I love. It isn’t antique, nor was it expensive, but it’s retro-styled and brings me joy. Sometimes I wind it up, other times I don’t. Its purpose isn’t really to tell the time, it’s to remind me who I am and to tell others something about me. Which, in many respects, is what Fine Things achieves. (Click here to see the video about the Fine Things cover.)

    Whilst Fine Things (written in 2012) is still my favourite, and represents my quirky view of the world, its gaze is less on me and more on the things that help to define me and so many of my friends. It's about those traditional, or hand-crafted, or eccentric things that help to convey our personality and make us unique.

    Ever had someone say to you, "Oh, that's soooo you."? How do they know? What have you done, said, worn or supported in the past that helped the observer to draw the association? Nobody ever said, "Oh, Gandhi, those sparkly silver knee-high roller-boots are sooo you." Okay, so he wasn't a fashion trendsetter, but he was a man known for his beliefs and actions. So why should we be any different? We are all unique and, with a little confidence, can be true to our own tastes, style, interests and beliefs. It's what makes us individual.

    We might end up bucking the trends of fashion, or be seen as eccentric in others' eyes, but we are stronger in character and have more fun as a result. This is what Fine Things seeks to convey. It's about the things we can surround ourselves with that give us pleasure and define our character.


     

  • Quotes

    Favourite Quote

    "It seems that, depending upon which side of the thesaurus-writer’s gaze we sit, one’s uniqueness as a person can be deemed to be either eccentric or distinctive. Both, in my opinion, are good...As we get older, and experience more things, those of us with strength of character and a sense of purpose will grow stronger and fight harder; those who lack identity and direction might end up sitting in a corner somewhere, blindly taking all the knocks that life throws at them. What does this teach us? That character and purpose are directly linked to confidence and conviction. What links them? Courage, to be oneself, no matter what others might say."

    • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

    Other quotes:

    About individuality:

    Fine Things are reservoirs for the heart - Fennel Hudson author quote

    It's better to be individual than a clone of someone else. Fennel Hudson author quote.

    "Character and purpose are directly linked to confidence and conviction. What links them? Courage – to be oneself, no matter what others might say."

    "It’s easy to lose sight of the end goal or the person we’re trying our best to be."

    Be confident enough to show your true self to the world. Fennel Hudson author quote.

    Enjoy being you. Have fun. And be different. Fennel Hudson author quote.

    "We should have absolute confidence and pride in our self."

    • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

    About authenticity:

    "A person has to be comfortable in his or her own skin." 

    "There’s no point pretending to be someone or something we’re not."

    Neither a clone nor mimic be. Fennel Hudson author quote.

    • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

    About change and compromise:

    Change is inevitable. And so is compromise. Fennel Hudson author quote.

    "Things today ‘sure ain’t like they used to be’. They’ve changed, moved on, progressed."

    "In with the new, out with the old.’ That’s what we’re told. We have to change, adapt, compromise."

    • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

    About optimism:

    Leaps of faith tend to favour those with long legs. Fennel Hudson author quote.

    "The bright light of brilliance keeps the darkness away, but it can be so very exhausting."

    Life is a wonderfully fine thing, Go live it. Fennel Hudson author quote.

    • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

    About freedom:

    "Proud of my self, and forever at odds with those who try to imprison or control me, I was the mouse who refused to lie down."

    You need to be outdoors. Away from here. You need a holiday. Fennel Hudson author quote.

    "Workdays are, I imagine, rather like learning to ice-skate Torvill and Dean’s The Bolero. They start and end easily enough; it’s the bit in the middle that causes the pain in the arse."

    Our best canvas is all around us, in everything we touch and do. Fennel Hudson author quote.

    • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

    About relationships:

    "Ten years, it seems, is the official threshold for when a man’s wife takes ownership of the family jewels."

    "I doubt whether the male brain is, as we’re led to believe, the result of evolution. Rather, I feel, it’s the result of being dragged into the 21st Century by the hardworking and long suffering efforts of the opposite sex."

    "A man is biologically incapable of giving ‘the look’."

    The greatest gifts are those that say 'I know you'. Fennel Hudson author quote

    • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

    About personality:

    There is no middle ground, only madness and sadness. Fennel Hudson author quote.

    "I’m a classic eccentric, living at the extremes of high mania and low mood. There’s no middle ground, only madness and sadness."

    "As I approach mid-life, I feel like the old boot that lands on Mayfair after an eight-hour game of Monopoly."

    • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

    About cooking:

    "Cooking and eating food outdoors makes it taste infinitely better than the same meal prepared and consumed indoors."

    "Men may not always be the cooks at home, but once they’re outdoors they suddenly become masters of their field kitchens."

    "Give me a massive plate of wholesome grub any day."

    "A pile of roast potatoes cooked in goose fat is more satisfying to me than a fancy meal served in a posh restaurant. Michelin Star? I’d rather chew on a French rubber tyre."

    • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

    About clothing:

    If I can't garden in it, then I won't wear it. Fennel Hudson author quote.

    "There’s no more chance of me wearing skin-tight Lycra than there is of seeing a swan paddling a canoe."

    "Lycra on a middle-aged man is wrong. Plain and simple."

    • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

     

     

     

     

     


     

  • Testimonials

    Reader Testimonials

    “A very fine thing, indeed, this Journal. Fennel’s best and funniest to date. He is the only author who can make me laugh out loud and cry in the same sentence. I was constantly in tears, for all the right reasons.”

    “Deep in places, outright bonkers in others. A demonstration of the fine line between genius and madness.”

    “Fennel’s writing is so witty. Reading Fine Things was like sitting in a customised Model T Ford. He starts by gently warming up the engine and then whoosh! He presses the blue button marked ‘Nitro’ and off he goes, so fast and unpredictably. I couldn’t guess, or wait, for what came next!”


     

Chapters

  1. Introduction – The importance of sentimental things.
  2. The Curse of the August Dumpling – Where a love of fine things began. Watch the video.
  3. Hobnailed – Fennel 'feels the pinch' of traditional attire.
  4. This is Me – Psychometric what?
  5. The Reverend James – Fennel travels 200 miles for a pint of beer.
  6. A Rucksack from the Lakes – An adventure bag with provenance.
  7. Kelly and Me – A brew in the open.
  8. A Suitable Age for a Beard – The things people do for a glass of gin.
  9. The Canvas Effect – A new tent, thanks to a hamster called Gerald. Listen to Fennel read the chapter.
  10. X Plus One – The addictiveness of collecting things
  11. Botanically Brewed – Fennel's addiction to ginger beer.
  12. The Pen that Flew the Atlantic – Twice! – How not to spend your partner's savings. Read sample chapter.
  13. The Guv'nor – A vintage-style bicycle, with attitude. Listen to Fennel read the chapter.
  14. The Silent Roar – Time to start cycling.
  15. Experiences at the Flat Cap Cafe – Just how much can you cook in one frying pan? Watch the video.
  16. Four and Twenty Blackbirds – Fennel makes the biggest pie known to man.
  17. Two Plus Four – A formula to help you purchase more tweeds.
  18. Tip to Toe – 'Suit you Sir', in country tweed.
  19. Legacy – What will we wish for ourselves, and others, at the end?

Publication details

Published by Fennel’s Priory Limited. Global book distribution by Ingram.

  • Limited edition collectors' magazine published in 2012
  • Abridged eBook published in 2013
  • Extended version in hardback and paperback published in 2017
  • Audiobook published in 2018

Book specification

  • Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 14 mm (8 x 5.5 x 0.5 in)
  • Page count: 188 pages
  • Language: English

Copyright © Fennel Hudson 2012, 2017

  • Hardback ISBN 978-1-909947-30-6
  • Paperback ISBN 978-1-909947-31-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-909947-29-0
  • Kindle ISBN 978-1-909947-28-3
  • Audiobook download ISBN 978-1-909947-84-9
  • Audiobook CD ISBN 978-1-909947-85-6

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.


 

Fennel's Commentary

The cover of Fine Things features a fob watch. It’s something I love. It isn’t antique, nor was it expensive, but it’s retro-styled and brings me joy. Sometimes I wind it up, other times I don’t. Its purpose isn’t really to tell the time, it’s to remind me who I am and to tell others something about me. Which, in many respects, is what Fine Things achieves. (Click here to see the video about the Fine Things cover.)

Whilst Fine Things (written in 2012) is still my favourite, and represents my quirky view of the world, its gaze is less on me and more on the things that help to define me and so many of my friends. It's about those traditional, or hand-crafted, or eccentric things that help to convey our personality and make us unique.

Ever had someone say to you, "Oh, that's soooo you."? How do they know? What have you done, said, worn or supported in the past that helped the observer to draw the association? Nobody ever said, "Oh, Gandhi, those sparkly silver knee-high roller-boots are sooo you." Okay, so he wasn't a fashion trendsetter, but he was a man known for his beliefs and actions. So why should we be any different? We are all unique and, with a little confidence, can be true to our own tastes, style, interests and beliefs. It's what makes us individual.

We might end up bucking the trends of fashion, or be seen as eccentric in others' eyes, but we are stronger in character and have more fun as a result. This is what Fine Things seeks to convey. It's about the things we can surround ourselves with that give us pleasure and define our character.


 

Favourite Quote

"It seems that, depending upon which side of the thesaurus-writer’s gaze we sit, one’s uniqueness as a person can be deemed to be either eccentric or distinctive. Both, in my opinion, are good...As we get older, and experience more things, those of us with strength of character and a sense of purpose will grow stronger and fight harder; those who lack identity and direction might end up sitting in a corner somewhere, blindly taking all the knocks that life throws at them. What does this teach us? That character and purpose are directly linked to confidence and conviction. What links them? Courage, to be oneself, no matter what others might say."

  • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

Other quotes:

About individuality:

Fine Things are reservoirs for the heart - Fennel Hudson author quote

It's better to be individual than a clone of someone else. Fennel Hudson author quote.

"Character and purpose are directly linked to confidence and conviction. What links them? Courage – to be oneself, no matter what others might say."

"It’s easy to lose sight of the end goal or the person we’re trying our best to be."

Be confident enough to show your true self to the world. Fennel Hudson author quote.

Enjoy being you. Have fun. And be different. Fennel Hudson author quote.

"We should have absolute confidence and pride in our self."

  • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

About authenticity:

"A person has to be comfortable in his or her own skin." 

"There’s no point pretending to be someone or something we’re not."

Neither a clone nor mimic be. Fennel Hudson author quote.

  • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

About change and compromise:

Change is inevitable. And so is compromise. Fennel Hudson author quote.

"Things today ‘sure ain’t like they used to be’. They’ve changed, moved on, progressed."

"In with the new, out with the old.’ That’s what we’re told. We have to change, adapt, compromise."

  • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

About optimism:

Leaps of faith tend to favour those with long legs. Fennel Hudson author quote.

"The bright light of brilliance keeps the darkness away, but it can be so very exhausting."

Life is a wonderfully fine thing, Go live it. Fennel Hudson author quote.

  • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

About freedom:

"Proud of my self, and forever at odds with those who try to imprison or control me, I was the mouse who refused to lie down."

You need to be outdoors. Away from here. You need a holiday. Fennel Hudson author quote.

"Workdays are, I imagine, rather like learning to ice-skate Torvill and Dean’s The Bolero. They start and end easily enough; it’s the bit in the middle that causes the pain in the arse."

Our best canvas is all around us, in everything we touch and do. Fennel Hudson author quote.

  • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

About relationships:

"Ten years, it seems, is the official threshold for when a man’s wife takes ownership of the family jewels."

"I doubt whether the male brain is, as we’re led to believe, the result of evolution. Rather, I feel, it’s the result of being dragged into the 21st Century by the hardworking and long suffering efforts of the opposite sex."

"A man is biologically incapable of giving ‘the look’."

The greatest gifts are those that say 'I know you'. Fennel Hudson author quote

  • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

About personality:

There is no middle ground, only madness and sadness. Fennel Hudson author quote.

"I’m a classic eccentric, living at the extremes of high mania and low mood. There’s no middle ground, only madness and sadness."

"As I approach mid-life, I feel like the old boot that lands on Mayfair after an eight-hour game of Monopoly."

  • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

About cooking:

"Cooking and eating food outdoors makes it taste infinitely better than the same meal prepared and consumed indoors."

"Men may not always be the cooks at home, but once they’re outdoors they suddenly become masters of their field kitchens."

"Give me a massive plate of wholesome grub any day."

"A pile of roast potatoes cooked in goose fat is more satisfying to me than a fancy meal served in a posh restaurant. Michelin Star? I’d rather chew on a French rubber tyre."

  • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

About clothing:

If I can't garden in it, then I won't wear it. Fennel Hudson author quote.

"There’s no more chance of me wearing skin-tight Lycra than there is of seeing a swan paddling a canoe."

"Lycra on a middle-aged man is wrong. Plain and simple."

  • Fennel Hudson, Fine Things, Fennel's Journal No. 8

 

 

 

 

 


 

Reader Testimonials

“A very fine thing, indeed, this Journal. Fennel’s best and funniest to date. He is the only author who can make me laugh out loud and cry in the same sentence. I was constantly in tears, for all the right reasons.”

“Deep in places, outright bonkers in others. A demonstration of the fine line between genius and madness.”

“Fennel’s writing is so witty. Reading Fine Things was like sitting in a customised Model T Ford. He starts by gently warming up the engine and then whoosh! He presses the blue button marked ‘Nitro’ and off he goes, so fast and unpredictably. I couldn’t guess, or wait, for what came next!”


 

Explore the Journals

Fennel’s Journal is the heartfelt and entertaining account of one man’s search for an old-fashioned and peaceful rural life. Written by lifestyle author Fennel Hudson, the Journal traces his attempts to balance the pressures of modern living by following the mantra of ‘Stop – Unplug – Escape – Enjoy’.

The Priory, what's in a name?

The Priory is a philosophy and a belief system that says it is possible to balance the ever-growing complexities and pace of modern life. It is also a celebration of wildlife and country living, those things that serve as an antidote to the concrete claustrophobia of towns and cities.

The Priory Philosophy

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