Thursday, 14 July 2016

Herry's Journal Index

Poetry
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam 
Favourite Poetry - The North Ship
Favourite Poetry - Akhmatova
Favourite Poetry - Pablo Neruda
Edna St Vincent Millay - Love is is not All
Edna St Vincent Millay - Eight Sonnets V
Edna St Vincent Millay - Dirge Without Music
Favourite Poetry - Wind
Favourite Poems - Ithaca
Favourite Poems - Kindness
Favourite Poems - C9th Chinese Poem on Old Age
Favourite Poems - Beloved Earth 
Favourite Poems - Animals
Favourite Poems - Stag's Leap
Favourite Poems - The Wilderness
Favourite Poems - No Man Is An Island
Kei's Poetry - Ego Sum
Kei's Poetry - The Dressing Table
Kei's Poetry - For Obachan
Favourite Carols
Favourite Songs - Kathleen Ferrier 'Land of Hope and Glory'

Writings
The Story of the Fox (The Little Prince) 
Favourite Writings - Beyond Euphrates
The Dazzling Fluidity of Days
Favourite Writings - The Lycian Shore
Favourite Writings - More Freya Stark
Favourite Books - 'Wait For Me' by Debo Devonshire
Favourite Writings - Jalaluddin al-Rumi
The Stanzas of Dzyan
Astravakra Gita
I Am Shiva
Peace
Jane Austen
The Song of the Weather
The Snow Country
The Forms of Love
The Scientist and the Universe
The Scientist and the Universe II
Ruskin on Pugin's Conversion to Roman Catholicism
100 Books Famous in Children's Literature
100 Books Famous in Children's Literature - the List
Vogue's Book of Houses, Gardens and People
A Study of History
A History of Intimacy
Wise Advice - Sally Brampton
More Wise Advice - Sally Brampton
The Book of Kells
Watching The English


Comment
Fracking - a Real and Present Danger
Stockbridge and the Storms of February 2014
Grave Threat to Longstock and Stockbridge from Developers 
Destruction of the Winchester College Wingnuts
Falloden Nature Reserve Closed to Walkers
The Curious Case of the Middle Lane
The Curse of Road Noise
The Poison of Bonuses
Inequality - A Growing Problem
Illogical Arguments
Games People Play
Slideshows and The Little Prince
The Dazzling Fluidity of Days
Early June Morning
Geography and How We've Lost It
The Highway Code in 100 Words
The Joy of Cricket
Leonard Cohen The Master
Favourite Songs - Leonard Cohen
The Joy of YouTube
Thoughts on SOPA and PIPA
Farewell Tempo
Why I Prefer Pubs to Restaurants 
Slideshows and The Little Prince
Treasure Island and the Avoidance of Tax

Obituaries and Eulogies
Dirge Without Music
Rosie Jenks 1943 - 2005
Gopika Fraser 1965 - 2009
Cmdr Colin Balfour RN 1924 - 2009 
Norman Buckingham 1918 - 2010
The Rev Hamilton Lloyd 1919 - 2011
Suzanne Lloyd 1923 - 2011
Sally Macpherson 1940 - 2012
Nick Duke 1945 - 2013
S Venkiteswaran 1941 - 2013
Joanne Louise Taylor (Jo Johns) 1939 - 2014
Ernie Stiles - 1941 - 1914
Lucie Skipwith 1942 - 2014
Annie May Spawton 1944 - 2014


Events
Herry's Trinity House Retirement 2006
Herry's Tokyo Retirement 2006
Herry's Beijing Retirement 2006
Herry's Office Retirement 2006
Herry's 70th Birthday Party July 2015
Lawford Lunch at the Drapers' Hall 2014
Winchester College 50 Years On Dinner 2014
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2014
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2013
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2012
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2011
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2010
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2009
The Royal Hospital Carol Service 2009
The Royal Hospital Carol Service 2010
The Royal Hospital Carol Service 2011
The Royal Hospital Chelsea Dinner 2010
Fine Cell at the V&A
Fine Cell at the Drapers' Hall
Fine Cell at the Leathersellers' Hall 2009
Fine Cell at the Leathersellers' Hall 2009
Fine Cell at the Glaziers' Hall
The Drapers' Almshouses
The Drapers' Almshouse Outing to Winchester 2009
The Drapers' Almshouse Teaparty 2007
The Drapers' Almshouse Teaparty 2008
The Drapers' New Year's Service
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2008
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2009
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2010
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2011
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2013
The Mission to Seafarers Carol Concert 2008
The Mission to Seafarers Carol Concert 2009
The Mission to Seafarers Carol Concert 2010
Stockbridge Christmas Evening Shopping 2014

Travel and Places

Puttaparthy
Favourite Cities - Beirut
Memories of the Taj
Timeless India
India - the Cradle of Language, Astronomy and Science
Russia - The Wild East
Favourite Places - Palace Hotel, Tokyo
Favourite Places - Winchester Cathedral
Favourite Places - Wells Cathedral
Favourite Places - Coventry Cathedral
Coventry's Awe-Inspiring Cathedral
Coventry's Awe-Inspiring Cathedral II
Coventry Cathedral - the Sutherland Tapestry
Coventry Cathedral Golden Jubilee
Coventry Cathedral Carol Concert 2013
Favourite Places in Autumn - Japan
Old Swan House History
Christmas Scenes in London
Christmas Scenes 2008
Mottisfont Abbey in Winter
More Frosty Walks
Favourite Houses - Hinton Ampner
Favourite Places - The East Banqueting House
Favourite Restaurants - The River Cafe
Farewell Robert Le Pirate
The Murphy's and the French Riviera
Drapers' Almshouse Outing to Winchester 2009
Japan - Imabari and the Kurushima Strait
Japan - Early Morning Chimes
Hymn to Dear Japan March 2011
One of Hutton's Glass Screen Angels in Hampshire
The Great Churches of the City of London
The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry
The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry Reopening 2008
John O'Donohue at Glenshal Abbey
Elmore Abbey

Gardens and Flowers
Cascades Flower Arrangement Exhibition in Winchester Cathedral
Old Swan House Garden Open for the NGS 2015
Chelsea Flower Show 2014
Favourite Gardens - Ashtall Manor
Favourite Gardens - Bere Mill in Spring
Favourite Gardens - Adwell
Favourite Gardens - Hinton Ampner
Favourite Gardens - Stockbridge Town Gardens
Favourite Gardens - Wherwell Village Gardens
Favourite Gardens - Bramdean House
Favourite Gardens - Dean House
Favourite Gardens - A Secret Garden
Favourite Gardens - West Green
The Manor at Upton Grey
on form at Ashtall Manor
Heale House Garden
Adwell Garden Fair
The National Gardens Scheme
Glorious Gardens in the National Gardens Scheme
The Secret Gardens of Spitalfields
Autumn Colours in Kyoto
Autumn Beeches
Summertime
The Orangery in Winter
Snow in April
Favourite Views - Koko at The Orangery
Favourite Views - Fields of Barley
Favourite Gardens - The Buildings in Autumn 
Favourite Gardens - The Buildings, Broughton
Old Swan House Garden
Old Swan House Gardens Open for the NGS 2015
Old Swan House Garden in June 2015
Old Swan House Garden in Summer and Autumn
Old Swan House Garden in July
Old Swan House Garden in June
Making the Garden at Old Swan House
Old Swan House Garden Open for the NGS 2015
Chelsea Flower Show 2007
Chelsea Flower Show 2008
Chelsea Flower Show 2010
Chelsea Flower Show 2011
Chelsea Flower Show 2012
Chelsea Flower Show 2013
Chelsea Flower Show 2014
Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Paintings and Photographs
St Laurent and Pierre Berge Collection
Saatchi Gallery - New Art from India
Saatchi Gallery - New Art from China
Saatchi Gallery - New Art from the Middle East
Anish Kapoor's Exhibition
Anish Kapoor in Kensington Gardens 2010
Horst at the V&A - Photographer of Style
An Inland Voyage at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
Ibrahim El-Salahi at the Tate Modern
Gaugin at the Tate Modern
Francis Bacon Exhibition at the Tate
The Tate Modern's 10th Anniversary
Picasso Exhibition at the National Gallery
Anish Kapoor at the Royal Academy 2009


Food and Wine
Wine Writings
The Joy of Breakfast
Favourite Recipes - Dark Chunky Marmalade 


Favourite Blogs
Favourite Blogs - Spitalfields Life
Favourite Blogs - Neilbabble




Favourite Gardens - Heale House



I first visited the gardens of Heale House near Salisbury over 25 years ago and remember them - and the glorious C16th house - as particularly lovely. A second visit this week confirmed that memory. Several noteable features such as the superbly trained apple trees are comparatively recent plantings (1976) but now look satisfactorily ancient, and the line of silver birch below the garden on the south side of the house have been underplanted in the manner of Highgrove. The Japanese planting along the streams beside the tea house is charming and full of light and shadow and it all combines to create a marvellous serene and secluded garden.



There is also an exceptional nursery (as well as a good tearoom) where one finds delightful and unusual plants.



Click here for more photos of the garden.


Return to Journal Index    

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Favourite Writings - Bernard Levin on a Wexford Opera

On a memorable performance of Spontini's La Vestale, by Bernard Levin

1979 was The Year of the Missing Lemon Juice. The Theatre Royal in Wexford holds 440; it was completely full that night, so there are, allowing for a few who have already died (it is not true, though it might well have been, that some died of laughter at the time), hardly more than four hundred people who now share, to the end of their lives, an experience from which the rest of the world, now and for ever, is excluded. When the last of us dies, the experience will die with us, for although it is already enshrined in legend, no one who was not an eye witness will ever really understand what we felt. Certainly I am aware that these words cannot convey more than the facts, and the facts, as so often and most particularly in this case, are only part, and a small part, too, of the whole truth. But I must try...

The set for Act I of the opera consisted of a platform laid over the stage, raised about a foot at the back and sloping evenly to the footlights. This was meant to represent the interior of the Temple where burned the sacred flame, and had therefore to look like marble; the designer had achieved a convincing alternative by covering the raised stage in Formica. But the Formica was slippery; to avoid the risk of a performer taking a tumble, designer and stage manager had between them discovered that an ample sprinkling of lemon juice would make the surface sufficiently sticky to provide a secure foothold. The story now forks; down one road, there lies the belief that the member of the stage staff whose duty it was to sprinkle the lifesaving liquid, and who had done so without fail at rehearsal and at the earlier performances (this was the last one of the Festival), had simply forgotten. Down the other branch in the road is a much more attractive rumour: that the theatre charlady, inspecting the premises in the afternoon, had seen to her horror and indignation that the stage was covered in the remains of some spilt liquid, and, inspired by professional pride, had thereupon set to and given it a good scrub and polish all over. The roads now join again, for apart from the superior charm of the second version, it makes no difference what the explanation was. What matters is what happened.

What happened began to happen very early. The hero of the opera strides on to the stage immediately after the curtain has gone up. The hero strode; and instantly fell flat on his back. There was a murmur of sympathy and concern from the audience for his embarrassment and for the possibility that he might have been hurt; it was the last such sound that was to be heard that night, and it was very soon to be replaced by sounds of a very different nature.
The hero got to his feet, with considerable difficulty, and, having slid some way down the stage in falling, proceeded to stride up-stage to where he should have been in the first place; he had, of course, gone on singing throughout, for the music had not stopped. Striding up-stage, however, was plainly more difficult than he had reckoned on, for every time he took a step and tried to follow it with another, the foot with which he had taken the first proceeded to slide down-stage again, swiftly followed by its companion; he may not have known it, but he was giving a perfect demonstration of what is called marcher sur place, a graceful manoeuvre normally used in mime, and seen at its best in the work of Marcel Marceau.

Finding progress uphill difficult, indeed impossible, the hero wisely decided to abandon the attempt and stay where he was, singing bravely on, no doubt calculating that, since the stage was brightly lit, the next character to enter would notice him and adjust his own movements accordingly. So it proved, in a sense at least, for the next character to enter was the hero's trusted friend and confidant, who, seeing his hero further down-stage than he was supposed to be, loyally decided to join him there. Truth to tell, he had little choice, for from the moment he had stepped on to the stage he had begun to slide downhill, arms semaphoring, like Scrooge's clerk on the way home to his Christmas dinner. His downhill progress was arrested by his fetching up against his friend with a thud; this, as it happened, was not altogether inappropriate, as the opera called for them to embrace in friendly greeting at that point. It did not, however, call for them, locked in each other's arms and propelled by the impetus of the friend's descent, to careen helplessly further down-stage with the evident intention of going straight into the orchestra pit with vocal accompaniment - for the hero's aria had, on the arrival of his companion, been transformed into a duet.
On the brink of ultimate disaster they managed to arrest their joint progress to destruction and, working their way along the edge of the stage like mountaineers seeking a route round an unbridgeable crevasse, most gallantly began, with infinite pain and by a form of progress most aptly described in the title of Lenin's famous pamphlet, Four Steps Forward, Three Steps Back, to climb up the terrible hill. It speedily became clear that this hazardous ascent was not being made simply from a desire to retain dramatic credibility; it had a much more practical object. The only structure breaking the otherwise all too smooth surface of the stage was a marble pillar, a yard or so high, on which there burned the sacred flame of the rite. This pillar was embedded firmly in the stage, and it had obviously occurred to both mountaineers at once that if they could only reach it it would provide a secure base for their subsequent operations, since if they held on to it for dear life they would at any rate be safe from any further danger of sliding downhill and/or breaking their necks. It was soon borne in upon them that they had undertaken a labour of truly Sisyphean proportions, and would have been most heartily pardoned by the audience if they had abandoned the librettist's words at this point, and fitted to the music instead the old moral verse: The heights by great men reached and kept, Were not attained by sudden flight; But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upwards in the night.
By this time the audience - all 440 of us - were in a state of such abandon with laughter that several of us felt that if this were to continue a moment longer we would be in danger of doing ourselves a serious internal mischief, little did we know that the fun was just beginning, for shortly after Mallory and Irvine reached their longed-for goal, the chorus entered, and instantly flung themselves en masse into a very freely choreographed version of Les Patineurs, albeit to the wrong music. The heroine herself, the priestess Giulia, with a survival instinct strong enough to suggest that she would be the one to get close to should any reader of these lines happen to be shipwrecked along with the Wexford opera company, skated into the wings and kicked her shoes off and then, finding on her return that this had hardly improved matters, skated back to the wings and removed her tights as well.

Now, however, the singing never having stopped for a moment, the chorus had come to the same conclusion as had the hero and his friend, namely that holding on to the holy pillar was the only way to remain upright and more or less immobile. The trouble with this conclusion was that there was only one such pillar on the stage, and it was a small one; as the cast crowded round it, it seemed that there would be some very unseemly brawling among those seeking a hand-hold, a foothold, even a bare finger-hold, on this tiny island of security in the terrible sea of impermanence. By an instinctive understanding of the principles of co-operation, however, they decided the matter without bloodshed; those nearest the pillar clutched it, those next nearest clutched the clutchers, those farther away still clutched those, and so on until, in a kind of daisy- chain that snaked across the stage, everybody was accommodated.

The condition of the audience was now one of fully extended hysteria, which was having the most extraordinary effect - itself intensifying the audience's condition - on the orchestra. At Wexford, the orchestra pit runs under the stage; only a single row of players - those at the edge of the pit nearest the audience, together, of course, with the conductor -could see what was happening on the stage. The rest realized that something out of the ordinary was going on up there, and would have been singularly dull of wit if they had not, for many members of the audience were now slumped on the floor weeping helplessly in the agony of their mirth, and although the orchestra at Wexford cannot see the stage, it can certainly see the auditorium.

Theologians tell us that the delights of the next world are eternal. Perhaps; but what is certain is that all earthly ones, alas, are temporary, and duly, after giving us a glimpse of the more enduring joy of Heaven that must have strengthened the devout in their faith and caused instant conversion among many of the unbelievers, the entertainment came to an end when the first act of the opera did so, amid such cheering as I had never before heard in an opera house, and can never hope to hear again. In the interval before Act II, a member of the production staff walked back and forth across the stage, sprinkling it with the precious nectar, and we knew that our happiness was at an end. But he who, after such happiness, would have demanded more, would be greedy indeed, and most of us were content to know that, for one crowded half-hour, we on honeydew had fed, and drunk the milk of Paradise.

Bernard Levin

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Herry's Journal Index

Poetry
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam 
Favourite Poetry - The North Ship
Favourite Poetry - Akhmatova
Favourite Poetry - Pablo Neruda
Edna St Vincent Millay - Love is is not All
Edna St Vincent Millay - Eight Sonnets V
Edna St Vincent Millay - Dirge Without Music
Favourite Poetry - Wind
Favourite Poems - Ithaca
Favourite Poems - Kindness
Favourite Poems - C9th Chinese Poem on Old Age
Favourite Poems - Beloved Earth 
Favourite Poems - Animals
Favourite Poems - Stag's Leap
Favourite Poems - The Wilderness
Favourite Poems - No Man Is An Island
Kei's Poetry - Ego Sum
Kei's Poetry - The Dressing Table
Kei's Poetry - For Obachan
Favourite Carols
Favourite Songs - Kathleen Ferrier 'Land of Hope and Glory'

Writings
The Story of the Fox (The Little Prince) 
Favourite Writings - Beyond Euphrates
The Dazzling Fluidity of Days
Favourite Writings - The Lycian Shore
Favourite Writings - More Freya Stark
Favourite Books - 'Wait For Me' by Debo Devonshire
Favourite Writings - Jalaluddin al-Rumi
The Stanzas of Dzyan
Astravakra Gita
I Am Shiva
Peace
Jane Austen
The Song of the Weather
The Snow Country
The Forms of Love
The Scientist and the Universe
The Scientist and the Universe II
Ruskin on Pugin's Conversion to Roman Catholicism
100 Books Famous in Children's Literature
100 Books Famous in Children's Literature - the List
Vogue's Book of Houses, Gardens and People
A Study of History
A History of Intimacy
Wise Advice - Sally Brampton
More Wise Advice - Sally Brampton
The Book of Kells
Watching The English


Comment
Fracking - a Real and Present Danger
Stockbridge and the Storms of February 2014
Grave Threat to Longstock and Stockbridge from Developers 
Destruction of the Winchester College Wingnuts
Falloden Nature Reserve Closed to Walkers
The Curious Case of the Middle Lane
The Curse of Road Noise
The Poison of Bonuses
Inequality - A Growing Problem
Illogical Arguments
Games People Play
Slideshows and The Little Prince
The Dazzling Fluidity of Days
Early June Morning
Geography and How We've Lost It
The Highway Code in 100 Words
The Joy of Cricket
Leonard Cohen The Master
Favourite Songs - Leonard Cohen
The Joy of YouTube
Thoughts on SOPA and PIPA
Farewell Tempo
Why I Prefer Pubs to Restaurants 
Slideshows and The Little Prince
Treasure Island and the Avoidance of Tax

Obituaries and Eulogies
Dirge Without Music
Rosie Jenks 1943 - 2005
Gopika Fraser 1965 - 2009
Cmdr Colin Balfour RN 1924 - 2009 
Norman Buckingham 1918 - 2010
The Rev Hamilton Lloyd 1919 - 2011
Suzanne Lloyd 1923 - 2011
Sally Macpherson 1940 - 2012
Nick Duke 1945 - 2013
S Venkiteswaran 1941 - 2013
Joanne Louise Taylor (Jo Johns) 1939 - 2014
Ernie Stiles - 1941 - 1914
Lucie Skipwith 1942 - 2014
Annie May Spawton 1944 - 2014


Events
Herry's Trinity House Retirement 2006
Herry's Tokyo Retirement 2006
Herry's Beijing Retirement 2006
Herry's Office Retirement 2006
Herry's 70th Birthday Party July 2015
Lawford Lunch at the Drapers' Hall 2014
Winchester College 50 Years On Dinner 2014
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2014
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2013
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2012
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2011
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2010
Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair at the Drapers' Hall 2009
The Royal Hospital Carol Service 2009
The Royal Hospital Carol Service 2010
The Royal Hospital Carol Service 2011
The Royal Hospital Chelsea Dinner 2010
Fine Cell at the V&A
Fine Cell at the Drapers' Hall
Fine Cell at the Leathersellers' Hall 2009
Fine Cell at the Leathersellers' Hall 2009
Fine Cell at the Glaziers' Hall
The Drapers' Almshouses
The Drapers' Almshouse Outing to Winchester 2009
The Drapers' Almshouse Teaparty 2007
The Drapers' Almshouse Teaparty 2008
The Drapers' New Year's Service
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2008
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2009
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2010
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2011
Thomas Miller Carol Service 2013
The Mission to Seafarers Carol Concert 2008
The Mission to Seafarers Carol Concert 2009
The Mission to Seafarers Carol Concert 2010
Stockbridge Christmas Evening Shopping 2014

Travel and Places

Puttaparthy
Favourite Cities - Beirut
Memories of the Taj
Timeless India
India - the Cradle of Language, Astronomy and Science
Russia - The Wild East
Favourite Places - Palace Hotel, Tokyo
Favourite Places - Winchester Cathedral
Favourite Places - Wells Cathedral
Favourite Places - Coventry Cathedral
Coventry's Awe-Inspiring Cathedral
Coventry's Awe-Inspiring Cathedral II
Coventry Cathedral - the Sutherland Tapestry
Coventry Cathedral Golden Jubilee
Coventry Cathedral Carol Concert 2013
Favourite Places in Autumn - Japan
Old Swan House History
Christmas Scenes in London
Christmas Scenes 2008
Mottisfont Abbey in Winter
More Frosty Walks
Favourite Houses - Hinton Ampner
Favourite Places - The East Banqueting House
Favourite Restaurants - The River Cafe
Farewell Robert Le Pirate
The Murphy's and the French Riviera
Drapers' Almshouse Outing to Winchester 2009
Japan - Imabari and the Kurushima Strait
Japan - Early Morning Chimes
Hymn to Dear Japan March 2011
One of Hutton's Glass Screen Angels in Hampshire
The Great Churches of the City of London
The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry
The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry Reopening 2008
John O'Donohue at Glenshal Abbey
Elmore Abbey

Gardens and Flowers
Cascades Flower Arrangement Exhibition in Winchester Cathedral
Old Swan House Garden Open for the NGS 2015
Chelsea Flower Show 2014
Favourite Gardens - Ashtall Manor
Favourite Gardens - Bere Mill in Spring
Favourite Gardens - Adwell
Favourite Gardens - Hinton Ampner
Favourite Gardens - Stockbridge Town Gardens
Favourite Gardens - Wherwell Village Gardens
Favourite Gardens - Bramdean House
Favourite Gardens - Dean House
Favourite Gardens - A Secret Garden
Favourite Gardens - West Green
The Manor at Upton Grey
on form at Ashtall Manor
Adwell Garden Fair
The National Gardens Scheme
Glorious Gardens in the National Gardens Scheme
The Secret Gardens of Spitalfields
Autumn Colours in Kyoto
Autumn Beeches
Summertime
The Orangery in Winter
Snow in April
Favourite Views - Koko at The Orangery
Favourite Views - Fields of Barley
Favourite Gardens - The Buildings in Autumn 
Favourite Gardens - The Buildings, Broughton
Old Swan House Garden
Old Swan House Gardens Open for the NGS 2015
Old Swan House Garden in June 2015
Old Swan House Garden in Summer and Autumn
Old Swan House Garden in July
Old Swan House Garden in June
Making the Garden at Old Swan House
Old Swan House Garden Open for the NGS 2015
Chelsea Flower Show 2007
Chelsea Flower Show 2008
Chelsea Flower Show 2010
Chelsea Flower Show 2011
Chelsea Flower Show 2012
Chelsea Flower Show 2013
Chelsea Flower Show 2014
Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Paintings and Photographs
St Laurent and Pierre Berge Collection
Saatchi Gallery - New Art from India
Saatchi Gallery - New Art from China
Saatchi Gallery - New Art from the Middle East
Anish Kapoor's Exhibition
Anish Kapoor in Kensington Gardens 2010
Horst at the V&A - Photographer of Style
An Inland Voyage at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
Ibrahim El-Salahi at the Tate Modern
Gaugin at the Tate Modern
Francis Bacon Exhibition at the Tate
The Tate Modern's 10th Anniversary
Picasso Exhibition at the National Gallery
Anish Kapoor at the Royal Academy 2009


Food and Wine
Wine Writings
The Joy of Breakfast
Favourite Recipes - Dark Chunky Marmalade 


Favourite Blogs
Favourite Blogs - Spitalfields Life
Favourite Blogs - Neilbabble




on form at Ashtall Manor


I visited Ashtall Manor for the on form sculpture exhibition two years ago and found it and the Bannerman-designed garden beautiful. Visiting again this year (the exhibition is biennial) was an even better experience. The weather was near perfect and the light wonderful. And there was a concert in the church and supper provided in the 'Potting Shed' to round off a perfect day.

For more photos, click here  

Monday, 27 June 2016

Favourite Poems - No Man Is An Island



This famous poem, written by John Dunne in 1624, was read out on stage at Glastonbury by PJ Harvey in June 2016 following the Referendum. How apt and and moving it is. 

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee. 



Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Chelsea Flower Show 2016


Chelsea Flower Show 2016 was as interesting as ever, both for the superb show gardens (especially the 'Best In Show' Telegraph garden by Any Sprugeon) as well as for the plants that go in an out of fashion. This year no one used Anthriscus 'Ravenswing' when only three years ago it was everywhere, and there was masses of purple. For more photos click here 

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Favourite Gardens - West Green



West Green near Hartley Whitney is a beautiful 1720's house with a somewhat scarred past (brutal first owner Gen Henry Hartley and almost demolished by an IRA bomb) that was left to the National Trust by Sir Victor Sassoon in 1957 but has been taken on a long lease by Marylyn Abbott who has completely redesigned the fascinating and beautiful garden. Click here for some more photos.  

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Favourite Sculptures - the Garden Gallery


Rachel Bebb's wonderful Garden Gallery in Broughton held a private view for the latest summer exhibition of sculptures called 'Footprints on the Sands of Time' and featuring Charlotte Mayer as well as 120 other works. Click here for some more photos of the exhibition. 

Monday, 16 May 2016

The Manor at Upton Grey

     

The Manor House at Upton Grey is an Arts & Craft house with a beautiful garden carefully restored by Rosamund Wallinger and her husband based on the original plans by Gertrude Jeykell from 1908.
Click here for some more photos