Friday, 25 December 2015
Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Wednesday, 12 August 2015
Delightful stories abound: her irascible father walking to the Army & Navy Stores in Victoria with a lurcher and labrador at his heel and have them sit in the entrance.
Eddy Devonshire tying flies and lying in the bath imaging that he was a salmon while Edward, the butler, pretending to be a fishing rod, jerked them over his submerged head.
Tom Egerton (a friend of Andrew's) being famous for rescuing the marmalade from the officers' mess at the Siege of Tobruk.
'When Uncle Harold [Macmillan] was very old he came to stay for weeks on end. I met him one afternoon in a passage looking rather anxious and forlorn. 'The trouble with this house,' he said, 'is that you have to throw double sixes to get out'.
Her husband, Andrew Devonshire was painted by Theodore Ramos (as was Ayako).
For me too it was particularly interesting to read about her early life at Ashtall Manor, where my step-grandfather Sir Alfred Herbert lived and the Mitfords acquired after he moved to Dunley.
See also this interview here
Monday, 20 July 2015
I had thought that the garden would look near its best in June, when the euphorbias and roses were out, but in fact it seems to be flowering better in mid July, and the grasses are better too as they have gone from being green to golden, and so look much lighter. My neighbours buddleija adds a strong burst of colour now as well.
For more photos, click here
Saturday, 11 July 2015
Saturday, 27 June 2015
Cascades, a beautiful modern flower arrangement exhibition, was held in Winchester Cathedral between 23rd - 28th June 2015, some of the arrangements seemingly inspired by the Tower of London poppies of 2014. The exhibition was directed by Hans Haverkamp with support from Bill Dixon and Pauline Harran.
For more photos of the exhibition, click here
Wednesday, 24 June 2015
|The famous west front of Wells Cathedral contains one of the largest collections of mediaeval sculpture|
|The famous scissor arches supporting the tower.|
Tuesday, 23 June 2015
|Rose Tour de Malakoff|
The magnificent rose garden at Mottisfont is at its best in May and June, but I don't always manage to visit in peak season. However, June 2015 was an exception and although it wasn't sunny, the roses were superb and I was able to get a lot of quite decent photos - though nothing like as good as those of Nigel Burkitt.
For the full set, click here
More photos can be seen here
Saturday, 20 June 2015
Fortunately the weather was kind and the plants obliged with a decent show; and the visitors particularly enjoyed seeing a garden behind a house on Stockbridge High St which they would otherwise never see.
The NGS raised £2.4m for its charities last year and Hampshire was the largest contributor. I hope we'll do as well this year.
Click here to read Paul Johnson's well-known and evocative piece on the English love of gardening.
Wednesday, 27 May 2015
|The Palace Hotel, Tokyo, seen across Hibiya Park|
|A stunning maple on the terrace|
|Part of the lobby. The whole place is full of glass and light|
For more photos, click here
Friday, 10 April 2015
Lucie was born Marcelle Louise Othon at Cursan near Creon on 24th November 1942, one of seven children to Maurice and Georgette Othon. Her father, who composed music, died in 1966 and her mother in 1992. Lucie had three brothers, Michel, Francois and Andre (‘Prosper’), and four sisters, including Therese and Mireille. Two of her sisters died young, one at six months and another in 1965, and Lucie’s brother Michel also died, in 1998.
Charlie and Lucie got married at this church in Droxford on 12th July 1969. Lucie naturally made her own wedding dress and those of her bridesmaids. Afterwards they honeymooned in Corsica. Then, through Prue, who had arrived in London to do the season and who had hooked up with me through Nick Duke’s cousin Frances, they met John Rendall – of ‘Christian the Lion’ fame – (and who is here today) and through him became interested in working in Australia. Charlie and Lucie duly sailed for Australia in the summer of 1970 on a Messagerie Maritime paquebot, which they caught in Marseilles. Prue and I drove them down and put them on to the ship.
Landing eventually in Sydney after calling at places like Guadeloupe and the Marquesas, Taihiti and Moorea, Vanuatu and Noumea , they stayed for a while with Arthur Johnson; Arthur then being Prue’s father’s accountant and soon to marry the same Frances (Duke).
Then in 1989 a friend, Dr Milligan, who had acquired a double-decker bus to take to race meetings, allowed Charlie and Lucie to become part owners and extend their business by fitting it out as a mobile restaurant and serving lunches to the likes of De La Rue on the rooftop tables. In 1984 they visited Twickenham and took the bus to Le Mans with Spice Racing. They enjoyed it so much that in 1996 they acquired a much bigger vehicle, an American Motorhome, to cater to the race teams such as GTC Gulf McLaren at events throughout Europe. They developed that business so well that by 1995 they sold Cobbetts, and took on full-time race meeting catering until 2003. This was even harder work than the restaurant, with the cooking being carried out under testing conditions, for instance at Le Mans when the drivers and pit crew required feeding at 2am and again at breakfast as well as throughout the day for ten days at a time. Lucie was quoted in a Sunday Times article as saying ‘They want it and they want it fast!’ They used to feed 84 people at 12 tables of seven under an awning erected on astroturf with fresh flowers on each table. The girls all helped in their holidays and the family lived in the motorhome with a kitchen a trailer behind, but Lucie loved watching the start of each race. In 2000 they sold up in England and moved to France.
10th April 2015
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
|Beirut by Sorgul|
Nowhere can you find combination more breath-taking of sea and snow, age and vigour, history and persiflage. Only at the Levantine end of the Mediterranean could a Beirut exist, with all those undertones of antiquity, graft and tolerance. Is she really a great city, this wayward paragon? Scarcely, by the standards of Belin or San Francisco, Tokyo or Moscow; but she is great in a different kind. She is great like a voluptuous courtesan, a shady merchant-prince, the scent of jasmine or the flash of a dazzling sandal. She has scarcely achieved greatness or even had it thrust upon her, but greatness has often spent a night in her arms, and a little lingers.
Monday, 2 March 2015
|Winnie The Pooh by AA Milne|
A full listing of the 100 books is here
You can order a copy of the catalogue online here.
A link to the New York Times photographs of the exhibition is here
|The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett|
|Le Petit Prince by Saint-Exupery|
|Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll|
|Tom Sawyer by Samuel Clemens|
|The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling|
|The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame|
|Peter and Wendy by James Barrie|
|Barbara by Jean De Brunhoff|
|The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein|
|The Cat In The Hat by Dr Suess|
|Strewelpeter by Heinrich Hoffmann|