A Partridge In A Pear Tree

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I’m not going to pretend a partridge in a pear tree is the most original of Christmas card ideas but I had been drawing a lot of birds and a lot of fruit and it did fit the brief rather nicely so I didn’t drift too far for inspiration. Read more

Frames of reference

Running Women

Two women appear on a hill. Free, they run down the hill together. Still free, they choose to run back up, and then run some more.

I only just discovered this little video by Adam Lerman a couple of days ago and already it’s my favourite movie of 2014. Trees, women, freedom, plus a great soundtrack. What more do you need?

Frames of reference

The Drop

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Eggardon Hill in west Dorset, 5 miles east of Bridport, overlooking the Marshwood Vale to the west. The Fort is Iron Age and is at the end of a long, little used, Roman road from Dorchester. On a clear day you can see from the Devon coast to the Purbecks in the east. Read more

Frames of reference

Sacred Monsters

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Akram Khan and Sylvie Guillem after their final performance of Sacred Monsters at Sadler’s Wells. They gave it their all and got a rapturous response from the audience. We were fortunate to be there. Read more

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Land Of Ice

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Iceland has been waiting for me in my dreams, all the cliches of a land being formed of fire and ice seem inescapable when your feet are upon lava flows and glaciers. The climate and weather patterns change in minutes. Mine and my friend Tom’s journey began after a long drive to the far south east of the island hear a town called Höfn. Read more

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Christmas Studio Sale

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Liz Somerville / The Rowley Gallery

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Happy House

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Happy House: Don Cherry, Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, Ed Blackwell

When we drove to Italy last summer I thought our journey should have an Italian soundtrack, so I loaded the car with all the Italian music I could find. It was a mixed bag, some of it dubiously Italian. There was Louis Prima’s Just A Gigolo; a Christmas album of Vivaldi, Corelli and Scarlatti; Monteverdi’s Vespers with Jordi Savall; Stefano Scodanibbio’s Reinventions; the soundtrack album from La Grande Bellezza; Mike Westbrook’s Rossini; Spaccanapoli, Lost Souls; Ernst Reiseger + Tenore e Cuncordu de Orosei, Colla Voche; Orchestra Jazz Siciliana Plays The Music Of Carla Bley.

But unfortunately none of it was road trip music. Don Cherry Quartet Live In Nervi 1979 was the best. Not really Italian music but recorded there. This quartet were also known as Old And New Dreams. They’d all previously played alongside Ornette Coleman and together they reinterpreted his music. Happy House is one of their best and it kept us on the right track.

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In Milano

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It was a fleeting visit. Rain was falling on Lake Como so we got the train to Milan, but there was no plan. We arrived at Stazione Nord and walked into town just to see what we might find. Read more

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In Como

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A walk around the narrow streets of the città murata, Como’s walled old quarter, a dense network of narrow, pedestrianised lanes at the centre of the city. An aimless wander through the maze of streets and some random photographs for souvenirs, mementos, frames of reference. Read more

Frames of reference

Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage

I discovered this film thanks to Caught By The River and Nowness. A brief evocation of Prospect Cottage and its endless garden by Howard Sooley, photographer of Derek Jarman’s Garden.

Busie old foole, unruly Sunne,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windowes, and through curtains call on us?
Must to thy motion lovers’ seasons run?
Sawcy pedantique wretch, goe chide
Late schoole boyes and sowre prentices,
Goe tell Court-huntsmen, that the King will ride,
Call countrey ants to harvest offices;
Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clyme,
Nor houres, dayes, moneths, which are the rags of time…
Thou sunne art halfe as happy as wee,
In that the world’s contracted thus.
Thine age askes ease, and since thy duties bee
To warme the world, that’s done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
This bed thy centre is, these walls thy spheare.

from The Sunne Rising by John Donne, 1633.

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