A February / March Garden

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Sarcococca

A fantastic shrub that just missed out on being in the January blog. It started flowering 1st February and filled the garden with the most delicious scent. The black berries are the product of last winter’s flowers. It’s a small evergreen plant that does best in shade or semi shade, remains small, and is another contender for Most Useful All-Round Plant. Read more

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For Naná Vasconcelos

Here’s a reminder of the great Brazilian percussionist Naná Vasconcelos, who died too soon last week aged only 71. I was fortunate to see him once, performing with Don Cherry and I heard him many times on recordings by Codona, Talking Heads, Jan Garbarek, Egberto Gismonti, Pat Metheny, Caetano Veloso, Laurie Anderson and Penguin Café Orchestra, as well as many albums under his own name. He was a master of the berimbau, a single-string percussion instrument, the soul of Capoeira.

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George Smart

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The Goosewoman & Old Bright, The Postman; c.1840. Private Collection

After 18 months of researching, writing, photographing and designing, my book George Smart, the Tailor of Frant: Artist in Cloth & Velvet Figures has finally been published. I first encountered George Smart’s pictures when I was a student at Maidstone College of Art over 25 years ago. I came across a few thumbnails of his work in a book by James Ayres and, despite being poorly printed, they jumped off the page at me and lodged themselves in my mind. Read more

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From The Poet’s House

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It’s almost 30 years since John Hubbard visited New Harmony, a small town in Indiana, USA, established in 1825 as a model community by the Welsh utopian thinker and social reformer Robert Owen. John was invited by Jane Blaffer Owen, New Harmony resident and the wife of Robert Owen’s third great grandson. Read more

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Juicy Lucy

A tune for Mother’s Day from Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood.
This sweet video was directed by Billy Martin; he’s the drummer in the band –

The video for ‘Juicy Lucy’ features my mom, who is a former Radio City Rockette. At 81 years old, she’s still a phenomenal dancer. I’ve wanted to feature my mom somehow for a long time. She put tap shoes on me at a very young age and got me into rhythm.

Medeski Martin & Wood

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Connect

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Once a term Holland Park School ask us to frame the cover of their school magazine. Most recently it featured a photo of Antony Gormley to mark the arrival of a specially commissioned sculpture on the school roof. This was a great surprise, and a nice coincidence, just as I was drafting the previous post about his exhibition last year in Florence. Read more

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Forte Di Belvedere

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Palazzo Pitti & Forte Belvedere, one of a series of paintings of Medici villas by the Flemish artist Giusto Utens from 1599. The fort was built nine years earlier, on the highest hill of the Boboli Gardens to protect and watch over and keep an eagle-eye on the city of Florence down below. Read more

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Another Look At Florence

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One visit to Florence was not enough, we had to come back for a second round. A third and a fourth would have been good, this place is inexhaustible, but sadly we didn’t have time so we needed to be selective. Top of the list was the Uffizi but not until we’d had an extremely indulgent breakfast at Rivoire in Piazza della Signoria, a great place to watch our fellow tourists. Read more

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Albatross

Albatross with plastic debris for web

Beatrice Forshall working on a picture of an albatross surrounded by plastic debris she’s collected from the beach; a salutary warning against the the proliferation of throwaway plastic in our modern-day world. It’s an image made in response to Midway: A Message From The Gyre, a film that shows the toxic consequences of too much discarded plastic in the seas. Read more

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#ShowTheLove

A short film for Valentine’s Day. And for every day.

The Climate Coalition / Show The Love / World Wide Fund for Nature

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