Tita

Trio Da Kali & Kronos Quartet – Tita, the first song on their debut album Ladilikan.

‘Tita’ was one of a series of songs that emerged around the time of independence in Mali and Guinea, encouraging the youth to follow their hearts, rather than their elders’ wishes. In this version, the leaders of this movement are the griots themselves, who have ‘fallen in love with love’ – even if it leads to malicious gossip and beatings. The word tita and titawati represented the swish of cloth as a couple danced in ballroom style – a true sign of modernity in Mali of the 1950s!

Trio Da Kali & Kronos Quartet

Frames of reference

A Small Forest

A new window display at The Rowley Gallery by Christopher Corr. We asked him to paint a few trees. A Corr forest, or simply a Corr fest. And each of the four free-standing trees have a painting on each of their four sides, so maybe it’s a fourest of Corrs. Four corrners of the fourest. I’ll stop now. Read more

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Dancersend

May Bank Holiday weekend, on Bottom Road between Tring and Wendover, a single-track road winding through green tunnels and burrowing deep into the Chilterns. We drive the full length of it searching for Dancersend Nature Reserve, without success, and without meeting another vehicle. It’s a quiet secluded stretch of bucolic country lane, absorbing us into its depths and hollows, where overgrown signposts are easily overlooked. Eventually we turn around and head back. Read more

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Gamlingay

Further on down the road we came to Gamlingay, a familiar sounding place, its pretty name once heard and hard to forget. We got lunch at the Cock Inn while villagers hung out flags for St George. And I remembered that the church of St Mary is renowned for its medieval graffiti. Read more

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Hayley Wood

I’d sent out a request via Twitter saying we were planning a weekend in Cambridge and could anyone recommend a woodland walk nearby. I received an intriguing reply from Steve PocockOh, check out Hayley Wood to west of Cambridge. That was one of Oliver Rackham’s stomping grounds where he did a lot of his work on medieval woodlands. Features in his books. Read more

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In Cambridge

As we walked into town we passed the back wall of Emmanuel College, overseen by the great Oriental Plane tree, Platanus orientalis, growing in the Fellows’ Garden. We tried to get a closer look but since neither of us are college fellows we had to be content to view it from a distance. Read more

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Arborealists In Lady Park Wood

A short film by Kashfi Halford about Lady Park Wood, a rare natural woodland in the Wye Valley, as seen through the eyes of The Arborealists, a group of artists with a shared love of trees. There is an exhibition inspired by their visit at Monmouth Museum from May until September, including work by Robert Amesbury Brooks, Graham Arnold, Richard Bavin, Philippa Beale, Ann Blockley, Karen Bowers, Guillaume Brandy, Emma Buckmaster, Tim Craven, Annabel Cullen, Francis Dalschaert, Tom Deakins, Jane Eaton, Alex Egan, Janet French, Jelly Green, Sarah Harding, Richard Hoare, Abi Kremer, Fiona McIntyre, Lesley Slight and Jacqueline Wedlake Hatton.

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Tangle

Oil paintings and watercolours by Jelly Green and bronze sculptures by Freddy Morris in the Rowley Gallery window throughout May. It’s a meeting of kindred spirits. Both artists are woodlanders, each in their own way exploring the beauty of the trees. Both have been artist-in-residence in various treehouses. Jelly has painted in the rainforests of Brazil and Borneo as well as in woods closer to home. Freddy loves to forage for fallen branches, looking for shapely specimens to cast in bronze. Read more

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Cucuruzzu & Capula

We’d tried to visit earlier but been turned away, the site was closed due to the high risk of wildfires. But today, touch wood, the situation appeared safer and we were allowed inside. And maybe because we’d already been denied access once, this second attempt seemed especially privileged, so please excuse me if I go on a bit. This felt like my ideal habitat, the dappled light and the ancient stones, it was a natural sculpture trail, so it’s really no surprise I took far too many photographs. Read more

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Wychling Wood

I saw this on an OS map and couldn’t not investigate. A place of worship symbol in the middle of bloody nowhere on the edge of a wood. It was a foggy, atmospheric day up on the North Downs, so I decided to walk three sides of a square through the wood to reach it. Read more

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