This is the Ponte della Maddalena (Bridge of Mary Magdalene) across the Serchio river in Italy, also known as Ponte del Diavolo (Bridge of the Devil). We visited last year on our way to Lucca and I was reminded of it again recently when it appeared in Il Racconto dei Racconti (Tale of Tales), a magical film shot in spectacular locations all over Italy. It prompted me to go looking for more mementoes. Continue reading “Mementi”
Ordnance Survey of Great Britain 1954, Sheet 137 – Lowestoft
(click on the image for a closer look)
A recent trip to Hastings lead to a Sunday morning treasure hunt in Roberts Rummage, a small living room piled high with loosely sorted items and belongings of past lives. My friend Christopher and I spent a couple of hours searching the stacks of china, jars of buttons and drawers of brass wear and the excitement is the unknown item you will stumble across, the joy of cleaning it up and the new life and place it will have in our lives.
I often think of the life items have had and if you could trace them back where they would take you. Amongst the old board games I discovered this map. Having grown up just outside Lowestoft I was thrilled, it felt like a gift to trace back the villages and towns I have known all my life. Continue reading “Lowestoft”
I’d not been to Hastings before. Strange to admit, especially since I lived in Maidstone for three years just 30 miles away, though that was over 40 years ago. Hastings was where John Martyn lived but, as much as I loved his music, we always by-passed the town on our way home from Brighton. Continue reading “Unknown Countries”
Radical Times is the title of an exhibition of paintings by Stanley Whitney at the Lisson Gallery. I walked here via Church Street Market, past the antique shops and the exuberant fruit & veg stalls. Continue reading “Radical Times”
Downs Study from Beachy Head
This series of landscape works has been painted entirely on location. They are a direct response to what I saw and the experience of being in the landscape. I have always worked from direct observation and never seen the point of working away from the subject matter. That is because I do not paint pictures of things, I make studies. Continue reading “Downland Landscapes”
Sudbury is a place we often pass through on our way to somewhere else. But this time we stopped for a closer look and pretty soon we realised we’d already done this walk before. It all fell back into place.
The market town of Sudbury has a unique feature on its doorstep. The Sudbury Common Lands make up some 115 acres of water-meadows on the flood plain of the River Stour. Cattle and horses graze here, as they have for a thousand years, and the area is crossed by footpaths, making it perfect for a peaceful walk. Continue reading “Around Sudbury”
I’d often wondered about Shoreham. It’s famous as the inspiration for many of Samuel Palmer’s bucolic paintings, but on the map it’s surrounded by motorways, an edgeland bordered by the M20, the M25 and the M26. I suppose I’d worried that it’s spell must have been broken. But then after a recent visit to Ankerwycke, also on the rim of the M25, I realised that magic can persist. Continue reading “Around Shoreham”