A Walk In The Nebbio

We’d picked up a little brochure of local walks from Tourist Information in St-Florent, and this one was just up the road from the spectacular black and white church of San Michele de Murato. It was listed as Balade dans le Nebbiu (stroll in the fog). The Nebbio is the region of Corsica inland from St-Florent, a hinterland enclosed by an amphitheatre of hills, that takes its name from the heavy mists that descend in winter. Today was not sunny, but thankfully we were not enveloped in clouds. Continue reading “A Walk In The Nebbio”

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Carpentry In Kyushu

My aunt is a traditional Japanese carpenter who works on building projects using time-honoured methods. She is commissioned to do large and small buildings. I was fortunate to join her for one of the larger projects. She works much like an architect and hires other professionals when needed. She plans all the logistics and makes all the joints and also works on-site. Continue reading “Carpentry In Kyushu”

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A Walk To Sainsbury’s

We were in Norwich recently, staying at a hotel in the city but eager to visit the Sainsbury Centre just out of town. We were advised to take a taxi because buses were temporarily diverted. “It will take you about half an hour on foot but it’s not a pleasant walk. Better to cab it.” And yet, despite the advice, we walked it, and the sun came out, and the way was lined with trees and other hopeful signs. Continue reading “A Walk To Sainsbury’s”

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Cakes & Ale Press

I went down to visit Jonny Hannah recently at the Cakes & Ale Press, a deceptively humble garden shed strategically located at the heart of Darktown, its inspirational source leaking pervasively up through the floorboards and onto the drawing board. Sited with the aid of dowsing-rods, it serves to trap the hidden force within. The door opened with a howl and I rushed in, cameras blazing. Continue reading “Cakes & Ale Press”

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Paradise

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paradise /ˈpær.ə.daɪs/ noun: The word “paradise” entered English from the French paradis, inherited from the Latin paradisus, from Greek parádeisos (παράδεισος), from an Old Iranian paridayda – “walled enclosure”. Paradise is the term for a place of timeless harmony; the abode of Adam and Eve before the Fall in the biblical account of the Creation; the Garden of Eden; a place or condition of great happiness where everything is exactly as you would like it to be; an ideal or idyllic place or state – synonyms: Utopia, fairyland, Shangri-La, heaven, nirvana, Arcadia. Paradise may also refer to the collection of holiday paintings by Will Smith displayed in The Rowley Gallery window. Continue reading “Paradise”

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My Garden Studio

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I built my large wooden studio in our garden more than 30 years ago. I previously had a number of productive and happy years sharing a studio in Holborn with Graham Crowley, Vanessa Jackson and others. But when the men in suits with laser rulers came round we knew our days in the studio were numbered. The building owned by the church was to be converted to flats. So with the help of a few friends, including very fortuitously a master carpenter and an architect, I decided to build my own. Continue reading “My Garden Studio”

Frames of reference

Unknown Countries

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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”

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To The Horizon

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As a birthday treat Sue took me for a walk on the Dengie Peninsula on the far eastern shore of Essex. She had her eyes on the horizon. We arrived via Burnham-on-Crouch, a pretty Georgian estuary town but with the saddest fish & chips and a clown to scare the children. His car was parked next to ours. We made our escape towards Southminster, but we got ensnared by the Burnham Loop where we revolved time and again around the endless fenlands (afeared lest we contract Dengie Fever from the mosquito-infested swamps) until finally we saw the error of our ways (a misplaced signpost) and we were at last expelled to Tillingham and ultimately onwards to Bradwell-on-Sea. Continue reading “To The Horizon”

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