Take Me To The River

Further downstream is a weir and rocky lagoons also some icy cold fresh water streams fed by underground sources

A few pictures stolen from Christopher Corr’s Instagram, pleasant reminders of the long hot summer of 2018 when the only place to keep cool was in the river. Read more

Frames of reference

The Craft Beer Dictionary

This spectacular new book just arrived on my desk, courtesy of Octopus Books. It’s a delightfully illustrated guide to the world of craft beer by Richard Croasdale, with help from two of our favourite artists. Jonathan Christie was the creative director and Jonny Hannah was the illustrator. It’s an A-Z with a J for Jonathan & Jonny. Here’s a peek inside to whet your appetite. Cheers! Read more

Frames of reference

Passeggiata In Ortigia

passeggiata /ˌpasɛˈdʒɑːtə/ noun (especially in Italy or Italian-speaking areas) a leisurely walk or stroll, especially one taken in the evening for the purpose of socializing.”

Ortigia is a small island, just under 1km square, attached to the Sicilian city of Syracuse by three road bridges. “It forms the charming old town, best explored on foot and certainly the most pleasant place to stay in the city.” We were there for two weeks this summer and during our stay we discovered many circuitous routes as we strolled around its maze of ancient streets and alleyways. Read more

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Caetano Veloso & Gilberto Gil

I’ve been listening to the CD version of this concert all summer. My head is full of these songs. We saw Gilberto Gil in concert in June but missed Caetano Veloso. We could have seen them both together when they toured this show but I realised too late. I mentioned it to my daughter when she phoned from Brazil. Dad, she said, I’m in Salvador and I just saw them perform a free open-air concert! Now I imagine I was there too. This is my holiday video. I’m away from my computer right now. Back soon.

Frames of reference

To Win Green

Win Green From Berwick Down

We asked Howard Phipps to fill our window with a display of his wood engravings and linocuts. So it seemed like a good idea to go down and collect them, and take a walk around some of the places that had inspired them. We followed a circuit up to Win Green, a prominent landmark and the highest point in Cranborne Chase, crowned by a clump of beech trees on a Bronze Age bowl barrow. Read more

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Unravelling The Ripple

A portrait of a Hebridean tideline by Helen Douglas, this beautiful visual book unfolds as a single photographic image flowing through the textures and rhythms of sand, wrack and wave.

This book, hiding on my shelf too long, is the perfect antidote to a stifling and muggy urban heatwave. It’s a cold flannel on the inside of my elbow, the fresh breeze of a Scottish shore held in my hands. Turn the pages slowly, take it at walking pace, listen to the ripple of the wave unfurling, cool your feet in its crystal waters. It will wash you clean around the island. But first, an essay by Rebecca Solnit. Read more

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A Handful Of Twigs

St James the Less

I photographed these Twig Saints quickly, against the trellis on the south-facing wall outside my workshop, as a farewell gesture, just as we were returning them to Chris Kenny for a forthcoming exhibition at the After Nyne Gallery in September. They are all framed by the artist, often in adapted and reformed cigar boxes, cobbled together with the wooden backs of old picture frames sourced from The Rowley Gallery. The little Twig Saints are delicately fixed inside and their weird and wonderful stories are told in captions displayed on the reverse of their box-frames. Read more

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Sweet Chestnuts Of Zonza

This magnificent sweet chestnut tree stands in a field beside the main road north from Levie on the outskirts of Zonza in Corsica. It is on private property opposite the Hôtel Le Mouflon d’Or, so this was as close as we got. It is featured as a notable tree in the Guide des Arbres Remarquables de France – Le Châtaignier de Zonza: Sur la commune de Zonza, châtaignier de 14 mètres de circonférence qui est très vigoureux. On their website it is listed as Le châtaignier creux de Zonza (the hollow chestnut of Zonza), propriété privée. The horses were fortunate to get so close. Read more

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Majesty

The Majesty oak is well named; it truly is majestic, /məˈdʒɛstɪk/, adjective, having or showing impressive beauty or scale, synonyms: exalted, august, great, awesome, elevated, sublime, lofty. It is all of these and more. It lives in Fredville Park at Nonington in Kent, alongside other exceptional trees called Beauty, Stately and Staghorn, but Majesty is said to be the finest oak in all of the British Isles. It stands 60 feet tall and measures 40 feet around and estimates of its age vary from 400 to 800 to the best part of a thousand years, no one knows for sure but it looks to me like it’s been here forever. Read more

Frames of reference

To The Jade Emperor’s Mountain

This richly textured puzzle-picture wood engraving is not much bigger than a large postage stamp but it is crammed full of intriguing detail. A stepped path winds through a grove of trees amid a cultivated chaos of cross-hatched herring-bone earth. How is it possible to get so much into so little? This tiny concentrated memento is a leitmotif for our July window display – To The Jade Emperor’s Mountain and other works by Jonathan Gibbs. Read more

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